|Season 2, Episode 215|
|Air date||February 3, 1996|
|Written by||Glenn Berenbeim and R.J. Colleary|
|Directed by||Jon Andersen|
Rock n’ Roll Dad
- Guest Stars: Dr. John, B.B. King, Al Jarreau and Al Hirt.
A grandfather who owns a blues club, which needs money to stay open, and is about to die, and who regularly loses his memory, is tricked by his son into signing the club over to him for money, as he refuses to close until the Countess (Tess) says so.
Club Indigo, once St. Louis’ premier blues and jazz club, has fallen hard times. Its owner, SAM (Hal Linden), is getting on and his grandson ZACH (Geoffrey Nauffts) arrives to convince his grandfather to sell the club and move into a nursing home. Sam resists. He’s always told Zach that “The Countess” told him “do nothing, ’til you hear from me” and he’s sticking to those words. Zach assumes that Sam has embroidered the past greatness of the club, and that he’s made up stories of all the jazz greats who played there and were friends. Especially that story about “The Countess”–the mysterious singer who arrived in the sixties and put the club back on the map.
Whether these stories are true or not, it’s apparent that Sam should really be in a nursing home–he’s losing his memory as well as his physical well-being. But Sam has always had an open-mic night on Mondays, and despite his grandson’s protests, proceeds to hire Monica to M.C. Monday’s open-mic performance. When we see that Andrew, the Angel-of-Death, is a border in Sam’s basement, we sense that Monday’s open-mic night might be his last. Zach tricks Sam into signing a power of attorney agreement so that he can do what he thinks is best for his grandfather. But then, to Zach’s astonishment, the singer Al Jarreau shows up–Sam’s stories were all true, including the one about “The Countess”.
We see in a flashback that “The Countess” was actually Tess. The final open-mic night is a triumph: a packed house gets to hear music and tributes to Sam from B.B. King, Dr. John, and Al Hirt. And then “The Countess” makes a return appearance. She brings down the house, as Sam passes away. Zach reconsiders selling Club Indigo; instead he’ll transform it to The Sam Brown Blues Museum.