Sanford and Son (1972–1977): Season 6, Episode 23 - Fred Sings the Blues - full transcript

Aspiring songwriter Fred invites B.B. King to dinner, but panics upon reading in the blues legend's biography that the singer has sworn to get even with the man who long ago stole his St. ...


Hey, Pop!

Hey, Pop.

Hi, son.

Hey, I was just writing
another love song.

What rhymes with "crazy"?

Oh, that's easy. "Lazy."

Pop, ever since you sent
away for this songwriting course,

all you've been doing is sitting
around here writing songs.

Would you come help
me unload the truck?

Not now, son. I'm busy
writing another love song.

Hey, Pop, why don't you face it?

Your songs are stupid.

They're not stupid.

I write about real emotion,

things everyone knows and feels.

"I Left My Heart in El Segundo"?

Catchy, huh?

No. It's terrible.

Well, how about this one?

It's a sensitive love song

about a guy whose
marriage is about to fall apart,

but he's tried everything
but nothing seems to work.

What's it called?

"Get Out of Here and Take
Your Mother With You."

See, you... Here's
the way it starts.


♪ You take the pans ♪

♪ And I'll take the pots ♪

♪ You take the mobile home ♪

♪ And I'll right
stay here in Watts ♪

♪ Oh, baby ♪♪


Are you finished?
Are you kidding?

I got a hundred of
them just like this.

Here's my favorite right here.

I call it "Ode to Donna."

Here's the way it starts.


Would you stop it?

♪ Oh, Donna, baby ♪

♪ I'll have your money
back to you by Tuesday ♪♪

Do you get that?
"Owed to Donna."

I got it. Yeah.

See... I got it.

I got it.

Pop, when are you gonna
give all of this up, huh?

Give it up? Never.

I'll never give it up.

Years from now, people
will be humming my songs

all across America.

And you know why?

Yeah. It's the only way
they can avoid the words.

You big dummy.

I happen to be a
promising songwriter.

Says who?

Says Professor Haydn Seek.

There he is.

Professor Haydn Seek,
Famous Songwriters' School.

See there?

"Dear Mr. Sanford,

"We loved your last
original composition,

"'Life Is Just a Bowl
of Warm Menudo.'

"Continued success,
et cetera, et cetera.

Enclosed is your
next lesson, et cetera."

Let me have a look.

"Yours truly, et cetera."

Let me have a look at this.

Uh-huh. "Please enclose
$10 with your next lesson."

This is just as I thought.
Pop, this is a rip-off, man.

If you give somebody some money,

they'll say anything
you want them to.

Really? Well, let me give
you $10 and say goodbye.

All right.

If you insist on
being rude to me,

I'll just forget about the
present that I got for you.

Uh, I'm sorry, son.

Uh, w-w-what present?

What's Sunday, Pop?

Let's see, there's
a Gork film festival.

And then there's that
cheap game show,

Bowling for Food Stamps.

Am I getting warm? No.

Sunday is Father's Day.

I thought you forgot.

No, I didn't forget.

I got you something
extra special, Pop.

Are you ready? Uh-huh.

Now, hold onto something.

Saturday night, I'm
taking you to see B.B. King.

What? B.B. King?

At B.B. King Live at
the Lucifer Club, live?

You got it.

Son, I don't know what
to say. He's my favorite.

I've been reading all week
about him in the paper.

The best seats go
for 50 bucks apiece.

A hundred bucks
for Father's Day.


I didn't exactly get
you the $50 seats.

Oh, that's all right.

I mean, it's the
thought that counts.

I can handle the $40 seats.

Can... Can you deal
with the $10 ones?

Ten-dollar seats?

They must be hot.

Why do you say that?

Because they
probably in the kitchen.

Man can't sit... Hey, look here.

Damn! Look at her
there. Take your hat off.

Come on, Pop.

Hey, man, what
you doing with them?

You must have ate already.

Hey, there, buddy.

Guy got a gold tooth.


Hey, son, what's
them tiny things

crawling over
there on the stage?

The band.

Hey, Pop, relax
and sit down, man.

These tables aren't that bad.

I guess you're right.

We can see pretty good.

I can't see nothing!

Just relax. I'll
handle this, okay?


Uh, excuse me.

Would you mind
removing your hat?

