Columbo (1971–2003)
30 user 5 critic

Swan Song 

A gospel singer wants to be rid of his zealous wife. But a murder made to look like an airplane accident does not fool the wily Lt. Columbo.


Nicholas Colasanto


David Rayfiel (teleplay by), Stanley Ralph Ross (story by) | 2 more credits »

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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Peter Falk ... Columbo
Johnny Cash ... Tommy Brown
Ida Lupino ... Edna Basket Brown
John Dehner ... Roland Pangborn
Sorrell Booke ... J.J. Stringer
Bill McKinney ... Luke Basket
Vito Scotti ... Mr. Grindell
Janit Baldwin ... Tina
John Randolph ... Colonel Mayehoff
Lucille Meredith ... Jean the seamstress
Richard Caine ... Bennett
Don Mantooth Don Mantooth ... Phil (as Donald Mantooth)
Jefferson Kibbee Jefferson Kibbee ... Frank
Bonnie Van Dyke Bonnie Van Dyke ... Maryann Cobb
Douglas Dirkson ... Jeff the airport mechanic (as Doug Dirkson)


A popular folk singer's plane has crashed. Two passengers have died, and one has escaped with minor injuries. Was it really an accident? How could it not have been? Or, was it really a nearly perfect murder? Columbo is called in to find out. Written by Cindy

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


TV-PG | See all certifications »






Release Date:

3 March 1974 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Il canto del cigno See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Universal Television See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


This is the only episode where the original murder is a double homicide. See more »


As is typical in such depictions, Tommy uses his cane on the injured side. But in order to relieve the pain and stress, the cane would be used on his good side to allow him to lean away from the injury and bear his weight. See more »


Tommy Brown: You're a sanctimonious hypocritical Bible spouting blackmailer.
See more »


Sunday Mornin' Comin' Down
Written by Kris Kristofferson
Performed by Johnny Cash
See more »

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User Reviews

It's Johnny Cash!
19 May 2006 | by SylviastelSee all my reviews

When Academy Award nominee Joaquim Phoenix was researching Johnny Cash, he mentioned this Columbo episode in particular. Johnny Cash plays a man who is very similar in some respects to his real personality. They're both musicians and singers but that's it. Johnny's character is a recovering criminal who married Ida Lupino's character who is overly zealous about God and religion. When her character learns of her husband's straying with younger girls, he decides to off them on the plane but survives. Anyway, I love watching Johnny Cash and Peter Falk together. I love the scene where Columbo researches parachutes and goes into the sewing room where the woman thinks she is losing her mind. Anyway, I remember that scene in particular as he tries to figure out how he did it. In the end, it's just worth watching. It's for Johnny Cash fans especially. He would have been a wonderful actor as well as singer.

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