Information about Edward W. Roman's lawsuit against songwriters Richard Rodgers and Lorenz Hart had circulated widely in upstate New York newspapers at the time of the filing in October 1936.
Five press clippings were found in the attic upon his death in 1992. These include a comprehensive feature that ran in Albany's Knickerbocker Press, an afternoon daily that had been publishing in the state capital for nearly a century. This article showcased a professional photo of the young Ed Roman and his prominent Troy attorney. It was intact, as were its identifying details.
Three others, trimmed so closely that dates and publication names were missing, read as if they were also published locally. Another was from a national magazine. This article, which concerned claims brought by songwriters, appeared 16 years after the filing. Its reference to Roman's lawsuit involving "Blue Moon" is presented as if were common knowledge in the music industry.
This by-lined feature is invaluable for its portrayal of the young Ed Roman as a poet and local musician. It references Roman's evening of moonlit ice-skating on the pond in Troy as the inspiration for "Blue Moon," and is the prime piece of evidence we have for that aspect of the song's creation. It quotes Roman directly about his dealings with New York music broker, Jack Mahoney.
Albany's erstwhile P.M. daily (it folded in 1988), commonly called "The Knick," was known for its aggressive reporting, strong political coverage, and readable style.
This article was likely published in a Troy paper because only the number and street are referenced in Ed Roman's Troy address. Had the publisher been located elsewhere, a Troy address would have been "out-of-town," necessitating the naming of the city.
This news story points out that with the filing of the lawsuit, Ed Roman's original manuscript for "Blue Moon" had been turned over to his attorney.
The article was found in the attic with no identifying information. We've sourced it to Albany's Times-Union, and the date to October 21, 1936. The morning daily (it's still publishing) had jumped on the story the day before, running a brief item headlined: "Claims 'Blue Moon' and Asks Accounting." (Clip can be found on the bottom of this page, far left.)
SELECT IMAGE TO VIEW CLIP
This fragment was all that was found in the attic from a lengthy article in the Sunday Mirror Magazine (King Features Syndicate, Inc.) regarding litigation in the music business. It references Ed Roman by name, and includes the only published account we have of the amount of the settlement.
The name of the publication and the date were noted on the back of the fragment, enabling us to access the complete article.
In our continuing search for press accounts regarding Ed Roman's 1936 lawsuit involving "Blue Moon," we have found additional articles. All were published in upstate New York newspapers, two of the three on the Front Page.
Select image to view the Full Page where this item appeared in Albany's Times-Union on October 20, 1936. The paper published a full story the following day. (See clip above)
Select image to view the Full Front Page where this article appeared in the Ballston Spa Daily Journal on October 21, 1936.
Select image to view the Full Front Page where this article appeared in the Cohoes American on October 21, 1936.