I’m sure by now, most everyone has heard of The Million Dollar Quartet, if only because of the theater production (Which is coming to Oklahoma City and, while I’m not into theater, I plan to attend). In case you are not familiar, on December 4, 1956, four up and coming singers, Elvis Presley, Carl Perkins, Johnny Cash, and Jerry Lee Lewis, ended up at Sun Records at the same time. Carl Perkins was somewhat successful because of Blue Suede Shoes, and Elvis had recently burst onto the music scene and was starting to see some success. But who could have predicted that all four of these entertainers would go on to become legendary? Elvis had already left Sun for RCA, but he dropped by to visit during a Carl Perkins recording session. An impromptu jam session ensued, and the engineer decided to record it. Sam Phillips called in a newspaper photographer, who snapped the now famous photo. Although, in reality, the original photo (below) is not the one that most people are familiar with. The woman in the picture is Marilyn Evans, a Las Vegas showgirl who was Elvis’ girlfriend at the time. She was cropped out of the photo, but you can hear her voice in some of the recordings. In the musical, she is represented as Dyanne who sings on some of the sessions, but Marilyn did not actually sing.
Below are some songs from the session. Listening to it gives me chills. Hearing these young, phenomenally talented guys casually playing and singing together is an exceptional treat. I love that they mostly sang gospel songs. There was some speculation as to why Elvis and Jerry Lee were heard more predominantly on the gospel songs, and George Klein, Elvis’ lifelong friend said that Jerry Lee told him it was because Elvis and Jerry Lee were raised in Assembly of God and Carl and Johnny were Baptist boys, so they didn’t know all the words.
The recordings were not released until twenty-five years later. Isn’t it incredible what has developed from that seemingly casual, innocuous event of four guys, who coincidentally wound up in the same place at the same time, just hanging out and doing what they love?
(Coming January 8, 2015, and available for pre-order soon, End of Lonely Street – A Vintage Romance short story from The Wild Rose Press)
All Toby Lawson wants is to go to college to become a teacher and to be free of her alcoholic mother and some painful memories. But when her mother nearly burns the house down, Toby must put her dreams on hold and return home to care for her. The only time she isn’t lonely and miserable is when she’s listening to her heartthrob, Elvis Presley. His music takes her away and helps her escape from everything wrong in her life.
Noah Rivers has always loved Toby, but no matter what he says, she can‘t get past the fact that her drunken mother once kissed him. He soon realizes the true problem lies in Toby’s belief she’s not good enough for him and in her fear she will be just like her mother.
What will it take to prove to her that she deserves to be happy, and that he would give anything to be the man to make her dreams come true?
4 responses to “Elvis Presley – Ramblings of a Lifelong Fan – Part 24 – Million Dollar Quartet”
Loved the songs and Elvis’s voice definitely predominates.
Yes, it does. There are several more songs from the session. I just ordered the 50 year anniversary CD. Can’t believe I don’t already have it! Thanks for stopping by!
Enjoyed the post – thanks!
You’re welcome, Ashantay…and thank you! I appreciate you stopping by.