Home Television Drama Pete Kelly’s Blues

Pete Kelly’s Blues

1 9 5 9 (USA)
13 x 22 minute episodes

Pete Kelly (William Reynolds) became fascinated with the cornet as a young boy in Chicago and set his goal on becoming a musician. He eventually headed for Kansas City, Missouri, where this NBC series was set in the Roaring Twenties.

Pete regularly played with his band, The Big Seven, at Lupo’s, a brownstone turned funeral parlour turned speakeasy at 17 Cherry Street, owned by George Lupo (Phil Gordon).

Unfortunately, trouble seemed to follow Pete around and, while he wasn’t officially a private detective,  he became a somewhat unofficial source of law and order, often risking his life to help people in trouble.

Other regulars included Savannah Brown (Connee Boswell), a singer at Fat Annie’s (another speakeasy) and Johnny Cassiano (Anthony Eisley), an officer with the Kansas City Police Department.

Dick Cathcart was the off-screen cornet player who doubled for William Reynolds. The Matty Matlock Combo provided music for the club scenes.

The series ran from 5 April 1959 to 4 September 1959. The TV version was based on the 1951 NBC radio series of the same title which starred Jack Webb as Pete Kelly and Jack Kruschen as George Lupo. A 1955 movie version starred Jack Webb, Peggy Lee and Ella Fitzgerald.

Pete Kelly
William Reynolds
George Lupo
Phil Gordon
Savannah Brown
Connee Boswell
Johnny Cassiano
Anthony Eisley
Big Seven Band Members
Ray Sherman (Piano)
Eddie Miller (Clarinet)
Jud De Naut  (Bass)
George Van Eps  (Guitar)
Moe Schneider (Trombone)
Nick Fatool (Drums)