Blind Faith, Temple Of The Dog, Atoms for Peace, Velvet Revolver, Cream, Crosby Stills, Nash & Young. All can be considered supergroups but all cower in comparison to the original supergroup that got together for one time on December 4, 1956.
The supergroup that the Memphis Press-Scimitar would headline as the Million Dollar Quartet, consisted of Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis and Carl Perkins.
It all went down in Memphis at Sun Studios. Carl was recording “Matchbox” with a then unknown piano player that Sun Studios owner Sam Phillips brought in named Jerry Lee Lewis. Elvis, who had moved on to RCA records, stopped by with his girlfriend, Marilyn Evans to say “Hi” to Sam. Then Johnny Cash stopped in to hear the Perkins recording session. Soon a “jam” session began. Fortunately the studio engineer Jack Clement was smart enough to realize that he should probably record this session.
I’ve seen the photo of the four men many times but it wasn’t until I was doing a little research that I saw the uncropped photo that included Elvis’ girlfriend Marilyn Evans sitting on the piano.
Strangely enough this music was not released until 1981 long after Sam Phillips sold Sun Records. The Million Dollar Quartet LP contained seventeen tracks, focusing on Gospel and Spiritual music from the session. A second album came out in 1987 but both were only available as imports. It wasn’t until 1990 that RCA released the music for US distribution.
It was such a famed session that it bore a Tony Nominated Broadway show
Here are the tracks from the RCA release.