5x20 "Memphis Melody"

Leap Date:

July 3, 1954

Episode Adopted by: Rindi
Additional info provided by: Stephen O'Leary and Brian Greene


Once again as a famous person, Sam leaps into Elvis Presley just two days before he gets discovered. While trying to help a woman persue her singing career, Sam must make sure that he doesn't mess things up for Elvis!


Audio from this episode
Production promo for this episode
Amazing Grace (Audio)
Amazing Grace (Video)*
Will the Circle Be Unbroken (Audio)
Will the Circle Be Unbroken (Video)
Baby Let's Play House (Video)*

TV Guide Synopsis
Leap Date

Name of the Person Leaped Into
Broadcast Date
Synopsis & Review

Project Trivia
Sam Trivia
Al Trivia

Al's Outfits Worn in the Episode

Miscellaneous Trivia
Kiss with History
Guest Stars
Guest Cast Notes
Guests who appeared in other Quantum Leap episodes
Say What?
Quotable Quotes
Best Scene
Production Credits


Production # : 68123

TV Guide Synopsis:
History might get all shook up when Sam takes the form of Elvis, who's on the verge of being discovered. Sue Anne: Mary Elizabeth McGlynn. Frank: John Scott Clough. Marion: Lisa Jane Persky.

Promotional Video:

Memphis, Tennessee

Leap Date:
July 3, 1954

Name of Person Leaped Into:
Elvis Presley

Broadcast Date:
April 20, 1993 - Tuesday

Synopsis & Review:

As the Quantum streams dissipate, Sam finds himself being forceably led down some stairs in a hurry. He carries a guitar case and asks the two men accosting him "What's going on" One of the men says, "You'll find out soon enough, boy!" He is carried over to a mirror and one of the men pulls out a pair of scissors from his pocket. "You need, a little trim, Elvis." The reflection in the mirror is none other than the legendary Elvis Presley. "Elvis? Oh boy!"

Sam struggles to get away and says they can work it all out. One guy says maybe they just take some off the top first. Another man enters, taking a swing at one of the other guys. "Maybe I outta take some off your top first!" He knocks them both to the ground and Sam helps finish the job. They run off saying, "We ain't through with you yet!" The guy who saved Sam yells back, "I'm all shook up!"

Sam thanks the red-haired man for his help. e replies, "Since when don't I help you?" Sam realizes they probably know each other well. "Well, we gotta get out there. And comb your hair. It looks like a chicken scratched in it." Sam walks over to the mirror and Elvis gazes back at him.

Upstairs in the audience of a talent show, a pig squeals on stage with an older man holding it to a microphone. The red-haired guy says, "Somebody outta put that thing out of its' misery." Al runs in and exclaims, "Sam! You'll never guess who's in the waiting room! Elvis Presley! You're him, and he's you!" Sam tries to whisper, "No, I'm him and he's me." His new friend looks at him funny. Sam covers it up by pretending to tune his voice, "Me, me me, me me. Just warming up a little bit. One thing I would like to know, is what the heck I'm doing here." Al answers over the response of the other guy, "We're working on it but Ziggy is working with diminished capacity because shes... star struck." Al smiles. Sam doesn't. "Do you know who this is?", asks Al. "This is Red West, one of Elvis's best friends. This is incredible."

A woman takes the stage as the music begins. She hesitates and begins to sing weakly. Red covers his face and says, "Oh, no. She's gonna barf all over the place." Al thinks he's right.  The red-haired woman runs off stage from embarrassment and Sam gets up to go check on her.  Sam tells her to just catch her breath and breathe. She shakes her head in agreement. Al tells Sam, "Watch out, you're gonna be wearing her lunch." She runs off to vomit. 

Sam take the alone moment to again ask Al what he's there to do. Al says he's singing in a talent contest and this is a rehearsal. "No, why am I hear as Elvis Presley?" Al responds that this is a very important time in Elvis's life. In just two days, he gets discovered." Sam is confused, "He gets discovered just fine without my help." Al says he's not here for Elvis. Ziggy predicts an 81% chance he's there to help the vomiting woman, Sue Ann Winters. Sam wants to run after her, but Al says he can see her later. "No matter what you do, you can not, not, not NOT mess up for Elvis or change anything, because you'll change history big time." Just then, the announcer for the talent show calls for Elvis. Al says, "You're on."

Sam gets on stage and starts to pick his guitar, singing a few words of "Dixie." Al appears on stage with him and criticizes his performance. It's not good at all and the onlookers, including Red, shake their heads. Sam finishes the song and tells Al to get him out of there fast. Al opens the Imaging Chamber door and says, Remember, you're a legend."

At a diner a bit later, Red asks Elvis, "What happened to you up there, Elvis?" Sam replies that he was just having an off day. He spots Sue Ann waiting tables nearby. "Miss? We're ready to order." Red asks when he started calling Sue Ann "Miss." Sam shakes it off, "I'm just kidding around." Sue Ann comes over and Red mumbles under his breath, I hope she can stand the sight of food." Sue Ann scolds him, "I heard that, Red." She walks away.

