Ellery Queen (1975–1976)
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The Adventure of the Tyrant of Tin Pan Alley 

Famous crooner and cutthroat record producer Alvin Winer is doing a radio interview when songwriter Danny Murphy breaks into the studio and angrily accuses the singer of stealing his song. ... See full summary »



(characters created by) (as Ellery Queen), (characters created by) (as Ellery Queen) | 3 more credits »

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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Dina Carroll-Winer
DJ Paul 'Buddy' Parker
Gary Swift
Errol Keyes
Herbie Morrow
Alvin Winer
Sgt. Thomas Velie
Dan Murphy
Dori Brenner ...
Laura Schramm
Vince Howard ...
Charlie the bartender
Harold Ayer ...
Engineer, Lou


Famous crooner and cutthroat record producer Alvin Winer is doing a radio interview when songwriter Danny Murphy breaks into the studio and angrily accuses the singer of stealing his song. Danny threatens Alvin, then storms out with several others in pursuit. Alvin is soon found in the music library, dead and clutching a recording of "Danny Boy," which would seem to implicate Murphy. But is it a dying clue or a red herring? Written by Peter Harris

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Crime | Drama | Family | Mystery




Release Date:

7 March 1976 (USA)  »

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


Lucie Arnaz appears at the 21 minute mark for about 30 seconds, doing a 'Jimmy Durante' impression and singing a song while Ellery looks on. The song is "I've Got to Tell you the Truth" - a Tin Pan Alley song. See more »


Simon Brimmer: Tell your father to alert his minions. Someone has killed America's beloved tunesmith.
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User Reviews

Farewell to Simon Brimmer
26 October 2009 | by See all my reviews

Episode 19, "The Adventure of the Tyrant of Tin Pan Alley," touches on the subject of payola circa 1947, the tendency of music publishers to bribe disc jockeys playing certain records to guarantee a hit success. Here, we have Simon Brimmer (John Hillerman) attending a tribute to beloved tunesmith Alvin Winer (Rudy Vallee) on the live radio broadcast of midnight DJ 'Buddy' Parker (Ken Berry), accompanied by Winer's wife (Polly Bergen) and daughter (Renne Jarrett). A late arrival to the studio is recording artist Gary Swift (Michael Callan), earning a fortune singing Winer's songs, but whose latest record is smashed by an irate Winer, who denies Swift any kind of publicity on his behalf. At a local diner, aspiring songwriter Dan Murphy (Brad David) begins humming his latest tune to Ellery, who drops by to take a break from his typewriter, just as Alvin Winer sits down at the piano to play his newest composition, the exact same one as Dan's. Enraged, the rash youngster rushes over to the studio and confronts the music thief on the air before making his escape, pursued by Parker, Swift, and Winer's manager (Albert Salmi). Alvin himself makes his way to the record library to find a replacement for the Swift recording he destroyed, where he is shot dead by an unknown assailant. A dying clue found clutched in the dead man's hand is a recording of "Danny Boy," a hit for Gary Swift. Police search for the missing Dan Murphy while Ellery learns about payola from Swift and his nervous agent (Norman Fell). This would be the eighth and final appearance of John Hillerman as radio sleuth Simon Brimmer, a character created for the pilot, who signs off with the story of his happy boyhood, proclaiming himself 'a most delightful child.' Playing Charlie, Murphy's fellow counterman at the diner, is black actor Vince Howard, a familiar face in many TV shows, such as KOLCHAK:THE NIGHT STALKER, in which he portrayed a puzzled cop in "The Devil's Platform." One final note of trivia: the title on screen triples the word 'of' as in "The Adventure of the Tyrant of of Tin Pan Alley."

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