Sam’s Place 

Million Dollar Quartet, which returns to the Orpheum this week, is a fictionalized account of the one and only occasion when Elvis Presley, Jerry Lee Lewis, Carl Perkins, and Johnny Cash were all at Sun Studio together, December 4, 1956. In retrospect, after all the music, movies, TV shows, and this hard-touring Broadway musical, setting the value at only a million bucks seems like quite the bargain.

M$Q, one of the better jukebox musicals to come down the pike, doesn't really have a plot, but here's the situation: Elvis has gone to RCA. Cash and Perkins have both got deals with Columbia but haven't told Sun Studio founder Sam Phillips yet. And Phillips has a secret too. He's been offered a chance to move to New York and join Elvis at RCA. But as he watches his most famous artists leave for greener pastures, Phillips becomes more convinced that he belongs in Memphis and swears he'd rather sell a hundred records made his way than a million with somebody else pulling the strings. It's a resonant concept for people who live in a place where artists and businessmen have so famously gone their own way, for better and for worse.

"This is where the soul of a man never dies," the fictionalized Phillips says, surveying a fair approximation of his modest studio at 706 Union Avenue.

When it comes to marrying the dramatic elements to music, Jersey Boys is still a better jukebox biography. But Frankie Valli and crew need to watch out for these four hillbilly hellhounds on their trail.

Million Dollar Quartet, March 26th-30th, the Orpheum. $20-$80.


Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment



Fly On The Wall Blog

A Post About Gluten Free Strippers and Effing Traffic

Music Blog

A Week's Tribute to Jimmie Lunceford

News Blog

MATA Proposes to End Ikea Route, Alter Others

Beyond the Arc

Beyond the Arc Podcast #84: The Dillon Brooks Era

Tiger Blue

#25 Memphis 42, Houston 38

Music Blog

Butthole Surfers and Bad Seeds Salute the Man in Black

Music Blog

Soulsville USA Festival Lights Up McLemore Ave.

We Saw You

Emo and you


More by Chris Davis

Readers also liked…

© 1996-2017

Contemporary Media
460 Tennessee Street, 2nd Floor | Memphis, TN 38103
Visit our other sites: Memphis Magazine | Memphis Parent | Inside Memphis Business
Powered by Foundation