(NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ) -- The Tony® Award-winning smash-hit musical Million Dollar Quartet comes to State Theatre New Jersey on Tuesday, November 2nd at 8:00pm. It was inspired by the famed recording session that brought together rock 'n' roll icons Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis, and Carl Perkins for the first and only time.
Around Christmas time in 1956, Carl Perkins was in a post-“Blue Suede Shoes” funk. He booked a recording session on December4th with producer Sam Phillips. Aalong with Jerry Lee Lewis, Perkins and his band recorded a number of songs including one of Perkins’ best-known records, “Matchbox.”. (The single was only a minor hit when Perkins recorded it, but later on when released by The Beatles in 1964, it reached the top 20 of the Billboard charts.)
Details from the rest of that day are still questioned, but this is what is known: Perkins and Lewis were later joined by Elvis Presley and Johnny Cash, and the foursome held an impromptu jam session. A newspaper wrote, “This quartet could sell a million.” Shortly after they were known as “The Million Dollar Quartet.”
Million Dollar Quartet brings that unbelievable musical moment to life, featuring timeless and enduring hits including "Blue Suede Shoes," "Fever," "That's All Right," "Sixteen Tons," "I Walk the Line," "Great Balls of Fire," "Folsom Prison Blues," "Whole Lotta Shakin' Goin' On," "Hound Dog," and more. Don't miss your chance to experience this red-hot moment in rock 'n' roll history at Million Dollar Quartet!
The session was a reunion for Cash, Perkins, and Presley, who had toured the South together in 1955. Lewis was still a star on the rise, but quickly bonded with Presley over their shared knowledge of spirituals. Cash’s presence is still debated by historians; some say that he was only there for a short time and quickly left. This seemed to be confirmed on season recordings, in which you can’t hear The Man in Black at all. However, in Cash’s autobiography, the country music legend attributes his relative absence on the recordings to the fact that he was singing in a higher register than usual to help blend better with Presley.
The recording session retains its historical significance as a landmark event in the age of Rock n’ Roll, and a milestone for the genre in the ever-changing world of the 20th century popular culture and mass media. In the decades that ensued, The Million Dollar Quartet in 1956 has often been referred to as the “Mount Rushmore of Rock n’ Roll.”
Million Dollar Quartet captures the contagious spirit, freewheeling excitement, and thrilling sounds of the once-in-a-life-time event where four of music’s best talents came together.
The touring cast includes Jacob Barton (Elvis Presley), Nathan Burke (Carl Perkins), Trevor Dorner (Jerry Lee Lewis), Sean Casey Flanagan (Sam Phillips), Taylor Kraft (Dyanne), Steven Lasiter (Johnny Cash), and Bill Morey (Brother Jay). Jon Rossi is the Music Director.
Tickets are available for purchase online.
State Theatre New Jersey is located at 15 Livingston Avenue in New Brunswick, New Jersey.