Wagon Train: Season 2, Episode 38

The Jenny Tannen Story (24 Jun. 1959)

TV Episode  -   -  Western
6.6
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Ratings: 6.6/10 from 17 users  
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A young girl is injured while on the way to San Fransico to find her famous mother who abandoned her as a baby. The crew helps her with her pending blindness and find her mother who has her own problem unknown to her daughter.

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Title: The Jenny Tannen Story (24 Jun 1959)

The Jenny Tannen Story (24 Jun 1959) on IMDb 6.6/10

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Cast

Episode cast overview:
...
...
...
Jenny / Phoebe Tannen
Frank McGrath ...
Terry Wilson ...
Chuck Henderson ...
John Barclay
...
Vickers
Robert Stevenson ...
Surgeon (as Robert J. Stevenson)
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Storyline

The infant Phoebe Tannen was given to her aunt to raise when her mother Jenny left her husband. Jenny became a renown singer in San Francisco until a freak accident massively scarred the right side of her face. Phoebe, now an adult, has worked her way across the country on Major Adam's wagon train to find her mother. Like her mother, she has a beautiful voice. Outside Sacamento Phoebe falls hitting her head on a rock causing partial blindness and headaches. Adams takes her to a doctor who says she will go completely blind in about a week. Adams takes her on ahead to San Francisco to find Jenny before Phoebe loses her sight. Jenny refuses to see Phoebe but when a man mistakes Phoebe's singing and looks for Jenny's, Adams is forced to take Phoebe to see Jenny. However, before entering the house Phoebe passes out and loses her sight. Jenny has to watch in silence as Phoebe tells the Major she realizes now her mother never loved her. Written by Anonymous

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Western

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Release Date:

24 June 1959 (USA)  »

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(RCA Sound Recording)

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1.33 : 1
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User Reviews

 
"She's The Kind Of Girl I Want To Take On Every Train West"
15 November 2008 | by (Buffalo, New York) – See all my reviews

The final episode of season two of Wagon Train has Ann Blyth as the guest star, the first of many she did with the show. But I believe this is the only one in which her singing talents were employed. In fact it might just be the last time she sang on the big or small screen.

Ann plays two roles in the The Jenny Tannen Story. She plays Jenny Tannen, the former toast of San Francisco, an American Jenny Lind type singer. And she plays her own daughter Phoebe Matthews who has inherited her mother's singing voice. Her mother abandoned her years ago, but Phoebe is a bright and Pollyanna type girl who worked her passage west just to meet her famous, but now reclusive mother.

What makes this episode stand out is Ann Blyth's singing. She gets to sing two songs and I only wish the credits listed the composer of both so I could acknowledge it. She opens the episode singing To Settle In The West and later on while dancing with Ward Bond, very much like the way Ann Blyth danced with Mario Lanza in The Great Caruso, she sings Tomorrow Is Just Another Day.

Young Phoebe has an accident with her head hitting a rock. The prognosis of the general practitioner who sees her isn't good, she'll be going progressively blind. Before that happens Ward Bond and Frank McGrath take her on ahead to San Francisco, but her mother Jenny doesn't want to see her.

Ann Blyth does a great job both as perky Phoebe and cynical and disillusioned Jenny. But as musicals were winding down it was great that The Jenny Tannen Story found her an outlet for her singing. On that first number Frank McGrath as grizzled old Charlie Wooster talk/sings a chorus with her. It's really a treat.

It's one of the most delightful episodes that Wagon Train ever had in its long run.


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