Red tries to apologize, but Sam says he'll handle it. Sam apologies again and she remarks that he and Red had been coming to her diner for quite awhile,  but he's never paid her any attention before. Sam responds, "That was before, but now it's different. We used to come here for different reasons. He says his head is still shook up from the rehearsal and he was pretty scared. She says she knows the feeling, "I guess I'll never make it to the Opry." Sam tries to console her and tells her she matters. "Everybody should be a dreamer," he states. "You gotta reach for the stars, not for the ceiling." She smiles, but says, "The ceiling keeps you out of the rain." She walks away with some dishes from a table she was cleaning.

Sam lightly grasps her arm and asks what kind of music she likes the most, to which she responds, "Gospel, I guess." He takes the bus pan from her hands and asks her to sing something. She is surprised and says she'll get fired. Sam assures her she won't and asks her to sing with him. Sam starts the first words to Amazing Grace. She joins in. Patrons of the diner watch as the cook in the back begins to play the harmonica alongside them. It;s a beautiful rendition of the song as they harmonize. Everyone enjoys it and Sue Ann's voice is amazing. They all clap for Sue Ann and Elvis.

Red jumps up and says "Don't stop now, let's do another one!" He leads them over to the counter and they get ready to sing, but another man enters scolding, "Sue Ann? What in God's earth is going on here?" She replies, "We're just having some fun." Al enters through the Imaging Chamber door behind the counter and notes the apple pie in front of him, "Elvis's favorite. I wish I could taste it!"

Sam is explaining to the man they they were just singing. He replies that he always thought, "people save Gospel singing for Sunday morning." Sam says he sings it whenever he can. "That so, boy?" Sam stands up to the man, "My name... is Elvis Presley, and you are?..." He replies, "I know who you are. Everybody knows you're bad new, boy." Al reports that, "This nozzle would be Frank Begley." Sam says he doesn't like to be called Boy. he doesn't want Elvis's kind to hand out around the diner. Sam says that's too bad because they were just getting ready to have lunch. "Would you like to join us?" Frank replies, "I don't eat with barnyard animals." Frank tells Sue Ann to come on, but she says she has to finish her shift. "Your sister can cover your shift. Isn't that right, Julie?" The other waitress nods yes, nervously. He turns back to Sam, "Now you keep a distance from my fiancée, you hear?" They head for the door with Frank remarking, "Enjoy your food."

After lunch, Red departs and Sam goes to a pay phone on the wall to talk to Al. Sam remarks that she is a great singer. Al checks with Ziggy through the handlink and says she never really did anything with her singing. "She married Frank, and he left her after two years. And he was kind of free and easy with the back of his hand, too." Sam says they can't let that happen. "Well look," Al says, "both of us know you're here to help Sue Ann, but you can't mess up anything for Elvis." Sam asks him to describe everything hat Elvis did, and he promises not to mess it up." Al keys something into the handlink. "Okay, in the morning, you gotta go into the recording studio at Sun Records and cut a record for your mother's birthday. And at the same time impress Marion Keisker. She works at Sun Records, and she will play the record for Mr. Phillips, and the rest is history. You just gotta cut the record tomorrow morning." Sam says he'll be there and asks, "Now, what about Sue Ann?" Al checks the handlink again and replies, "You're going to see her at the talent contest tomorrow night. She was going to drop out, but changed that."

Al says he has to go because he doesn't want to be late. Sam asks, "Late for what?" Al smiles, "Elvis is going to give a private little concert for us in the Waiting Room. Standing room only, I don't want to be late!" Sam is frustrated, "What about me?" Al says Sam is late for dinner. Your mama's gonna be very unhappy." He exits through the Imaging Chamber door.

"Elvis Aaron Presley. I am fit to be tied, that's what I am. You better have a darn good excuse for being late, young man." Sam faces Elvis's mother and replies, "I'm sorry ma'am, but I don't." She says she guesses an apology is better than an excuse. "Just see it don't happen again." Sam agrees. Sam says a prayer over dinner. She asks him about the rehearsal. Sam says he thinks singing is what he meant to do. She remarks that since he and the Lord are on good terms, maybe he can take care of the stack of bills on the counter. Sam says one day he is going to take care of all that after he becomes a famous singer. "Like Perry Como?" Sam laughs, "No, bigger than Perry Como! Bigger than Pat Boone and Perry Como put together. You wait and see, Mama."

The next morning at Sun Records, Marion Keisker tells him to start when he's ready, "There's nothing to worry about." Sam tunes his guitar and says he's not worried. Red is with her in the sound booth and tells her that Elvis sings like nobody she's ever heard. She asks again is Sam is ready. He says it'll be just a few seconds. Al finally arrives and Sam discusses quickly the songs to sing to impress Marion. Red watches Elvis talk to himself, concerned. Al says he has to sing "My Happiness" and "That's When Your Heartaches Begin." Sam says he doesn't remember those songs. Al informs him, "You're the one who programmed Ziggy's data banks with all of Elvis Presley's hits and you know them backwards and forwards. You used to sing them for days in a row and drive me crazy!"

