Music Routes Blog

Million Dollar Quartet: Your Discography Help Needed

24 December 2009

With a site like Music Routes, how can it not have the Million Dollar Quartet in the database?

Well, let me explain...

The Million Dollar Quartet is a famous jam session that  featured Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash (or maybe not; see below), Carl Perkins, and Jerry Lee Lewis.  Among 1956 recordings, this may be the closest thing to a USA For Africa type of one-off supergroup.

Here's the problem:  It's unclear who is on what track.  Some credible sources (such as Presley biographer Ernst Jorgensen) say that Cash isn't actually on the recording, that he was just there for the photo and wasn't even in the studio while the tape was rolling!  Cash on the other hand, in his own book, insists that he was there the whole time and that his voice can be heard quietly and in a higher register than usual.

But even leaving aside the Cash question, it's still unclear exactly who is on each track.  There were three or four other musicians in the studio in addition to the famous quartet (or trio).  They're not all playing on every track!  (Or are they?)

Are there any tracks on Million Dollar Quartet that definitely feature all three of Perkins, Presley, and Lewis playing or singing?