Anniversary of Historic Elvis Presley, Jerry Lee Lewis, Johnny Cash and Carl Perkins Session

12/05/2011
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(Gibson) If you were carving a Mount Rushmore of early rock, or at least rockabilly, you'd be hard-pressed to find four more deserving visages than those that assembled at Sam Phillips' Sun Studios on this date in 1956. On that day, fate conspired to place Elvis Presley, Jerry Lee Lewis, Johnny Cash and Carl Perkins in the now-legendary Memphis recording studio for an afternoon of impromptu, but historic magic.

The day started like most other days at the studio, with a booked session by a young Sun artist. On this day, that artist was Carl Perkins, who was looking to recapture the magic he had garnered on "Blue Suede Shoes" the year before. Perkins was accompanied by his brothers, Clayton and Jay, and drummer W.H. "Flukie" Holland (later of Johnny Cash's Tennessee Three). An outside musician was brought in my Phillips to fatten up the mix with some additional piano. That outsider was a recent Sun Records signee from Louisiana a fireball named Jerry Lee Lewis. The session (as one can imagine) was absolutely rollicking, as evidenced by the recording of "Matchbox."

The sequence of events to follow has grown a bit fuzzy over the course of time. At some time in the early afternoon, Elvis Presley arrived with a Vegas showgirl named Marilyn Evans in tow. Evans had been a guest of Presley's at his Memphis home, having met The King after hours at a coffee shop in the Frontier Casino a few weeks before. Elvis was showing her around town with a few friends, including a young singer named Cliff Greaves, when he decided to stop by his old stomping grounds to visit Sam Phillips. The tale continues here including audio!

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Copyright Gibson.com - Excerpted here with permission.

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