Red speaks into the recording room and asks if Sam is okay. Sam says he just got a little frog in his throat, trying to cover up his solo conversation issues. He tells Red he's just going to get a drink of water. Al tells him not to panic, "Those are great songs! I'll sings the songs and you repeat after me!" Marion speaks into the room and becomes impatient. "I'm afraid we need to start, Mr. Presley." Sam come to the microphone and begins to strum a few cords. Al sings, "Happiness..." Sam repeats after Al and it is shaky at best. Sam stops and whispers to Al, realizing the tune he has been singing. "That's Jingle Bells!" Al begs him to go again and he says "No!" loudly. Marion asks if he'd like to reschedule his appointment. He and Al both shout, "No!"

Sam says he's going to sing another song, but Red says he's been practicing this one for weeks. Sam replies that he knows, but he's tired of it so he's going to sing something else. Sam decides to sing Blue Christmas. After the recording session, Sam asks Marion if there's any chance Mr. Phillips would like to hear it. She replies, "It's hard to be in the mood for Christmas Carols in July." Al says Sam can not leave because now Ziggy is projecting that Elvis never meets him." Sam asks her if Mr. Phillips might be at the talent show tonight. She replies that he is far to busy for talent shows. Sam tells her it's a big regional talent show, at the advice of Al. Sam makes up the fact that there may be talent scouts from Nashville there. Marion says she is the one who scouts the talent around here and asks if Sam is going to sing at the show. "It's what I do best, Ma'am. She smiles and Al says they are back in the game.

That evening at the talent show, Al tells Sam backstage that Ziggy now predicts a 90% chance that he will win Marion over. Sue Ann stands nearby, very nervously. A saxophone player is heard finishing up on stage. The announcer exclaims, "Now come on, let's give a big hand to little Billy C., all the way from Hope, Arkansas!" A young boy wearing black sunglasses exits the stage with a saxophone. Al looks at the boy in obvious wonderment if he might be Bill Clinton, the future president of the United States!

Sam says there shouldn't be too much competition here. Al looks on stage and says , "Oh no." Sue Ann has taken the stage and is already shaking. She has started singing Will the Circle Be Unbroken. Al says, "Oh, she's gonna blow chunks again. Somebody get a mop. I can't stand it." Frank sits in the audience with Sue Ann's sister. Sue Ann chokes and some people in the audience, including Red, groan. Sam ruses out to her on stage with Al  shouting, "You're not on yet!"

Sam begins to strum his guitar to continue the song and starts to sing, "Will the circle... be unbroken..." Sue Ann starts to harmonize with him. The beat picks up and they both go at it, mesmerizing the crowd! They perform to a standing ovation. Marion is also in the audience watching.

After the performance, Marion comes backstage and congratulates them. "I want to see you at Sun Records tomorrow at noon, and don't be late. Mr. Phillips leaves for Nashville in the afternoon." Sam is excited and agrees. Sue Ann tells Sam she is so happy for him. Marion corrects, "Honey, you're half the act. Now y'all be on time, you hear?"

Al frantically checks the handlink while Sue Ann says this is the happiest day of her life. Al remarks, "Not mine... half the act?" She and Sam are excited about how well they did. Al is not happy. "Sam, you're not supposed to be a duo! You're turning the king of rock and roll into Donny and Marie!" Sue Ann kisses him out of excitement, saying, "I love you, Elvis." She hugs him as Frank looks on, backstage. He walks away without saying anything to them.

"According to Ziggy, the odds of the two of you getting a recording contract are a lousy 19 to 1." Sam says, "Al, news flash. Ziggy has been wrong before." "Yeah, but in 1954, the world was just not ready for Sonny and Cher. As a matter of fact, the world was never ready for sonny and Cher." Al smiles and says Sue Ann is special. "There's something unique about her. She's innocent and vulnerable..." Al says he knows, and that Elvis had a soft spot for her too, but the Hollywood publicists did not want him to have a girl back home, so..." Sam wonders if Elvis forgot about her. Al tells him not to think what he's thinking. Al reports, "In three years, he's gonna meet Priscilla, get married, have a little baby, and you don't want to jeopardize that!"

Frank walks into the room and sees Elvis talking to himself, saying "Maybe if he'd been with Sue Ann then things would have ended differently than they did!" Frank approaches, "Presley!" Sam shakes his head, "Oh, great." Frank is angry. "I need to have a few words with you, boy." Sam offers his hand and asks for a truce. Frank pushes him back, calling him trash. Sam asks what he wants. Al says he thinks Frank wants to punch Sam out. "You've compromised a lady's honor. I don't take kindly to that. Especially when the lady's mine." Sam says she's not his. "She doesn't belong to you." Frank becomes more enraged, "Is that a fact?" Sam says she's got talent, to which Frank states she has a delicate condition. "Her condition seems just fine to me." Frank sucker punches Sam in the stomach! Sam punches him back and they begin to fight in the front row of the auditorium. Red arrives and joins in, telling them to break it up. Al tries to give advice on how to fight.