That ain't no hat.
That's a fruit stand.

And it's staying
right where it is.

How would you like to
get your crop dusted?

Hey, you looking
for some trouble?

Uh, answer him, son.

What is the problem?

Uh, my father can't see.

Oh, I'm sorry, but
as you can see,

all our tables are full.

What about an empty
table up there in the front?

Those are for special
guests of Mr. King's.

That's us.

B.B. King and I go
back to St. Louis, 1930s.

I'll tell him you said
hello. No, no, no.

Wait a minute.

What if Isaac Hayes
was coming here?

Would you give him that table?

Of course.

Well, I just talked to
Ise and he's not coming.

So give that to us.

That's impossible.

Um, would $5 get us there?

That's possible.

How about 10?

You got it.

Right this way.

I hope you get fruit flies.

Don't roll your eyes at me.

Get out of the way, man.


Sit down... I ain't
starting no trouble.

We came to see B.B.
King. Sit down, Pop.

They've got a
show on. Hey, baby.

She's pretty.

Oh... Ah, ah, ahem!

You don't have
to "ah, ah, ah, ah."

I know. Here.

Excuse me. This is only
5. Where's the other 5?

Here's the other five.


now, ladies and gentlemen,

the Club Lucifer
is proud to present

the King of the
Blues, Mr. B.B. King.

♪ I've been
Downhearted, baby... ♪


♪ Ever since The day we met... ♪

Dig it!

♪ I say I've been
Downhearted, baby ♪

♪ Ever since the day we met ♪

♪ You know our love is
nothing But the blues, woman ♪

♪ Baby, how blue can you get? ♪

♪ You're evil When
I'm with you, baby... ♪

FRED: Oh, he knows it.

♪ And you are jealous
When we're apart ♪

♪ I say you're evil ♪

♪ You're so evil When
I'm with you, baby ♪

♪ And you are jealous
When we're apart ♪

♪ How blue can you get, baby? ♪

♪ The answer's right
here In my heart... ♪

MAN: Go, B.B., go!

♪ I gave you a brand-new Ford ♪

♪ But you said, "I
want a Cadillac" ♪

♪ I bought you a $10 dinner ♪

♪ And you said,
"Thanks for the snack" ♪

♪ I let you live in
my penthouse ♪

♪ You said, "It
was Just a shack" ♪

♪ I gave you seven children ♪

♪ And now you
wanna Give 'em back ♪

♪ Yes, I've been
Downhearted, baby ♪

♪ Ever since the day we met ♪

♪ Say, our love is
nothing But the blues ♪

♪ Baby, how blue can you ♪

♪ Get? ♪♪


Hey, Pop, Mr. King's never
gonna buy any of your songs.

Why don't we just forget
about it and go on home?

Are you crazy?

This is the chance
of a lifetime.

WOMAN: There he is! Oh!

Oh, no!

There he is, son.

I knew... I knew my heart could
never stand meeting my idol.

You my favorite.

Oh, I ain't never been
so close to nobody before.




What's the matter?

"When I Saw You, My
Heart Went Pitty-Pat."

That's terrible.

Well, if you don't
like that one,

how about "Life Is Just a
Bowl of Warm Menudo"?

I got a hundred
songs right here.

Hey, what's going on here?

Forgive my father,

but, see, he's trying to
break into show business

as a songwriter.

Yeah, see, just like you did

when you used to play at
the Kit Kat Club in St. Louis.

I'm probably your
biggest fan, Mr. King.

[LAUGHS] Come on, B.B.

We can't be late for that dinner
appointment with your manager.

Man, you know, I
get sick of the road.

For once, I'd just like
to spend an evening

with some down-home folks.

Well, get down, Lamont. What?


Uh, listen, Mr. King.

How about you having
dinner at our house tomorrow?

And I can take you
away from all this,

at least for one night, anyway.

And we can talk about St.
Louis and the good old days.

Who knows? Maybe we
knew some of the same people.

Yeah. My pop's a great cook.

[CHUCKLING] It sounds terrific.

Yeah, I know it sounds...

It's a crazy idea,
but think about it.

He said yes.

What a thrill.

Mr. King, my name is
Sanford, Fred Sanford.

This is my son, Lamont.

How do you do?

You know, if you
remember the good old days,

then, Fred, maybe you'll
get a kick out of my book.

