Million Dollar Quartet [Original Broadway Cast Recording]

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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - William Ruhlmann
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 ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - William Ruhlmann
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: 7/26/2011
  • Label: Eca: Entertainment
  • UPC: 857974002000
  • Catalog Number: 40020
  • Sales rank: 14,042

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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