The Rock N Roll Archaeology Project

Digging into Music, Culture & Technology

Why Archaeology? Because we intend to dig. This is an excavation and exploration of Rock N Roll. We start by asking: how does Rock N Roll affect the larger society, and how does the larger society affect Rock N Roll? We set a frame for our discussion: the years 1945 to 1995.

Deeper Digs in Rock: Million Dollar Quartet

On Tuesday December 4, 1956, Elvis Presley, Jerry Lee Lewis, Carl Perkins, and Johnny Cash came together in a jam session at the Sun Record Studios in Memphis, Tennessee.

At this time these are four barely anybodies at the moment, home to see their professional papa, Sam Phillips.

It's impromptu.

In fact, for almost three decades it was only legend until the tapes were found in the 80's. Then it grows to become a cultural phenom with Broadway and now a TV show on CW.

But what was the truth? Who was there for sure and why? Who would've thought this small moment would loom so large for all of these guys?

Have a listen to Million Dollar Quartet: The First Supergroup and find out.

Songs:

1. Robert Johnson: “Crossroads Blues”, 2011 Sony Legacy

2. Howlin’ Wolf: “All in the Mood” (Everybody’s in the Mood), 2012 Geffen Records

3. Carl Perkins: “Blue Suede Shoes”, 1958 Sun Entertainment Corp.

4. Skip James: “Hard Time Killin Floor”, 1990 Document Records

5. Carl Perkins: “Movie Magg”, 1958 Sun Entertainment Corp.

6. Elvis Presley: “I forgot to remember to forget”, 2004 BMG Music Entertainment Corp.

7. Carl Perkins: “Lonely Street”, 2011 Cherished Records

8. Jerry Lee Lewis: Crazy Arms, 1958 Sun Entertainment Corp

9.Johnny Cash: Daddy Sang Bass, 2012 Sony Music Entertainment Corp.

10. Elvis Presley: “Mystery Train”, 2004 BMG Music Entertainment Corp.

11. The Million Dollar Quartet: “Down by the Riverside”, 2006 BMG Music Entertainment Corp.

12. The Million Dollar Quartet: “Just a Little Talk with Jesus”, 2006 BMG Music Entertainment

Corp.

13. Johnny Cash: “Oh Lonesome Me”, 1969 Sun Entertainment Corp.

14. The Original Broadway Cast of the Million Dollar Quartet: “Blue Suede Shoes”, 2011

Entertainment Co. of America

Books:

Guralnick, Peter (2015): Sam Phillips: The Man Who Invented Rock ‘n’ Roll.

Miller, Stephen (2013): The Million Dollar Quartet

Films, Documentaries & other sources

Morning Edition interview with Sam Phillips, 2001 NPR.org

MDQ the Musical, Floyd Mutrux and Colin Escott, 2006 Hal Leonard Corp.

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