Reporting Gigi Barnett
BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Imagine Elvis Presley, Jerry Lee Lewis, Carl Perkins and Johnny Cash in the studio together. Well, it happened on a historic night in 1956 and, as Gigi Barnett explains, the jam session continues at the Hippodrome in the Tony award-winning show “Million Dollar Quartet.”
Johnny Cash, Elvis Presley, Carl Perkins and Jerry Lee Lewis are rock and roll legends. The show portrays just one night in the lives of those music icons. For the actors, getting the beat, the moves and the lyrics right took a lifetime of study.
“The music is responsible for why we’re able to do the things that we do,” said Martin Kaye.
Musicians in their own right, there are no recordings on stage.
It was Dec. 4, 1956. Presley, Perkins, Lewis and Cash were all in one studio at the now-legendary Sun Studios in Memphis. It was the doing of music executive and “father of rock and roll” Sam Phillips, who groomed the fledgling stars just before they became big names.
It was the ultimate session.
“Here’s a man who was a true visionary in the sense that he just loved music and he loved the people who made the music,” said Robert Britton Lyons.
The cast says the music in this show are all songs that Americans have grown up with. But British singer Martin Kaye had to learn many of the songs.
“Someone from Ferriday, La., which is where Jerry Lee is from, came to the show and said, `You were spot on,’” said Kaye.
Every song in the show was a hit—and for some, they still are.
“Million Dollar Quartet” ends on Sunday.