About Jazz Age Lawyer

Adventures of a Jazz Age Lawyer is the lively story of legal giant Nathan Burkan, whose career encapsulated the coming of age of the institutions, archetypes, and attitudes that define American popular culture. With a client list that included Charlie Chaplin, Al Jolson, Frank Costello, Victor Herbert, Mae West, Gloria Morgan Vanderbilt, Arnold Rothstein, and Samuel Goldwyn, Burkan was “New York’s Spotlight Lawyer” for more than three decades.

About Gary

“A born storyteller.”
—Peter Jaszi

“Leavens legal history with showbiz anecdote, and insight with amusement.”
—Ken Emerson

“I don’t know of anyone who writes about popular music more knowledgeably, penetratingly, and elegantly.”
—Ben Yagoda

Latest Blog Post


(April 2, 2021) 100 years ago this month, songwriters in the United States received their first-ever royalties for the public performance of their works, as the Directors of  the American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers inaugurated a quarterly ritual that Variety would dub “whacking the music melon.” [N.B.: The …

Also by Gary

Unfair to Genius is an enlightening and entertaining romp through 60 tumultuous years of legal, artistic, and economic change in the American popular music industry, as seen through the lens of one of its most prolific copyright litigants and legendary outsiders, Ira B. Arnstein.