Million Dollar Quartet [Original Broadway Cast Recording]

Million Dollar Quartet [Original Broadway Cast Recording]

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On December 4, 1956, Carl Perkins held a recording session at the Sun Records studio in Memphis, Tennessee, and producer and label head Sam Phillips brought in a new, unknown signee to Sun, Jerry Lee Lewis, to play piano. During the session, Johnny Cash, then also a Sun artist and a country star, dropped by, as did Elvis Presley, whose Sun contract Phillips had sold… See more details below

Overview

On December 4, 1956, Carl Perkins held a recording session at the Sun Records studio in Memphis, Tennessee, and producer and label head Sam Phillips brought in a new, unknown signee to Sun, Jerry Lee Lewis, to play piano. During the session, Johnny Cash, then also a Sun artist and a country star, dropped by, as did Elvis Presley, whose Sun contract Phillips had sold to RCA Victor, which had made Presley a major pop star. The four artists posed for a photograph, and three of them (Cash went home early) played as Phillips let the tapes roll. A bootleg of the session was dubbed The Million Dollar Quartet; eventually the album was given a legitimate release. Colin Escott and Floyd Mutrux, in their book for the 2010 Broadway musical Million Dollar Quartet, use the recording session to encapsulate various events in the lives of those present. In their telling, Perkins seethes with anger at having missed his shot at stardom when a car crash prevented him from singing his song "Blue Suede Shoes" on national television and Presley scored a hit with it instead. Lewis is cocky and egotistical, bursting with the arrogance that will make him a star within a year. Cash is looking for a way to tell Phillips that he's leaving Sun for a major label. Phillips is hoping to re-sign Cash, while also pondering an offer to join RCA. Presley is hoping to help persuade Phillips to take that offer. Along the way, the four musicians sing and play nearly two dozen songs, including their own hits and other then-contemporary material. (Escott and Mutrux have not felt restricted to the songs -- mostly gospel numbers -- that Perkins, Lewis, and Presley actually performed.) On this cast album, there are snippets of dialogue, but for the most part it's the songs that dominate, as Eddie Clendening impersonates Presley; Lance Guest is Cash; Levi Kreis plays Lewis; and Rob Lyons inhabits Perkins. (Elizabeth Stanley plays a fictional Presley girlfriend and gets to do a couple of numbers, too.) Of the four principals, Guest is the closest clone to his character, effectively re-creating the sound of Johnny Cash. Lyons doesn't really sound at all like Perkins, though he does sound good. Clendening and Kreis are somewhere in between. The arrangements lean toward rockabilly, with plenty of slapback bass, and the performers are uniformly enthusiastic. Of course, the original recordings are far superior, but effectively assembled and performed jukebox musicals like this help keep the music alive.

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Product Details

Release Date:
07/26/2011
Label:
Eca: Entertainment
UPC:
0857974002000
catalogNumber:
40020
Rank:
411

Tracks

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Album Credits

Performance Credits

William Schaffer   Drums
Hunter Foster   Vocals
Eddie Clendening   Acoustic Guitar,Electric Guitar,Vocals
Levi Kreis   Piano,Maracas,Vocals
Elizabeth Stanley   Vocals
Robert Britton Lyons   Harmonica,Electric Guitar,Vocals
Chuck Zayas   Bass
Lance Guest   Acoustic Guitar,Vocals
Larry Lesli   Drums
Corey Kaiser   Bass

Technical Credits

Willie Dixon   Original Material
Johnny Cash   Original Material
Merle Travis   Original Material
Chuck Berry   Original Material
Carl Perkins   Original Material
Jerry Leiber   Original Material
Terry Gilkyson   Original Material
Otis Blackwell   Original Material
Arthur "Big Boy" Crudup   Original Material
Colin Escott   Liner Notes,Book
Jack Hammer   Original Material
Ellas McDaniel   Original Material
Hank Neuberger   Producer
Chris Steinmetz   Engineer
Mike Stoller   Original Material
Rev. Thomas A. Dorsey   Original Material
John Davenport   Original Material
Doug McBride   Mastering
Eddie Cooley   Original Material
Richard Penniman   Original Material
Chuck Mead   Arranger,Producer
Enotris Johnson   Original Material
Pearl King   Original Material
Jessie Mae Robinson   Original Material
Richard Dehr   Original Material
Traditional   Original Material
August Eriksmoen   Assistant Music Supervisor
David Owens   Original Material
Frank Miller   Original Material
Eric Schaeffer   Stage Direction
Robert Blackwell   Original Material
John O'Keefe   Original Material
Curly Williams   Original Material
John Greenan   Original Material
Stan Jones   Original Material
Robert Guldry   Original Material
John Cossette   Executive Producer
Dave Bartholemew   Original Material
Floyd Mutrux   Original Concept,Book

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