Avalon

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composition date
1920
genre
Pop
songwriter(s)
George Gershwin
B.G. De Sylva
Vincent Rose
related performer(s)
Al Jolson

Plagiarism

When lawyers for G. Ricordi, music publishers of Puccini, heard Vincent Rose and Al Jolson’s “Avalon,” they accused the composer of plagiarism. They alleged that the music was based on Puccini’s aria “E lucevan le stele” from Tosca. Ricordi’s attorney’s brought a piano, violin, and trumpet into the courtroom on January 28, 1921. The instrumentalists played the popular song and the attorneys played a phonograph record of the aria. They won the lawsuit and were awarded $25,000 in damages as well as all future royalties from “Avalon.”

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