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Pete Kelley's Blues - Zelda (08-29-51)

Pete Kelley's Blues - Zelda (08-29-51)

Zelda (Aired August 29, 1951)

Set in Kansas City in the 1920s, the series was a crime drama with a strong musical atmosphere (Webb was a noted Dixieland jazz enthusiast). Pete Kelly was a musician, a cornet player who headed his own jazz combo, "Pete Kelly's Big Seven." They worked at 417 Cherry Street, a speakeasy run by George Lupo, often mentioned but never heard. Kelly, narrating the series, described Lupo as a "fat, friendly little guy." The series inspired a 1955 film version of Pete Kelly's Blues, in which Jack Webb produced, directed and starred. It used many of the same musicians, including Cathcart, and Ella Fitzgerald was cast as Maggie Jackson. A lesser-known television version, still produced and directed by Webb but with William Reynolds in the lead, aired in 1959, using scripts originally written for the radio version.


August 29, 1951. Program #8. NBC network. Sustaining. Zelda wants Pete to get a phonograph record back from Matty Wynn. Why does she wa