December 4 - 1956 - The Million Dollar Quartet Recording Session

On a December day in 1956, Carl Perkins had a recording session at Sun Records, which label owner Sam Phillips wanted Jerry Lee Lewis at to play piano, when Elvis Presley came in to visit the studios and Johnny Cash popped in from the next room. These four men would become known as "The Million Dollar Quartet" by Sam Phillips, who brought in a reporter to highlight the session in a local paper. Presley, Perkins, Cash, and Lewis would all become legendary early rock 'n' roll artists, with Presley already a megastar and Perkins holding a number one hit. Cash was a hit recording artist who would go on to bigger things, while Jerry Lee Lewis was waiting for his first record to come out. Despite their individual abilities, the Million Dollar Quartet only recorded the one time in what was really an informal jam session that was only captured because producer Jack Clement flipped the "Record" switch. The session would nonetheless reveal the nature of early rock 'n' roll, as the four men swapped songs from the pop charts, Southern gospel, traditional African-American music, and country music.

William Floyd