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‘Million Dollar Quartet’ puts iconic Memphis story on stage

Published: Jun. 7, 2022 at 6:23 PM CDT
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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - On a December night in 1956 one of the greatest Rock and Roll jam sessions took place at Sun Records in Memphis. Four superstars Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis and Carl Perkins recorded that session and it would later be released under the name Million Dollar Quartet.

In 2022, that night is being played out on stage as the Tony Award Winning Musical ‘Million Dollar Quartet’ starts a run at the Halloran Centre.

“It’s nice to be in the town where it happened,” Steven Lasiter, who plays Johnny Cash in ‘Million Dollar Quartet’, said.

But the cast and crew of the show not only got to see the town where it happened, but also the exact room.

“It’s amazing to be here in the first place,” Nathan Burke, who plays Carl Perkins, said. “I didn’t know we’d be able to touch things, play things. We got to play through a song which was amazing.”

The cast and crew visited Sun Records, where the iconic picture of Presley, Cash, Perkins and Lewis hangs and the piano still stands. In fact, they even got to play those instruments. The four and others jammed just like the original quartet did nearly 66 years ago.

“It’s the final stop on the tour for one thing so It’s really really nice to be in Memphis for the end, the final five or six days,” Lasiter said.

The day before opening night cast and crew boarded a Backbeat Tours Bus to see the rock and roll sites from Elvis Presley’s high school, to the site of the first recorded Rock and Roll Concert at the Overton Park Shell and the church where Johnny Cash and the Tennessee Three debuted.

“It’s really cool. I’ve never been to Sun Records or Memphis at all so it’s my first time getting to see all this,” Jacob Barton, who plays Elvis, said.

The quartet even posed for that iconic shot at Sun Records on Monday.

Starting Tuesday the four will switch venues from Sun Records to the Halloran Centre for opening night of ‘Million Dollar Quartet’ in Memphis.

“Be prepared to have a good time,” Burke said. “You’re going to learn a little bit. If you love Memphis, if you love rock and roll , if you love musicals there’s a little bit for everybody.”

‘Million Dollar Quartet’ runs through Sunday. You can find tickets here.

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