I watched this episode immediately after watching #126, TCOT Missing Melody. I have to say, that in my humble opinion the quality of music deteriorated from one to the other. The post-British Invasion pop/rock music of the mop-tops sounds rather repetitive and bland compared to the the more sophisticated and melodic jazz of the beatniks of just a few years earlier. Give me Constance Towers singing “The Thrill is Gone” with Bobby Troup’s jazz quartet over the Angels any day. Submitted by Anonymous, 6/4/2011.
+ The obnoxious and ruthless Clete Hawley makes for a good murder victim, but one can only wonder why the rest of the cast didn't team up and bump off Riff Lawler, who qualifies for victim status as "composer" of the dreadful "Surfin' Moon." At least Clete had the good sense to realize the song was a bomb. Submitted by BobH, 30 June 2016.
++ As loathesome as Clete Hawley is, he is at least honest about Sandy's abilities ... Hetty may have meant well, but Sandy doesn't seem to have any raw talent to polish. I was told that a lot of bands and singers of the rock/pop era had a number of limits to their vocal and or instrumental abilities, but the people who actually did some of the singing and playing were paid to keep silent about it! Of course, there were many others who DID have that raw talent... Submitted by MikeReese, 8/1/2021.
+++ Bobby Troup was always fabulous, but that "Thrill Is Gone" vocal must be an acquired taste, for I always find it pitchy and shrill. But it's unfair to call out the Mason show for its use of bland, generic "pop" music, usually when young, "hip" people are seen dancing. All TV shows of that era had producers who thought those sounds were just groovy, but they were hardly representative of the better rock and roll records on the charts at that time. Submitted by francis, 4/29/14
++++ The Top 5 US Hits on March 13, 1966 were "The Ballad of The Green Berets [#1, Staff Sgt. Barry Sadler]," "These Boots Are Made For Walkin' [Nancy Sinatra]," "Lightnin' Strikes [Lou Christie]," "19th Nervous Breakdown [The Rolling Stones]," & "Nowhere Man [#5, The Beatles]" per takemeback.to website. Mike Bedard 3.5.15.
+++++ For a good example of what Anonymous describes above as the deterioration of pop music in the 1960s, listen to the differences between Benny Goodman's classic early 1940s big band version of "Jersey Bounce," Barney Kessel's late 1950s jazz version of the same song, and the version played by the rock group at the very beginning of this episode. (Kessel, by the way, was the guitarist in Bobby Troup's jazz quartet in TCOT Missing Melody, #126.) Submitted by BobH, 5 February 2018.
Granted, recording studios are much more complicated today, but it is interesting that June Burgess knew exactly which console switch to flip (nothing is even labeled) in order to eavesdrop on Clete and Dotty. Woman’s intuition?
Submitted by Mason Jar, 9/15/2011.
+ Perhaps, or woman’s experience? Submitted by gracenote, 10/5/2011.
While Clete and Sandy argue, delaying the recording session, the impatient comment is made, "These musicians are on salary." If they are on salary, the delay doesn't matter. Maybe they meant, "These musicians are on hourly rate." ericm 1.2.16
+ There's a story I recall, probably not too well, about the group named 'The Colour Field', and their hiring of the girl group 'Bananarama', to do background vocals for an album; well, the girls got into a giggling fit during studio recording time, and one of the band yelled out, 'This is costing us money, get on with it!'
+Another little nugget about music production and studio costs: Singer Roberta Flack was assigned a producer for her first album*, but, for some reason I haven't discovered as yet, he walked off the project, leaving Flack to essentially take over the production herself. However...she was not experienced at this part of the business, and the costs went higher than usual. (*First Take, Columbia) MikeReese, 11/2/2023
In accent, rhythm, personality, voice and accent, this Brit singer Sandy was a clear manifestation of Peter Noone of Herman's Hermits, who had had their first hit in 1963. This episode reveals the danger of an adult show attempting to be "relevant" or "hip." cgraul 5.7.12
A great example of mid-sixties culture clash where established entertainment industry executives thought they knew what the Woodstock generation kids, like me, wanted.They didn't. Joe B.01/07/22 + I agree with your last point, but the Peter Noone I remember had a good voice and a vibrant personality. A real producer would tell "Sandy" to keep his day job (even if it's schlepping dirty dishes for the festive Terrance Clay). Submitted by francis, 4/29/14
++ And for accent - according to imdb, Martin Horsey, the actor who plays Sandy, was born in London, England, but I had to check, because he managed to make his English accent sound fake. It migrates from generic English, to Cockney, to Liverpool - possibly in an attempt to sound like a Beatle, who knows. Submitted by BellaDella 11 June 2021
Is it just me, or does the impossibly cute Sue Ann Langdon have the best (indignant) pout in show business? And the handling of 'Sandy' couldn't have been more accurate, down to Clete's shockingly truthful statement that he molded the talent and made them popular, regardless of ability. It took the Beatles, and then the Moody Blues, to put a crack in the pop single ideology of most record companies; until they came along, the pop LP (if the artist had one) was a couple of hot singles and some filler music. mikereese 5.17.2012
+I meant to add, way back when I made this first post, that Tom Hanks played a less toxic version of Clete Hawley in the movie 'That Thing You Do'. MikeReese 11/2/2023
In this episode we are treated with a number of suspects that we know can end up as anyone depending on the ending since all were there at the time of the murder. Perry Baby 1/18/14
As proof that The Beatles weren't the first to come up with the "White Album" idea, the second page of the album cover samples that Hawley is looking at is blank (for the record, he said it "stinks"). Submitted by francis, 4/29/14.
Who is Mary Statler and what part does she play in this story? Submitted by H. Mason 9/26/14
+ I checked her on IMDB.com and it stated that 6 of her 8 appearances were "stunt" related,. My guess is she is the actual woman on the billboard, the "woman" in the long camera shot where she goes from standing to sitting (while actually on top the billboard). Submitted by mesave31, 03/09/15.
Corpus Ridiculus: the Season Nine Winner. Several times during the course of the series, the murder victim is found in a position into which one cannot imagine a body falling/slumping. Here Richard Carlson (as Clete Hawley) is found face down on the floor, arms extended almost straight outward with palms up, looking for all the world like a dryland-locked swimmer demonstrating a new but incredibly awkward swimming stroke. Maybe it's something he picked up fighting off the Creature from the Black Lagoon. Submitted by BobH, 12 August 2016.
Lost Month Tho the 13th wasn't a Friday in 1966 - PM aired on Sundays in its final season - viewers still must have wondered why they were so unlucky: this episode, together with the ones that preceded and followed it, were all strong contenders for the worst in the show's history. It's often an article of faith of fans of a show that "the worst episode of "XYZ" is better than the best episode of most programs", and as the series limped to the finish line that theory was fully put to the test. Notcom, 091620.
"A Chap in the Hat Is Back." The goofy hat worn by Jud Warner in TCOT 12th Wildcat (#249) and Reed Kavanugh in TCOT Vanishing Victim" (#258) pops up again, this time worn by the ill-fated Clete Hawley. Who will be next? Time's running out. Submitted by BobH, 14 October 2022.