Murder, She Wrote: Season 7, Episode 9

Ballad for a Blue Lady (2 Dec. 1990)

TV Episode  -   -  Comedy | Crime | Drama
7.2
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Jessica gets enmeshed in feuds, infidelity, and murder in Nashville.

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Title: Ballad for a Blue Lady (02 Dec 1990)

Ballad for a Blue Lady (02 Dec 1990) on IMDb 7.2/10

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Cast

Episode cast overview:
...
...
Alice Diamond
Jimmy Dean ...
Bobby Diamond
Jeri Gaile ...
Brittany Brown
...
Garth
Mickey Gilley ...
Conrad Booker
...
Mark Berringer
...
Preston Wardell
...
Patti Sue Diamond
Brandon Maggart ...
Lt. Jackson
Sheb Wooley ...
Billy Ray Parker
John Christy Ewing ...
Dr. Benson
Marji Martin ...
Mirabelle
Bob Swain ...
Cary J. Pitts ...
First Guard (as Cary Pitts)
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Storyline

Jessica visits in Nashville her friend, blues singer Patti Sue Diamond. She admits her husband, country star Bobby, who is in disagreement with his manager Mark Berringer, partner of his daughter from an earlier marriage, acts 'strangely distant' Shortly after, the Diamond spouses are poisoned at a party in their home which Jessica attended. Bobby dies, an attempt is made to kill off Bobby Sue. Yet Jessica untangles several motives and coincidences. Written by KGF Vissers

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2 December 1990 (USA)  »

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1.33 : 1
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Dream Stream Seems to Beam Screams for Scheme Teams with Ice Cream Themes
23 November 2009 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Country music recording artists Sheb Wooley, Jimmy Dean and Mickey Gilley branch into acting on occasion. The most recent television acting roles for Jimmy Dean and Mickey Gilley can be seen right here, in "Ballad for a Blue Lady." This episode marks the last television role by Sheb Wooley, actor, singer, composer, who has been appearing in films and on television since 1950.

When Jessica Fletcher (Angela Lansbury) makes her second "MSW" series trip into Nashville, Tennessee, she is met at its airport by her old and dear friends, record producer Billy Ray Parker (Sheb Wooley) and Country music recording artist Patti Sue Diamond (Florence Henderson), her hostess for the duration of Jessica's visit, to attend one of Patti Sue's concerts.

Upon their arrival to the Diamond residence, Jessica discovers that Patti Sue's husband, Bobby Diamond (Jimmy Dean), a songwriter and vintage music star in his own right, has been experiencing difficulty with his self-serving parter, who is also his daughter from his first marriage, Alice Diamond (Daphne Ashbrook), who is torn between her father's financial interests and those of her suitor, Preson (Preston?) Wardell (Tom Hallick), who urges Alice in a different direction than her initial intent.

Bobby also launches into arguments with his other associates, fellow singer Conrad Booker (Mickey Gilley) and agent Mark Berringer (Gary Grubbs), to the dismay of Patti Sue, who urges them to handle negotiations in pleasant and gentlemanly fashion.

Meanwhile, Patti Sue experiences difficulty with Bobby's interest in the very sweet yet very determined ingénue singer Brittany Brown (Jeri Gaile), whom her suitor Garth (Blake Gibbons) attempts to launch to stardom with a scheme for Brittany to romance Bobby in the hopes of usurping Patti Sue's professional spotlight.

As the plot unfolds, we learn that Patti Sue waters her flowers with milk, that she prepares for her concerts by enjoying a large bowl of ice cream beforehand, and that stepdaughter, Alice, frowns upon Patti Sue's extensive employment of "phony Southernisms."

On the night of the concert, Patti Sue and Brittany perform very well, each to receive thunderous applause, but after telephoning the absent Bobby at his guest cottage retreat, she leaves the festivities early, at 10:30 PM. Alice, the other possible chauffeur to return Jessica back to the Diamond residence, has an argument with Preson (Preston) and disappears for an hour, around 11:00 PM to Midnight.

A very pleasant and neighborly fan of J.B. Fletcher mysteries, Mirabelle (Marji Martin), offers to transport the lone Jessica to the Diamond residence, before Alice returns to handle the assignment.

On the way back to the residence, Alice and Jessica discover one body at the guest cottage, and another being rushed by ambulance from the family's premises, victims of poisoning.

Aspiring Country songwriter Lieutenant Jackson (Brandon Maggart) is assigned to the case, as he expresses enthusiasm to be working side-by-side with Jessica, who knows her poisons, as she investigates a murder, disguised as a suicide, or a suicide covered to appear like murder, and another attempt made upon the life of a survivor of an attempted murder, during this "Ballad for a Blue Lady."

Two minor goofs seem to appear in this episode's plot line: the evening of the ice cream servings seems to appear a day ahead of its alleged schedule, and the seal upon a poisoned whiskey bottle appears to be unbroken.

Rounding out the cast are Cary J. Pitts as First Guard, John Christy Ewing as Dr. Benson, and Bob Swain as Forensic Man.


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