Sue Ann enters and shots for Red to let Frank go. "Stop it! Shame on the both of you! Are you all right, Frank?" Al shouts, "Are you all right Frank?! What about The Pelvis?" Sue Ann accuses the two guys of ganging up on Frank and Sam tries to explain but she says, "Lying ain't gonna do you any good." She leads Frank out as Al motions as if to punch Frank himself.

Back at home, Elvis's mother patches up his mouth would. Sam says he didn't start the fight, but she says it takes two to finish it. She asks who th girl is that caused it, and Sam wonders how she knew it was over a girl. "Because I'm you're mama." Sam tells her not to worry, that everything is going to work out. She tells him he has to start being realistic. Sam says he is being realistic about his singing and one day she's going to live in the biggest house she can ever imagine. "You are going to have the most beautiful clothes, and drive a new car, and be the mother of the most famous singer who ever lived." She laughs and smiles.

Sam speaks about the time period as we see a montage of black and white clips of the 1950's. "1954 was an age of innocence. A time where people still believed in the American dream. I realized that I had leaped into a man who personified that dream. A man who went from being a truck driver to a superstar overnight. Walking a mile in Elvis Presley's blue suede shoes before he became the idol of millions, made me realize he was just a normal person. I kept wondering if he would have been happier if he stayed that way. Maybe I couldn't change things for Elvis, but at least I had a chance to help Sue Ann."

At the diner, Sam asks Julie to speak with Sue Ann, but Julie says she didn't come in this morning. He carries his guitar case with him and asks if something is wrong. "Is it stage fright?" Al arrives and tells him it's not. "Where is she?" Julie says she doesn't know, but Al answers, "She's home, Sam." Sam is frustrated because they have an audition. Al reports that Frank is picking her up at 2:00 and they are leaving for Louisville after they go to the courthouse and pick up a marriage license. Sam asks where she lives, and after Al gives him the address, he heads out to find her.

Al stops him, "Sam, no! You gotta let her go," Sam doesn't want to because Ziggy said he's there to stop Sue Ann from throwing her life away. Al says that doesn't mean he can mess up things for Elvis.  "You can't get from here to her place and back in time for the audition!" Sam says he has to. Al[ again tells him that he can't mess up the audition and that Phillips is leaving for Nashville that afternoon. Sam says he won't and heads out the door. "Ziggy says!", Al protests, but is cut off by Sam exiting, "Forget Ziggy!"

Sam runs to Sue Ann's house and beats on the door. She opens it and he says she doesn't have to look at him but she doesn't have to audition with him in half an hour. "It's your dream. You waited your whole life for this." She says she doesn't believe in a dream. Sam says, "Yeah, well I do. And I got enough dreams for the both of us." She shakes her head, "I'm 19 years old. It's time for me to settle down." Sam laughs, "What are you talking about? It's time for you to shake things up! Take a chance for a change!" She says if she gets caught with the likes of Elvis, it could cost her marrying a decent man like Frank. Sam asks her to think about waking up one morning twenty years from now, wondering what might have happened today. "What have you got to lose?" He says if they don't sign her, she can come right back and marry Frank. But what if he likes us?", she asks. Sam answers, "Wouldn't that be a wonderful choice to have?" She smiles and says she's going to get her music. "All right!"

Back on the street outside Sun Records, Sam and Sue Ann run for the door. Sam bangs on it, but it's locked. They are late, and no one is there. Sue Ann is discouraged and says she has listened to all his crazy dreaming and gave it a chance, "and now I'll never wonder what I missed." She says she has to go and Sam tries to stop her, but she walks away saying, "Goodbye, Elvis."

Al says to Sam, "I don't know whether to feel sorry for you, or say I told you so." Sam says he knows he was supposed to make things right for Sue Ann. Al says he did, but Sam wonders why he hasn't leaped yet. "Ziggy says you gotta make things right for Elvis." Sam says maybe he could still meet Mr. Phillips at the airport but Al says he's not there. Ziggy squeals through the handlink and Al slaps it multiple times. Sam says, "Come on, Ziggy!" Sam says maybe he's still in the studio and starts banging on the door again. Al says to save his voice and says something is coming up, as he looks at the handlink. "He's at a dinner." Sam asks, "He's at a dinner in the middle of the afternoon?" Al looks again. "He's at a dinner having diner." Sam says, "What?" Al smacks the handlink again. "Oh, he's at the diner having dinner. Oh, make it lunch. Oh! And get this! He's meeting with the D.J. that made Elvis a star, the guy that first put him on the radio!" Sam replies as he picks up his guitar, "Listen, you tell Ziggy I need to know exactly what songs Elvis sang for Mr. Phillips." Al punches keys on the handlink and reports, "Blue Moon of Kentucky and That's all Right, Mama. Please.... please tell me you know these songs, Sam." Sam gives a goofy smile as he runs off, "Better than Jingle Bells."

