Blue Melody

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"Blue Melody" is a short story by J. D. Salinger, first published in the September 1948 issue of Cosmopolitan. The tragic tale of an African-American jazz singer, the story was inspired by the life of Bessie Smith and was originally titled "Needle on a Scratchy Phonograph Record".[1][2] Cosmopolitan changed the title to "Blue Melody" without Salinger's consent, a "slick" magazine tactic that was one of the reasons the author decided, in the late forties, that "he wanted to publish only in The New Yorker."[2]


  1. ^ Slawenski, Kenneth (2012). J.D. Salinger: A Life. New York: Random House. ISBN 0812982592
  2. ^ a b Alexander, Paul (1999). Salinger: A Biography. Los Angeles: Renaissance. ISBN 1-58063-080-4.  p. 130.

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