Wanda Jackson performs with the Million Dollar Quartet

Posted by Dee-Ann On February - 11 - 20112,165 views

Robert Britton Lyons, Levi Kreis, Eddie Clendening and Lance Guest

photos by Joan Marcus

Levi Kreis, Robert Britton Lyons, Dude, Lance Guest, Eddie Clendening

photos by Joan Marcus

Million Dollar Quartet” is a buoyant new jukebox musical about a hallowed day in the history of rock ’n’ roll. The show has a pleasing modesty, taking place as it does on a single afternoon, Dec. 4, 1956, in the rattletrap recording studio of Sun Records in Memphis. Mostly by chance, one of the great jam sessions in recording history took place there and then, as Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis, Carl Perkins and Elvis Presley all gathered to shoot the breeze, harmonize and strum their guitars or thunder away at the piano keys. Chief among the show’s pleasures is the songbook, naturally, which includes a lot of the obvious chart toppers — “Blue Suede Shoes,” “Folsom Prison Blues,” “Great Balls of Fire,” “Hound Dog” — as well as country songs and spirituals like “Peace in the Valley” and “Down by the Riverside.” But the prime asset of “Million Dollar Quartet” is the explosive vitality of the music making.

Wanda Jackson

Million Dollar Quartet, featured Wanda Jackson, the “Queen of Rockabilly,” for a special performance during the finale on the Thursday evening, January 20 performance at the Nederlander Theatre (208 West 41st Street). This was slated to be a one time event, but there is a strong possibility they will bring her back!

Jackson, a 2009 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee, first gained national attention with her 1958 recording of “Let’s Have a Party,” a tune she made into a hit of her own even after one-time boyfriend Elvis Presley had released a version of it. She’s been a pioneer in rockabilly, rock and roll, country, and gospel music. Her latest album, The Party Ain’t Over, which she recorded with guitarist-vocalist-White Stripes founder Jack White, will be released January 25 on Third Man/Nonesuch Records.

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