Sam enters the diner to find Phillips and the D.J. having lunch. "Excuse me, Mr. Phillips. I'm Elvis Presley." Phillips replies, "Well, that and a nickel will get you a phone call." He laughs. Sam explains that he had an appointment earlier, but Phillips says he is leaving for Nashville just as soon as he finishes lunch. "I'd like to help you out, but I'm right in the middle of a business meeting here." Sam, at the suggestion of Al, asks for just five minutes. Phillips asks the D.J. if he knows how many times he hears that in one day. "I'm sorry, son."

Julie shouts from behind the counter, "But he's the best!" The D.J. says, "I don't believe this pretty young thing knows how to lie, do you sweetheart?" She says, No, sir." The D.J. tells Phillips to go ahead, he has some calls to make. Phillips looks at his watch. "All right son, you got yourself five minutes." He gets up and motions to some men sitting in a booth nearby. "Boys, let's go make some music!"

Moments later in the studio, Phillips asks what he will be singing and Sam tells him the names of the two songs. Phillips says to pick one or the other. Sam is nervous because he is supposed to sing both songs. Al advises, "Sam you changed the circumstances of the audition. Anything could happen!" Sam waits for Al to tell him which song impresses Phillips most and Phillips asks if he is all right in there. Al frantically researches and says Blue Moon got his attention and that made Phillips want to have him play more. Sam begins with Blue Moon Of Kentucky. He performs it expertly with plenty of Elvis' soul! Phillips smiles and taps along with the song.

Phillips says, "You've got a lot of talent, Mr. Presley. I would like to hear some more." Al is excited and so is Sam. "All right, That's All Right Mama!", celebrates Sam as he readies to play again. Phillips stops him and says that he should make an appointment for another session when he gets back from Nashville. Sam protests, "But I'm ready right now" Phillips becomes stern. "I am not. Come on now. I got a meeting to finish, son." Sam asks him again to listen to him, but Phillips becomes adamant. "I already don't like it." Al says, "You pushed him too hard, Sam."

As Phillips leaves the studio, he tells Sam that he'll see him next week. Al disagrees, "No, no he doesn't. He cancels out on Elvis! Oh, this is awful, Sam! Ziggy says now Elvis doesn't even get discovered, and Heartbreak Hotel is recorded by The Monkees." Sam says, "What!" And Jailhouse Rock is recorded by Tony Orlando and Dawn. Ugh, gag me with a spoon!" Sam asks Al to tell him what one of Elvis's hits was after That's All Right, Mama. Al says he recorded Baby, Let's Play House next. Sam runs for the diner. "Tony Orlando and ugh...", groans Al as he uses the handlink to relocate to the diner with Sam.

Al tells Sam as he arrives in the diner and straps on the guitar now to hold anything back. "Really belt it out!" Sam sings at the top of his lungs, "Weeeeeellll, you may go to college..." He strums three chords. "You may go to school..." Three more cords and then, "You may have a pink Cadillac but don't you be nobody's fool, now baby, come back, baby, come back. Come back baby, I wanna play house with you!" A bass player who happens to be there with Phillips joins in and the song continues. Other members of Phillips entourage also join in the band. Sam climbs up onto the counter and Al pops in next to him. The diner patrons start tapping long and cheering. Phillips begins to take notice and bop along with Sam's amazing performance!

When Sam finishes the performance, Phillips jumps up as everyone cheers and says, "I don't know what you just did son, but you keep on doing it!" Sam asks, "You mean you're going to sign me?" Phillips exclaims, "Does a chicken have feathers? Consider yourself signed, sealed, and delivered!" Al is excited, reporting, "Sam, you got Elvis started. You even inspired one of his first hit tunes over there... so how come you haven't leaped?"

At Sue Ann's house, Frank loads the last box of her belongings into his convertible. "Well, that's the last of it. You run in and tell your mama, we;re ready to leave." Sam runs up to Sue Ann. "I got you your own audition. All by yourself!" She is surprised and asks, "I thought the audition was at noon?" Sam explains that Phillips signed him, but he got her her own audition. "I did it! You can too."

Frank comes up behind Sue Ann with his arms folded. "You'll do no such thing. A lady don't work for a living. And she surely don't sing for a living." Sue Ann puts a hand on his arm. "But it's what I want to do." He says he doesn't like the idea of his wife being a circus act. She assures him, It's not like that. Is Doris Day a circus act? Is Debbie Reynolds a circus act? There's nothing wrong with singing. Don't you see?" He replies, "What I see is a fine young lady who wants something from life that I can't give her." She says he can if he wants to. He shakes his head stubbornly. "It's gotta be the way it's gotta be. Now either you get in this car and you come with away with me now, or you don't come at all." She thinks a moment and then walks over to Sam, her head down. He takes her things back out of the car and sits them on the ground. "Well, I guess that's all the answer I need." Frank offers a handshake to Sam. "I owe you an apology." Sam accepts and shakes his hand.

