Sonny Hunt (Murder in Music City)

Created by Jimmy Sangster & Ernest Frankel

Of course, when you think of Sonny Bono, the first thing that comes to mind is country music, right?

Me neither.

But in 1979, NBC tried to peddle a post-Cher Bono as Nashville private detective agency owner SONNY HUNT in the made-for-TV flick Murder in Music City. Bono plays a songwriter who buys the agency as a tax dodge, on the advice of his lawyer.

Unfortunately, he soon finds himself and his new bride (a photographer’s model, played by a very healthy Lee Purcell–Take that, Cher!) up to their necks in a murder investigation–on their wedding day! It seems a stiff popped up in their honeymoon suite, but not the kind they’d hoped for.

Full of logical inconsistencies (Sonny has to break into his own business?), wisecracks that don’t so much crack as slither, and a slew of country music celebrity cameos that pretty much define “gratuitous” (just in case, the producers stacked the deck with cameos by Charlie Daniels, Barbara Mandrell, Ronnie Milsap, Boots Randolph, Ray Stevens, Mel Tillis and Larry Gatlin, all appearing as themselves).

Not Jimmy Sangster‘s best work–not by a long shot.

TELEVISION

  • MURDER IN MUSIC CITY   Buy the VHS
    (aka “The Country Music Murders”)
    (1979, NBC)
    Premiere: January 16, 1979
    Written by Jimmy Sangster and Ernest Frankel
    Directed by Leo Penn
    Starring Sonny Bono as SONNY HUNT
    Also starring Lee Purcell, Lucille Benson, Claude Akins, Belinda J. Montgomery, Morgan Fairchild, Michael Macrae, Harry Bellaver, Jim Owen
    And featuring Charlie Daniels, Barbara Mandrell, Ronnie Milsap, Boots Randolph, Ray Stevens, Mel Tillis and Larry Gatlin as themselves

FURTHER INVESTIGATION

Respectfully submitted, albeit with jus a little eyeball-rolling, by Kevin Burton Smith.

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