Around Christmas time in 1956, Carl Perkins was in a post-“Blue Suede Shoes” funk. He booked a recording session on Dec. 4th 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.”
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.