Al reports on the new history he reads from the handlink, "Sam, listen to this. Sue Ann here signs a recording contract. She doesn't have a big career, but she gets to perform on the Opry and she starts one of Elvis Presley's first fan clubs." Sue Ann looks at Sam and confesses, "I'm so scared." Sam says there's nothing to be afraid of." She asks, "What am I gonna do now?" He replies, "You're gonna reach for the stars, and you're gonna keep right on reaching, till you touch them."

Sam is enveloped in Quantum light and energy as he leaps out. When he finishes the leap process, he finds himself standing in the doorway of a bar called "Al's Place." The bartender offers him a beer, and as Sam waits, he gets a look in the mirror behind the counter. For the first time in five years, the reflection staring back at him is his own! Oh boy.

Personal Review by Rindi:

This is a great episode for many reasons. The first reason is because I am an Elvis fanatic. The second is because I like the episodes where Scott gets to perform and show off his singing voice. The third reason is I like the episodes where Sam leaps into someone famous because it makes his mission even more crucial to put right what once went wrong and without tampering with any other life events. And finally I like this episode because all the songs in here are great and this is just an exciting episode in general.

Personal Review by Matt Dale:

At this stage, Bellisario’s rule of not leaping into celebrities or their lives had been well and truly forgotten. Had there been a season six, we can only imagine how many famous people from the second half of the twentieth century would have had their lives plundered for entertainment. Memphis Melody is a little different than the likes of Lee Harvey Oswald and Goodbye Norma Jean, however, in that it only briefly focusses on real life events - the story is really the traditional ‘small’ one Quantum Leap is famous for: In this case, one about a young woman and her dreams. The presence of Elvis is actually there to be an antagonistic element to the plotline, as Sam must try not to change his established history and must tiptoe around events instead This makes this episode an imaginative one with plenty of heart, and of course gives Bakula the chance to show off his singing talents once more. McGlynn is sweet and loveable as Sue Anne, and as an audience we genuinely want her to succeed, but the comedy and music elements of this segment are never too far behind. Source


"Will the Circle Be Unbroken" performed by Scott Bakula and Mary Elizabeth McGlynn

"My Happiness" is performed by Scott Bakula

"Blue Moon of Kentucky" performed by Scott Bakula

"Dixie" performed by Scott Bakula

"Amazing Grace" performed by Scott Bakula and Mary Elizabeth McGlynn

"Baby, Let’s Play House" performed by Scott Bakula

Blue Moon of Kentucky and Baby Let’s Play House both appear as new recordings on the Quantum Leap soundtrack album.


Project Trivia:
Al says he is going to see Elvis perform back in the Waiting Room.

Ziggy predicts an alternate future where Heartbreak Hotel (1956) is
recorded by The Monkees and Jailhouse Rock (1957) is done by Tony Orlando and Dawn.


Sam Trivia:
Sam was an Elvis fanatic.

He programmed all of Elvis’s hits into Ziggy’s data bank and would drive Al crazy by singing them for days.

Sam said "Oh boy!" one time this episode.


Al Trivia:
Al said "Oh boy!" two times this episode.

Al had a cigar all four times he appeared.

Al’s Outfits Worn in the Episode:
1st appearance: Al was wearing a white button up shirt, an apricot colored suit jacket and pants to match, and a gold watch. The shoes could not be seen.

2nd appearance: Same as 1st appearance.

3rd appearance: Al was wearing a dark purple jacket, with a pale purple button up shirt, with a cowboy like neck tie (a triangle at the neck with two strings hanging), a saxophone broach, black and purple checkered slacks, and black suede shoes.

4th appearance: Al was wearing a black jacket with silver sparkles in a triangular patterns on the breasts and arms and a silver, curly, two pronged, fork shaped metal on the collar, a metallic gold button up shirt with a silver tint and black pin stripes with a thin black tie with a saxophone broach, gray slacks, black shoes, and a black banded and gold faced wrist watch.


Miscellaneous Trivia:
John Boyd West is the real life son of actor and stuntman Bobby Gene "Red" West. He played his own father in this episode!

Scott Bakula’s daughter Chelsy played the little girl in Taylor’s diner. When Bakula is singing "Amazing Grace" his little girl looks at him out of the corner of her eye with a smile.

Dean Stockwell broke a handlink during the filming of this episode. Each broken handlink costs the production $2,000! He loved doing the Elvis episode.



Kiss With History:

Elvis cut a record for his mother's birthday in real life.

Sam is waiting with Al to go onstage when we hear the announcer say "Now come on, let's give a hand to little Billy C. all the way from Hope, Arkansas!" This is a nod to President Bill Clinton, who notably is a fantastic saxophone player. Watch a video of this scene below, followed by the real President Bill Clinton on the Arsenio Hall Show jamming out on the sax when he was governor!

