• Review by john Murray

Million Dollar Show in Edinburgh


Any visit to Memphis Tennessee requires a compulsory stop at Beale Street, home of the blues, Graceland, home of Elvis Presley and Sun Studios, the birthplace of rock n’roll. It was here in Sun Studios in 1953 that a young Elvis made a personal recording for his mother’s birthday. Known as the Memphis Recording Service, owner Sam Phillips remembered the young singer and called him back a year later for a recording he was making. Commercially released records made then opened many doors for Elvis then RCA Records bought him out of the Sun contract for $40000 and Sam needed that cash. By the time Elvis made his first movie he was a star but Sam had already signed Johnny Cash and Carl Perkins both on their debut hits. For one night only these three came back for a studio reunion and were joined by a young enthusiastic piano player named Jerry Lee Lewis. Sam Phillips called them the Million Dollar Quartet and that sets the scene for the show.All the action is in the studio room and the hits are all there to enjoy and played live from the stage. A big cheer too for Martin Kemp (as Sam) who came on nervously at first but soon embraced the role. Folsom Prison Blues, I Walk The Line, Hound Dog, Honey Don’t, Matchbox, Blue Suede Shoes, Great Balls Of Fire all stood out before a rousing Whole Lotta Shakin’ Goin’ On finale. Martin Kaye as Jerry Lee was sensational and Matthew Wycliffe as Carl Perkins was exceptional due to his faultless guitar playing and even taking the difficult solo from Rock Around The Clock to play it behind his back. A rockin’ good night of music from a long lost era but brought to life spectacularly.

Edinburgh Playhouse till October 28


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