Wednesday, June 16, 2010

The Tony's

Million Dollar Quartet is a Broadway musical surrounding a recording by four greats in the 1950's, Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis and Carl Perkins.

MILLION DOLLAR QUARTET is the new smash-hit musical 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.

Here's a recording someone sent me a few years back in 2003.

The title which most critics seem to highlight is Presley’s rendition of "Don't Be Cruel," one of his major hits of 1956 (see 1956 in music). This is not Presley singing Presley, but his imitation of Jackie Wilson, then the lead singer with Billy Ward’s Dominoes, imitating him. It appears as though the Presley entourage spent a few days in Las Vegas (most likely during Presley's short-lived tenure earlier in the year at the Frontier Hotel) and went to watch Jackie Wilson, who had obviously built an impersonation of Presley into his act.

Presley describes Jackie Wilson tearing up Las Vegas audiences with a house-on-fire rendition of "Don't Be Cruel". He goes on to say that, "He tried so hard until he got much better, boy, much better than that record of mine.... I went back four nights straight and heard that guy do that," he says, imitating Wilson's bluesy smolder and big finish.

"He sung the hell out of the song," Elvis can be heard saying with admiration, adding with a laugh, "I was on the table lookin' at him, 'Get 'im off, get 'im off!'" Obviously on a roll, Presley, then ripped into a slower, sassier version of his latest RCA single "Paralyzed," backed up by Perkins and his trio.

Brown Eyed Handsome Man/Don't Be Cruel

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