Regular Cast:
Scott Bakula as Sam Beckett
Dean Stockwell as Al Calavicci


Guest Stars:
Mary Elizabeth McGlynn as Sue Ann Winters
John Scott Clough as Frank Begley
Lisa Jane Persky as Marion Keisker
Garn Stephens as Gladys Love Presley
Gregory Itzin as Mr. Phillips
John Boyd West as Bobby Gene "Red" West
Eric Bruskotter as Beau
Frazer Smith as DJ Dewey Phillips
Melissa Bernheim Julie Winters
Stephanie Scott as Cute Girl
Michael St. Gerard as Elvis Presley (Mirror Image)
Chelsy Bakula as Girl in Diner
Elliott J. Brown as Greaser
Mark Thompson as Guy in Diner
Brian Phelps as Guy in Diner
Bob Harks as Violin Player


Guest Cast Notes:

Mary Elizabeth McGlynn as Sue Ann Winters: Like many other Quantum Leap guest stars has appeared on STAR TREK Voyager, episode "Vis A Vis."

John Scott Clough as Frank Begley: Appeared on Jag (2001) from the same creator of Quantum Leap, Donald P. Bellisario.

Lisa Jane Persky as Marion Keisker: Appeared on When Harry Met Sally (1989) with Meg Ryan and Billy Crystal. She has also appeared on Coneheads (1989) with Dan Aykroyd and Great Balls of Fire (1989) with Dennis Quaid.

Gregory Itzin as Mr. Phillips: Was on Enterprise (2002) with Scott Bakula, Star Trek: Deep Space Nine (1998), and Jag (1998 &1997).

John Boyd West as Bobby Gene "Red" West: Is the real life son of actor and stuntman Bobby Gene "Red" West. He played his own father in this episode!

Eric Bruskotter as Beau: Was on Jag (1995), Three For The Road (1987) with Charlie Sheen, Major League II (1994) with Charlie Sheen, Corbin Bernsen, and Tom Berenger, Major League: Back to the Minors (1998) with Corbin Bernsen and Scott Bakula and The Hollywood Sign (2001) with Tom Berenger.

Michael St. Gerard as Elvis Presley (Mirror Image): Played Elvis in the TV movie Elvis (1990).

Frazer Smith as DJ Dewey Phillips: Frazer Smith was born on January 17, 1955 in Detroit, Michigan, USA. He is an actor and writer, known for Tag: The Assassination Game (1982), The Fisher King (1991) and Electric Dreams (1984).

Melissa Bernheim Julie Winters:
Sister of Writer/Producer Robin Jill Bernheim.

Stephanie Scott as Cute Girl: Stefanie Scott is known for Quantum Leap (1989), The Wonder Years (1988) and Bridges to Cross (1986).

Chelsy Bakula as Girl in Diner: Born in 1984, daughter of Scott Bakula and Kristin Newman.

Elliott J. Brown as Greaser: Elliott J. Brown was born on November 6, 1971 in Chicago, Illinois, USA. He is an actor and producer, known for The Courier, The Ad Game and The White Storm (2013). He has been married to Alyssa Chiu since November 12, 2005.

Mark Thompson as Guy in Diner: Mark Thompson was born on December 1, 1955 in Florence, Alabama, USA. He is an actor and writer, known for Mother Ghost (2002), Jason Goes to Hell (1993) and 2:13 (2009). He has been married to Lynda Thompson since August 21, 1982. They have three children. With Brian Phelps, hosted the Los Angeles radio talk show "The Mark & Brian Show".

Brian Phelps as Guy in Diner: Brian Phelps was born on May 5, 1959 in Cambridge, Illinois, USA. He is an actor, known for Jason Goes to Hell (1993), Reno 911! (2003) and Rocky V (1990). With Mark Thompson, hosted the Los Angeles radio talk show "The Mark & Brian Show".

Bob Harks as Violin Player: Harks came in at the tail end of the television western era, it was only natural for him to find work on the unpaved streets of several television westerns like Bonanza and Gunsmoke. With the downturn of popularity in westerns, Harks made the transition from a cowboy to a detective. Over the next 15 years, he would frequently be seen on shows like Kojak where he'd appear around the squad room and also on shows like Lou Grant where he'd make crosses. In the early 1970s, Harks gained work as a utility stand-in on the Bill Bixby show The Magician and it would be his big break. Both he and fellow Magician stand-in Edna Ryan would later find themselves working on another show Bixby starred in called "The Incredible Hulk." Bixby was very fond of Bob and would frequently have him appear in roles that require Hark to be upgraded to a pay rate than you usual extra role. Harks would usually drive the car that would either pick up Bixby at the end of the episode or he would use his car to pass Bixby's character up as he was hitchhiking to his next destination. After the closing of The Incredible Hulk, Harks got regular work as Bixby's stand-in on the short lived show Goodnight Beantown. As Bixby's career started to wind down, Harks found work as a stand-in on the show Alien Nation and he worked on it for the rest of his career not only appearing in the series but also most of the subsequent television movies. It was during this time that Harks decided to retire and move Wisconsin to be closer to his sister Sue and the rest of his family bringing a 30+ year career to a close.


