"A Night to Remember" celebrates the music of Presley, Perkins, Lewis, and Cash Nov. 1

 
Elgin Community College
Updated 10/20/2014 5:38 PM
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  • The ECC Arts Center has added a matinee performance of "A Night to Remember," which celebrates the only time in their careers that Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis, Carl Perkins and Elvis Presley recorded together.

    The ECC Arts Center has added a matinee performance of "A Night to Remember," which celebrates the only time in their careers that Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis, Carl Perkins and Elvis Presley recorded together. Courtesy of ECC

The Elgin Community College Arts Center will celebrate a legendary event in rock 'n' roll history on Saturday, Nov. 1, when it presents "A Night to Remember."

Due to the heavy demand for tickets, the Arts Center has added a matinee performance of the show. Performances begin at 4 and 7:30 p.m. at the Blizzard Theatre located in Building H on the Spartan Drive campus, 1700 Spartan Drive, Elgin.

On Dec. 4, 1956, Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis, Carl Perkins, and Elvis Presley recorded together for the only time in their careers, setting off sparks with a spontaneous jam session at Sam Phillips' Sun Studios.

"A Night to Remember" is a musical tribute that celebrates that historic session, and features songs played that night, plus additional favorites by these iconic musicians. The audience will feel like they're a witness to a rock and roll royalty jam session during 90 minutes of rollicking rockabilly, country, gospel, and pure 1950's rock 'n' roll.

"'A Night to Remember' is the live, hard-charging, rock 'n' roll romp that would have occurred if that historic gathering at Sun Studios had ever hit the stage in concert," says Arts Center Director Steve Duchrow.

At the time of the historic session, Elvis Presley was the biggest name in show business: less than four months earlier, he had made his famed appearance on "The Ed Sullivan Show." Presley, previously a Sun artist but now on RCA, stopped by Sun Studios for a visit. Carl Perkins, already a success with "Blue Suede Shoes" happened to be recording that day. Backing Perkins was Phillips' latest acquisition -- then unknown singer and piano man extraordinaire Jerry Lee Lewis. Presley listened to the playback of Perkins' session, pronounced it good, entered the studio and soon after an epic jam session began. Soon after Sun artist Johnny Cash, who had recently enjoyed a few hits on the country charts, completed the quartet.

Noting the astounding level of talent in his studio, Phillips saw a publicity opportunity and contacted local newspaper the Memphis Press-Scimitar. Bob Johnson, the newspaper's entertainment editor, and a photographer came to the studio to document the event. The following day, an article written by Johnson about the session, was published under the title "Million Dollar Quartet." That article contained the now-famous photograph of Presley seated at the piano surrounded by Lewis, Perkins and Cash.

Tickets start at $35. Tickets for all performances in the ECC Arts Center are available online at tickets.elgin.edu, at the ECC box office located in the Arts Center, or by phone at (847) 622-0300. Box office hours are noon to 7 p.m. Monday through Thursday, and noon to 5 p.m. Friday and Saturday.

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