(Right) Fred Ward/Corbis/(Left) Don Hustein via artistxite.ie
Johnny Cash’s influence on country music is immense and Elvis Presley’s ability to touch all genres of music is without question. Imagine what would happen if these two giants of the industry coming together to perform. Add to that two other immense talents of the time, Carl Perkins and Jerry Lee Lewis and you have a once in a lifetime performance. That is exactly what happened with this group got together for an impromptu jam session at Sun Records in Memphis Tennessee on December 4, 1956. This recording, which you can listen to below, later became known as “The Million Dollar Quartet” session. This singular recording is considered by many to be a groundbreaking moment in the history of rock and roll.
Like most great things in life, this recording session came about by pure chance. All four artists just happened to be at Sun Records at the same time for their own personal reasons. Realizing they were all there, someone suggested they jam a bit and the rest, as they say, is history.
On the video, you will enjoy the classic favorite “Just a Little Talk With Jesus” written by Cleavant Derricks. Elvis sings lead vocals throughout most of the songs including this one while the others backed him up by adding beautiful harmonies.
Around the 50 second mark of the recording, the vocals really come alive as the cadence is slowed down. Then, at one point, the artists’ ability to play their instruments is highlighted as they take an instrumental break. Thank goodness someone had the wherewithal to record these four amazing talents as they jammed, otherwise this amazing recording would be lost forever. As it stands, we can enjoy this song for years to come.