Perry Mason Episode No. 126. The Case of the Missing Melody
Season 5 episode 3
Once again a Perry Mason episode leads the charge in the cultural wars, warning of the perils of bongo music to our Youth.
This episode features another PM appearance by jazzman Bobby Troup, this time playing a Beatnik character named “Bongo” and he smokes cigarettes too, letting them dangle suggestively from his lips. I wonder what that means? And he calls everybody “baby.” Ugh.
Anyway, our heroine, innocent, pure Polly Courtland, played by the luscious Jo Morrow, is beguiled into trying to marry a hipster named Eddie or Eddy King (James Drury, shortly before his ramrod ride as The Virginian). She wisely dodges him, only to be later entangled in the murder of a degenerate musician George Sherwin. What music do we hear in the background as Polly flees the murder scene? Bongo music of course! Do you need it spelled out for you?
The forces of law and order, in the person of Lt. Tragg, arrest Eddie, who then becomes Perry’s client. There is some confusion as to who was trying to blackmail Polly’s father, a wealthy businessman as always. This should serve as a warning to anyone yearning for ostentatious wealth. You never read about anybody blackmailing poor people do you?
Perry uses one of his favorite tricks on the prosecution by sending a similar, but different, young lady to “test the recollection of a witness.”
“A typical attempt to throw dust in the prosecution’s eyes,” thunders Hamilton Burger. But the liberal judge lets it slide. Why does Mason always get away with this?
There are several traps laid bare for our youth to see in this show. French cigarettes. Young ladies with uncovered heads tossing ‘bones’ with gamblers. Photographs. Fins on automobiles. Walter Burke.
But in the end, the murderer is exactly who you think it should be- someone degraded by years of listening to bongo music. There’s no melody to such trash, hence our episode’s title. If only we had listened, the Vietnam War could have been avoided. We need a president like Perry Mason who will build a wall between decent Americans and bongo music. And make the Beatniks pay for it!