I sure would.

There you are.

Why I Sing the
Blues by B.B. King.

I can't wait to read it.

Yeah. Here's our address.

Thank you. Seven
o'clock all right?


Mr. King, do you think when
you come over tomorrow,

you might be able to
listen to some of my songs?

Are they any good?


My name is Fred G. Sanford,

and the "G" is for "Grammy."

Come on, Mr. King. We got to go.

Seven o'clock, now.
We'll be waiting for you.

Okay. He's coming over tomorrow!

Hey, Pop.

I'm sorry.

You made me lose my place,

and I was just getting to
the heart of the mystery too.

Mystery? Pop, this is
B.B. King's autobiography.

This is not a detective story.

What mystery are
you talking about?

The mystery of B.B.'s B.B.s.

Well, after seeing
B.B.'s show last night,

I'd say it stands
for "Big Beat."

How about "Beer Belly"?

Hey, Pop, dig yourself.

And besides, shouldn't
you start dinner?

They'll be here
in about an hour.

I will, son, as soon as I
finish this last chapter,

which tells why B.B.
really sings the blues.

Okay, I'll be in the kitchen
getting everything else ready.


Hey, Lamont, come here quick.


Listen to this.

"I started singing the blues

"the day my true love left me

for another man."

So? There's more.

"She was a shoemaker's
daughter in St. Louis.

And when she left me,
she broke my heart."

Hey, wait a minute.

Grandpa was a
shoemaker in St. Louis.

What a coincidence.

Well, how's this
for a coincidence?

"At the time, I was a
down-and-out singer

"named Riley King,

"so I can't blame
her for running off

with a man who wanted to start
his own business in California."

Does that sound familiar?

Hey, wait a minute, Pop.

You don't think he's
talking about Mom?

Well, listen to this.

"If I ever find the man

"who took my beloved
E.W. away from me,

I promise to get even."


Elizabeth Winfield!

Pop, that was Mom's maiden
name before she married you.

I've come a long
way from St. Louis,

but not far enough.

B.B. King is gonna kill me.

I'm coming to join you, E.W.

Oh, honey.

I'll be the one

with the electric guitar
shoved up my nose.


Pop, you've got enough
food here to feed an army.

Well, that's the whole idea.

See, the more he
eats, the less we'll talk.

And the less we talk, the less
he'll find out about Elizabeth

and the more chance I'll
have of living through the night.

Hey, Pop, I still think
you're overreacting to this.

You're right, son.

I'm gonna calm down.


That's him! I know his knock.

He's here to get me.
Would you stop it?

I'll get the door.
Now, just relax.

Don't shoot!

Pop, that's just his guitar.

That's right.

He takes us both
everywhere he goes.

Good old Lucille.

Pleased to meet you, Lucille.

I'm not Lucille. I'm Edmond.

The guitar is Lucille.

Fred, you should
remember that from my book.

What book?

Uh, my book.

You did read it, didn't you?

He couldn't put it down.

Yeah, yeah. Sit
down. Have a leg.

Maybe later. Let's
talk about St. Louis.

No, in a little while.
Uh, have a wing.

Uh, no, thanks. Did
you really like the book?

I loved it. Have a chair.

Um, were you really surprised

when you found out
why I sing the blues?

Have a heart.

Well, maybe I will have

a little piece of, um,
cheese, then, I think.

Uh, you really think
you should, B.B.?

You know how that
cheese disagrees with you

and leaves you upset.


Now, what did you do that for?

The last thing I want
to do is get B.B. upset.


I'll get it.

Hey, hiya, Fred.

Oh, I'm sorry.

I didn't realize
you had company.

I'll come back later.

No, no, no. Don't go, Bubba.

That man wants to kill me.

Which one?

That one.

Oh, don't worry, Fred.

You can count on
me to protect you.

Who is he, anyway?

B.B. King.

B.B. King?

Oh, Mr. King!

I'm one of your biggest fans.

Can I have your autograph?

Hey, Bubba, Mr. King is here

because he wanted a night away
from autograph hounds and fans.

Bubba's no fan. He's
just a lot of hot air.

That's all right. I'd be glad
to sign an autograph for you.

Uh, my name is Bubba Bexley,

but you can call me B.B., B.B.

You get it, huh?


