It’s a story not often told.
On Dec. 4, 1956, four young musicians were gathered together by music producer Sam Phillips at Sun Records in Memphis, Tenn.
The jam session among Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis and Carl Perkins became one of the greatest feats in music.
This is the story of “Million Dollar Quartet” – a Tony Award-winning musical – that is coming to Popejoy Hall beginning on Thursday, June 4, through June 7.
The musical brings that legendary night to life with an irresistible tale of broken promises, secrets, betrayal, humorous banter and celebrations featuring timeless hits including “Blue Suede Shoes,” “Ring of Fire,” “That’s All Right,” “Sixteen Tons,” “Great Balls of Fire,” “I Walk the Line,” “Whole Lotta Shakin’ Goin’ On,” “See Ya Later, Alligator,” “Fever,” “Folsom Prison Blues” and “Hound Dog.”
Gabe Bowling plays Carl Perkins in the production, and says it was intimidating at first.
“When I auditioned, I didn’t know anything about Carl,” he says during a recent phone interview. “I think of all four musicians, most people aren’t familiar with Carl’s work.”
With that in mind, Bowling says he’s been trying to bring Perkins’ story to life.
“There’s probably more pressure on the other three guys because they have to embody the personas of their characters,” he says. “With Carl, since no one really knows about him, it’s my chance to tell his story and create that dialogue with the audience.”
Bowling has been involved with the musical for a few years and says it’s one of the most electrifying shows he’s been involved with.
“The music is amazing and this is a piece of history that we’re telling here,” he says. “It’s inspired by those sessions and some things are changed. Being able to perform these classic songs is an amazing opportunity for the cast night after night.”