Guests who appeared in other Quantum Leap episodes:
Eric Bruskotter played Red in the episode "Liberation", and Glen in the episode "Raped."

Elliott J. Brown also played Stuart in "Return of the Evil Leaper."

Bob Harks also appeared as Townsman in "The Leap Back" and Club Member in "Liberation."

Say What?
Sam is waiting with Al to go onstage when we hear the announcer say "Now come on, let's give a hand to little Billy C. all the way from Hope, Arkansas!" This is of course Bill Clinton, the former president of the United States. However, the writers must have overlooked the fact that Bill didn't change his last name from Blythe to Clinton until he was 15 years old. He was 8 years old in this episode.

The pinball machine in the diner wasn't created until 1970.

The bass player in the diner seems to be readily available to play. Such a large instrument would probably not be brought in to have a meal with.


Quotable Quotes:

"You sing like an Angel."--Sam

"Well then the good Lord must have been smiling down on me."--Sue Ann

"Yeah, well you must have been reaching for the stars cause I don’t think he could see you through the ceiling." --Sam

"A white man with a black voice." --Mr. Phillips

"1954 was an age of innocence. A time when people still believed in the American
Dream. I realized that I had leaped into a man that personified that dream. A man who went from being a truck driver to a superstar overnight. Walking a mile in Elvis Presley’s Blue suede shoes before he became the idol of millions made me realize he was just a normal person. I kept wondering if he would have been happier if he had stayed that way." --Sam

Best Line:
"Everybody should be a dreamer. You gotta reach for the stars not the ceiling." --Sam "But the ceiling keeps you out of the rain." --Sue Ann


Best Scene:
The best scene is when Sam races into the diner and performs "Baby Lets Play House" for Mr. Phillips. Scott Bakula has a good singing voice and great charisma. It was a really fun scene to watch. This was a music filled episode and all the scenes where Sam performs are great.

Production Credits:

Theme by: Mike Post
Musical Score By: Velton Ray Bunch
Co-Executive Producer: Deborah Pratt
Co-Executive Producer: Chas. Floyd Johnson
Supervising Producers: 
Harker Wade, Richard C. Okie
Produced by: Robin Jill Bernheim
Created by: Donald P. Bellisario
Written by:  Robin Jill Bernheim
Directed by: James Whitmore, Jr.

Executive Producer: Donald P. Bellisario
Associate Producers: 
Scott Ejercito, Julie Bellisario
Coordinating Producer: David Bellisario
Director of Photography: Robert Primes, A.S.C.
Production Designer: Cameron Birnie
Edited by: Michael S. Stern
Unit Production Manager: Ron Grow
First Assistant Director: Ryan Gordon

Second Assistant Director: Brian Faul
Casting by: Ellen Lubin Sanitsky, C.S.A.
Set Director: Robert L. Zilliox
Costume Designer: 
Jacqueline Saint Anne
Costume Supervisors: Glenn Bradley, Alice Daniels
Art Director: Ellen Dambros-Williams
Sound Mixer: Barry D. Thomas
Stunt Coordinator: Diamond Farnsworth
Make-up: Jeremy Swan
Hairstylist: Andrea Mizushima
Sound Editor: Greg Schorer
Music Editor: Bruce Frazier
Special Visual Effects: Roger Dorney, Denny Kelly
Technical Advisor: Red West

Panaflex ®  Camera and Lenses by: Panavision ®

This motion picture is protected under laws of the United States and other countries. Unauthorized duplication, distribution or exhibition may result in civil liability and criminal prosecution.

Copyright © 1993 by Universal City Studios Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Some of the characters portrayed in this motion picture are based upon actual persons. Although some of those events have been fictionalized for dramatic purposes, otherwise the characters and events depicted in this photoplay are fictitious. Any similarity to actual persons living or dead is purely coincidental.

Bellisarius Productions and Universal Television, an MCA Company


Tap those blue suede shoes, because it’s time for a Memphis Melody!

Get all shook up with hosts Allison Pregler, Matt Dale and Christopher DeFilippis as they talk about Sam’s Leap into the King of Rock and Roll, Elvis Presley.

Quantum Leap pulls out all the stops for its penultimate episode, showcasing Scott’s singing and dancing talents to celebrate this 20th century musical icon.

Listen to The Quantum Leap Podcast on this episode here:

Let us know what you think… Leave us a voicemail by calling (707)847-6682.

Send in your thoughts, theories and feedback, Send MP3s & Email to quantumleappodcast@gmail.com.

Also join us on Facebook.com/QuantumLeapPodcast and Twitter.com/QuantumLeapPod

Back to top