Oh, by the way,

how long have you
and Fred been friends?

Well, actually, we
just met the other night.


Well, Fred and I have
been friends for years,

ever since he came out here
from St. Louis with Elizabeth.

Was that your wife, Fred?

Uh, no, no, no, no.
Bubba got it all wrong.

See, uh, I came out here
from Elizabeth, New Jersey,

with a very saintly
man named Louis.

Hey, wait a minute.

You married a woman from
St. Louis named Elizabeth?

What was her maiden name?



Lipshitz? Lipshitz.

Yeah, yeah. Did you know her?

Wait a minute.

It wasn't Lipshitz.

It was Winfield.

Yeah, Elizabeth Winfield.

Did I get it, Fred?

No, not yet, but
you hang in there.

You married Elizabeth Winfield?

I couldn't help
it. It was destiny.

She took one look at my scrap
heap and fell madly in love.

You two have a
lot to talk about.

Uh, would you like to
hear my songs now?


I'll get it.

Oh, no.

Just what I needed
now, a wino and a rhino.

Watch it, sucker.

You know, we really
don't have to take this.

Let's go, Esther.



Esther Winfield!

Riley King!

Ha ha!

Hey, some bodyguard you are.

You just stand there while
B.B.'s being attacked by Jaws.

You look terrific.

And you're just as
beautiful as ever.

The poor man's going blind.

Hey, Pop, don't you understand?


Esther Winfield.

Aunt Esther is the woman
that B.B. has been looking for.

Then Woody's the guy
that stole her away from B.B.

What's going on here?

Uh, Woody, that
man is B.B. King.

Esther left him to marry you.

I stole Esther from B.B. King?

Now, what does
that tell you, huh?

Well, don't act crazy.
It's only petty larceny.

Woody, you got
to get out of here,

because B.B. said in his book

that he's gonna get even

with the guy who stole
her away from him.

So you better leave

unless you're willing to
stand up and fight for her.

Well, I'll see you later, then.


So... So you're the guy who
stole Esther away from me.

You want her back?

What's your name?

Woodrow. Woodrow Anderson.

Should I give it
to him now, B.B.?

I have waited a long
time for this moment.

Yeah, give it to him.

Oh, hit the deck!

"Pay to the order of
Woodrow Anderson."


Here you go, Mr. Anderson.

And I think you're
one lucky guy.

Thank you.

Hey, this is a check for $1000.

Wait a minute. I
don't understand.

Pop, I think Mr. King
just evened the score.

That's right.

If it hadn't been for Woodrow,

B.B. never would
have left St. Louis.

You know, I think I would have
been very happy with Esther.

But I think I'm
much more happier

since I started singing
the blues with Lucille.

You know, and I want
to thank you too, Fred.

You can make mine out to "cash."

But that's not
what I had in mind.

Well, what did you have in mind?

Well, I thought maybe I
could buy one of your songs

and, um, and record it.

But you've never
heard one of my songs.

It doesn't matter. Yes, it does.

My songs stink.

Well, there must be
something I can do.

There is.

It'd be an honor if we
could sing one of your songs.

All right. How about right now?

Let's go over to the
Club Lucifer and jam.

All right.

And then maybe we can, uh,
dedicate a number to Esther.

Okay. How about,
uh, "Mule Train"?


♪ I hate to see The
evening sun go down ♪

♪ Yes, I hate to see The
evening sun go down ♪

♪ 'Cause my baby
She done left me ♪

♪ My baby done left this town ♪

♪ Got the St. Louis blues ♪

♪ Blue as I can be ♪

♪ Got the St. Louis blues ♪

♪ Blue as I can be ♪

♪ My baby, she's gone ♪

♪ She's so far from me ♪

♪ My woman goes
out at midnight ♪

♪ She stays out till the dawn ♪

♪ And when she comes in lying ♪

♪ I just take her in my arms ♪

♪ Because I'm hip ♪

♪ Yeah, can't help myself ♪

♪ I watched her stick
a knife in my chest... ♪

Now, come on, B.B., play it.

♪ Well, took her
to the nightclub ♪

♪ Bought champagne ♪

♪ Rolled in to take ♪

♪ That walk in the rain... ♪



♪ Hey, mama ♪

♪ Look at sis ♪

♪ Out in the backyard ♪♪