Will CMT’s “Sun Records” be a million dollar idea?
CMT took viewers back to the rock n’ roll’s formative years Thursday with the premiere of the anticipated “Sun Records,” adapted from the Tony Award-winning musical “Million Dollar Quartet,” a name given to the impromptu jam session at Sun Studios after Elvis Presley dropped by a Carl Perkins recording session, accompanied by Jerry Lee Lewis and Johnny Cash.
The series follows a number of legendary performers who began their rise to stardom at Sam Phillips’ Memphis Recording Service, later home of Sun Records.
The premiere lays the groundwork for rock history, taking off in 1950 as Phillips (Chad Michael Murray) opens his studio on Union Avenue alongside partner Marion Keisker (Margaret Ann Florence). We’re introduced to a teenage Presley (Drake Milligan) crooning “Are You Lonesome Tonight” in his kitchen alongside his beloved mama Gladys (Ann Mahoney). Meanwhile, J.R. (Kevin Fonteyne) tells his parents he’s joining the Air Force rather than staying to take over the Cash family farm.
Elvis’ future manager Col. Tom Parker (Billy Gardell) connects with Eddy Arnold (Trevor Donovan) after his carnival ruse is exposed. Parker switches to the ultimate hype man, blanketing the city with Arnold’s poster and other promotional memorabilia. Phillips and Keisker take a stroll down Beale Street searching for artists to put down tracks at the Union Avenue studio.
Tell us what you think, will you check out this series? Catch “Sun Records” at 10 p.m. Thursday on CMT.