Contemporaneous Articles

News about Edward W. Roman's lawsuit against acclaimed songwriters Richard Rodgers and Lorenz Hart circulated widely in upstate New York newspapers at the time of the filing in October 1936.

In the attic after his death, five press clips were found, one fully intact, the others missing dates and publication names. The intact piece, a comprehensive bylined feature in the state capital of Albany's Knickerbocker Press, included a photo of the young Ed Roman and his prominent local attorney.

We've sourced all but one of the other four clips, and have since discovered via Newspapers.com an additional three. All but one were (or, in the case the clip that hasn't been sourced, appear to have been) published locally and contemporaneously.

The other ran 16 years after the filing in a major national magazine. Tellingly, its reference to the lawsuit involving "Blue Moon" reads as if the matter were common knowledge in the music industry.

E, Stewart Jones With Edward Roman in 1936

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"Song Writer in Troy Seeking Legal Solace for 'Blue Moon,'" The Knickerbocker Press, October 21, 1936

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 primary piece of written 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.


1930's newspaper article talking about copyright infringement lawsuit against Rodgers and Hart by E. Stewart Jones

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"'Blue Moon' Made Author Blue, He Tells Court," The Troy Record, October 21, 1936

Found without identifying information, this article has since been sourced to The Troy Record, the city's major morning daily (now a tabloid called The Record). It appeared centered, and above the fold, on page 10 of the 22-page October 21, 1936, edition, a more prominent placement than suggested by the clip alone. (SEE IMAGE OF ORIGINAL PAGE)

The citing of only the number and street in Roman's address was a clue that the clip was from a paper in his hometown of Troy. If out-of-town, the name of the city, according to newspaper style, would have been included.


E, Stewart Jones With Edward Roman in 1936

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"'Blue Moon' His Brain Child, Claim Of Trojan Seeking Data on Sales"

This detailed article paints a vivid picture of the role played by New York music broker, Jack Mahoney, in bringing Ed Roman's song to the attention of composers Richard Rodgers and Lorenz Hart.

Not yet sourced, this piece appears to have been published locally and at the time of the filing, although not necessarily on the day of.

 

 


E, Stewart Jones With Edward Roman in 1936

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"Trojan Suing For Song Cash," Times-Union, October 21, 1936

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.

It was also 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 an item headlined "Claims 'Blue Moon' and Asks Accounting." (Clip can be found on the bottom of this page, far left.)

 


"$ong in Your Heart—and $o Much $uing," Sunday Mirror Magazine (Knight Features Syndicate, Inc.), March 16, 1952. 

This fragment is part of the half-page 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 actually appeared, not on the half-page itself, but on its backside, enabling us to locate the complete article.


More Contemporaneous Articles Discovered

In our continuing search, we've found three additional press accounts regarding Ed Roman's 1936 lawsuit involving "Blue Moon." All were published in upstate New York newspapers, two 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.