If rock 'n roll is still your music of choice and turning back the clock so you can rock around it still sounds like a great idea, then roll down your bobby socks because I've got a show with your name engraved on it. The year is 1956 and the gyrating guys who can sing up a tornado of sound are Jerry Lee Lewis, Carl Perkins, Johnny Cash and Elvis Presley. They all accidentally and magically turn up at Sun Records on the same day and what happens next is the source of legends. As a jam session goes, this one was smokin' hot and unforgettable. Tuesday, December 4, 1956 lives on in the smash musical hit "Million Dollar Quartet, written by Floyd Mutrux and Colin Escott," as it recreates that one and only legendary day in the history of rock 'n roll.
You can be there, front and center, at the modest Memphis, Tennessee recording studios of Sun Records where this quartet of musical icons set the red hot rafters ringing when "Million Dollar Quartet" lights up the stage of the Palace Theater in Waterbury on Saturday, June 7 at 2 p.m. and 8 p.m.
Think of it as a personal playlist of your favorite hits as these great tunes come tumbling out. Listen to "Great Balls of Fire," "Sixteen Tons," "Blue Suede Shoes," "Whole Lot of Shakin' Goin' On," "Hound Dog," "Folsom Prison Blues," "I Walk the Line," "Fever," "Memories Are Made of This," "Long Tall Sally" and "See You Later, Alligator," among others.
Hips will swivel, guitar strings will be set aflame and history will be recorded when an impromptu jam session became an instant legend making event. Carl Perkins (CT native James Barry) had come to Sun Records that day with his brothers and Sam Phillips, (Vince Nappo) the owner of Sun, added Jerry Lee Lewis, (Benjamin Goddard) a recent acquisition, to the mix as pianist. When Elvis Presley (Cody Slaughter) dropped by with his girlfriend (Kelly Lamont), he added his voice to the cauldron and it was the final arrival of Johnny Cash (David Elkins) that made the recipe complete.
These guys, all at different stages of music fame, sat down and sang like a group of old friends, without rehearsals or formal plans, and Cowboy Jack Clement, the engineer, was smart enough to record it. Fate clearly played a hand, a winning one, in achieving musical history. Billy Shaffer and Corey Kaiser complete the swinging lineup.
Country music, rockabilly and rock 'n roll merge and marry as these fellows sing just for the pure pleasure of the sound. For Sam Phillips, called "the Father of Rock 'n Roll," these four men were like his four sons and this show reveals a lot about their relationship, where they came from and where they were going. It is a sensational staged recreation of the actual event.
For tickets ($50-70), call the Palace, 100 East Main Street, Waterbury at 203-346-2000 or online at www.palacetheaterct.org. Performances are Saturday at 2 p.m. and 8 p.m.
Prepare to dance right out of your seat as these four wild men of music move, groove and shake, rattle and roll. Memories are made of this.