Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Go On Down To Bourbon Street Cher'

Bourbon Street Beat

Episode 31

Originaly shown May 9th 1960

Old TV show that I thought was very appropriate for this Mardi Gras week. Maybe a blast from your past.

Make sure to check the Tunage Box to the right for the intro theme for the show.

Let the good times roll.....

The least commercially successful of all the 77 Sunset Strip clones churned out by Warner Brothers back in the sixties, despite the intriguing setting of New Orleans. In the debut, loosley based (okay, maybe ripped off) from Hammett's The Maltese Falcon, Big Easy private eye CAL CALHOUN, a lanky, easy-going ex-bayou cop, takes on a junior partner, REX RANDOLPH, a young, yuppie-ish Ivy Leaguer from one of New Orlean's "best" families. Together they run 'Randolph and Calhoun Special Services" next to The Old Absinthe House in the French Quarter.
Of course, no 77 clone would be complete without an attractive secretary holding down the fort, a trainee gumshoe, a buffoon for comic relief, and some sort of "hip" gimmick," like Kookie's comb. In Bourbon's case, the secretary was Melody Lee Mercer, and the rookie was Texas rich kid KENNY MADISON, who was working his way through law school by doing part-time PI work. The buffoon chores were ably handled by local jazzman Billy the Baron. Sometimes popping up was Billy's singer Lusti Weather.
The gimmick in Bourbon was in the way Rex and Cal greeted each other. No mere handshake, or funky hi-five for these cats. Nope, the two dicks would place their shoes "sole to sole", in a supposedly hip, 'New Orleans-style" greeting.
Evidently, Warner Bros. really thought this one would hit -- they even bought an interest in a real New Orleans restaurant, The Absinthe House, and placed the agency, Randolph and Calhoun, Special Services above it, even though the actual show was shot on a Hollywood backlot (the one used for "A Streetcar Named Desire," in fact)
Unfortunately, despite some decent scripts, an appealling cast, and a real attempt to rise above the formula, the show bombed. Not that Warner let anything go to waste -- Rex eventually showed up in the cast of 77 Sunset Strip and Kenny surfaced a year later in the same time slot as one of the Surfside Six Miami PI's. Only Cal never surfaced again.