Jessica records one of her novels for the blind and while at the recording studio Jessica is invited to a taping of a rock video. When a murder happens during the taping Jessica tries to find the murderer.


(as Anthony Shaw)


(created by), (created by) | 2 more credits »

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Episode cast overview:
Richard Lefko
Freddie Major
Julie Knight
Charles George Drexler
Paul Atkins
Alexia Robinson ...
Holly Chase
Mitch Randall
Kevin Hicks ...
Willi Piper
Keny Long ...
Video Director
Giorgi Pappavasilopoulos
Lori Hart ...
Mirabilis Duo
Jeffrey Steele ...
Mirabilis Duo


While recording 'The Corpse Danced at Midnight' in RJM's studio, Jessica learns about the bitter business of wheeling and dealing to determine the price of its secret take-over by the Palladium consortium. The (re)signing up an established rock star, whose manager, Charles George Drexler, and sound engineer Paul Atkins's young discovery, are the key men. RJM boss Freddie Major, who played dirty with mob-connected Richard Lefko, is shot during the star's next video clip recording with Paul's gun. Jessica helps Lieutenant Alan Terwilliger investigate. Written by KGF Vissers

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

dancing | cage | See All (2) »


Crime | Drama | Mystery





Release Date:

3 January 1993 (USA)  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


This is the second episode were Jessica records books for the blind the first one was season three episode 22 Murder, she said. See more »


Jessica went to a lot of trouble to find the file from the private detective's office, agrees to meet the cop for lunch, leaves the apartment with Holly, but without the file. See more »


References The Sound of Music (1965) See more »

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User Reviews

"The Halls Lose a Life with the Sound of Murder"
9 February 2010 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Holly Chase (Alexia Robinson) serves in the rare capacity as side-kick to Jessica Fletcher (Angela Lansbury) in this episode centering around murder in the recording industry, as Holly continuously explains the wheelings and dealing at RoJam Records, after she arranges for her Manhattan University instructor Jessica to record a book for the sight impaired because Holly's foster mother is blind but enjoys Holly's reading Jessica's mysteries aloud.

This episode, parodying the title of "The Sound of Music" (1965), begins and ends with scenes of Jessica's Monday evening seminars (one week apart), in what appears to be her NYC apartment, as students receive their writing assignments to develop a character study. Holly Chase, enrolled in this course, remains after class that first evening, to inform Jessica that she has managed to book studio time at RoJam Productions, to record "The Corpse Danced at Midnight" (because her prior studio sessions were invariably interrupted by murder).

Freddie Major (Edd Byrnes), who operates RoJam Productions, meets in a restaurant with Mitch Randall (Jonathan Goldsmith), who plans a takeover bid of Freddie's operation unless Freddie complies with Mitch's demands, which include signing his date, Michele (Meadow Williams), for a singing contract, and also signing Willi Piper (Kevin Hicks), who now has a contract with another operation, bearing a name as Sly Records.

Paul Atkins (Miles O'Keeffe) produces at Sly Records but engineers recordings at RoJam, while managing Willi Piper, who remains devoted to Paul and interested in Holly Chase, and she in Willi Piper, in a shy, distant sort of way, while Freddie Major's Assistant, Julie Knight (Mary Beth Evans) has dumped Freddie for Paul and realizes that Julie and Paul's mutual interest spells trouble for each of them where Freddie, their employer, is concerned.

Richard Lefko (Richard Beymer) serves as RoJam's Vice-President of "A&R," which may stand for "Artists and Recording," but Jessica nor anyone else needs an explanation to various acronyms bandied about.

Charles George Drexler (Robert Knepper) serves as RoJam's Manager, presumably in a financial capacity, for he has secretly sold off his stockholder shares in the company in light of the possibility that Mitch Randall would assume control, this secret discovered by Richard Lefko, whom everyone calls "Rick," and who confronts Charles with an ultimatum.

Holly works as a secretary at RoJam, closely with Julie, and now as guide to Jessica, whom she tours for her evening recording sessions, while providing Jessica background information, and serving as Jessica's eyes and ears, as Jessica is invited to Saturday's Heavy Metal video shoot.

Music Video Director (Keny Long) arranges the set and synthesizers to prepare for the cameras, as Mirabilis Duo (Jeffrey Steele as the male) performs, with Jessica and Holly as spectators. Jessica also notices a quiet blond Bert S. (uncredited actor), whom she considers to conduct suspicious behavior.

But during the shoot, Jessica suspects that a gunshot has been fired, a noise which Holly dismisses as resulting from special effects, until a body falls before them from the conveyor belt leading from the upstairs office.

NYPD Lieutenant Alan Terwilliger (Michael Tolan) is given little to do, other than to collect evidence at the scene with his officers, and to place a bet with the familiar Jessica as to whose zucchini crop will flourish first, and to invite her to lunch on more than one occasion, while Jessica and Holly conduct the balance of the murder investigation.

Jessica's path takes her to discover that Bert S. has been hired as a Private Investigator by one of the suspects, and so she visits Bert's now-abandoned office, to face Giorgi Pappavasilopoulos (Danny Woodburn), who explains that Bert couldn't keep up with the rental payments.

Later, when Jessica prepares to meet Lieutenant Alan Terwilliger at a fancy restaurant, Holly tells her that the only person whom she would have murdered would have been her strict childhood piano teacher, which sparks Jessica's sudden realization to deduce "The Sound of Murder."

This episode marks the first television role for Jeffrey Steele, and the most recent role to date by Keny Long.

This also represents the first of two "MSW" guest spots for Meadow Williams, Danny Woodburn, the second of two for Jonathan Goldsmith, the first of three for Robert Knepper, the second of three each for Edd Byrnes and Michael Tolan (including his first turn as Lieutenant Alan Terwilliger), and the fourth of six "MSW's" for Richard Beymer.

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