Million Dollar Quartet

I sometimes think I was born in the wrong era.

Even as a teenager, it was music from the 50s and 60s that dominated my collection. I’ve visited Graceland in Memphis. I’ve played guitar at Hank Williams’ grave in Alabama. I took a road trip to trace the life of Buddy Holly from Lubbock, TX to the plane crash site in Clear Lake, Iowa. But I would give anything to travel back in time to be there in the moment when Phil Ochs played his first coffee house in Greenwich Village, or the Beatles at Empire Stadium or to find myself walking down Union Avenue on December 4th, 1956.

Fortunately for me, there are records. And Sam Phillips made some of the best of them.

Sam seized his opportunity of being in the right place at the right time, recording the best of what Memphis’s diverse music scene had to offer: blues, country, gospel, boogie, western swing and everything in-between. Before long, Roy Orbison came a-knockin, then Charlie Rich, not to mention the four young men who became known as the “Million Dollar Quartet”. When Sam hit record he wasn’t just making hit records, he was documenting a special moment in history: the birth of Rock & Roll.

Sam named his company Sun as a sign of perpetual optimism: a new day and a new beginning. When we listen to these records, we ARE travelling back in time to that day. They haven’t been tracked, overdubbed, processed and auto-tuned. These are records of musicians in a room, playing together in all its raw, imperfect beauty. More than anything else, he captured the spirit of these pioneers and immortalized them on vinyl, “where the soul of a man never dies”.

Starting this month, the Arts Club Theatre takes audiences back to the greatest impromptu jam session in rock and roll history at 706 Union Ave in Memphis, Tennessee when Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis, Carl Perkins and Elvis Presley played together for the first and only time . I’ve had such a good time putting this show together as musical director and I couldn’t be more proud of the cast.

Get you tickets today!

Next week: the Blue Frog!

By popular demand, I’ve been asked to return to the Blue Frog for an extended evening of Buddy Holly.  The 7pm shows on January 15 and 16th are SOLD OUT but the 9:30 shows still have some tickets left.  Get your tickets HERE.

Goodness, gracious opening night of FIRE!

Last night we opened FIRE to a standing ovation!  The role of Cale Blackwell – a character inspired by Jerry Lee Lewis has been my greatest challenge as an actor to date.  Just getting my fingers in shape to handle the songs in the show would’ve have been enough to focus on in three weeks.  But the acting challenge presented in FIRE takes an equal amount of commitment, demanding a journey from a 17 year old preacher’s son to a celebrity at the height of the rock and roll era to a 42 year old washed-up, alcoholic on the verge of collapse.

Zachary Stevenson as Cale Blackwell in Fire
Jacob Richmond as Herchel

 

“The multi-talented Zachary Stevenson rose to the role of rocker Cale Blackwell bravely and with limitless energy […] alternating between furiously pounding the keyboard, then sliding down it and even stretching a leg atop it and jumping aboard, in Lewis’s signature style.”

– Amy Smart, Times Colonist, Victoria, BC

FIRE runs until August 14th at the McPherson Theatre in downtown Victoria.

Tickets can be purchased individually or as part of a subscription package by calling (250)-386-6121 or visiting the McPherson Box Office at #3 Centennial Square in Victoria.
OR click to order online

For more visit the Blue Bridge Theatre website.

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