Now is the Time. Memphis is the Place.

That Time I Was an Extra for Million Dollar Quartet

Photo: Sam Prager

Sometimes I truly believe that I was born in the wrong era.

I love the ‘50s. I love everything about bold lipstick, hot hair rollers and hand-written love letters. I love the simplicity, I love the elegance and I love the style.

Don’t get me wrong; there are still many great things that I enjoyed about my childhood. One of those being the CW’s hit television show, One Tree Hill, starring the dreamy Chad Michael Murray.

So, when I found out these two worlds were colliding in Memphis, I knew I had to be a part of it. I caught rumor that CMM (the real fans apparently refer to him as CMM, so we will continue to reference him as so here) was in town for the production of a brand new television show on CMT called Million Dollar Quartet. The series is a drama based on the lives of Elvis Presley, Jerry Lee Lewis, Johnny Cash and Carl Perkins during the 1950s leading up to the meeting of the so-called Million Dollar Quartet at the historic Sun Studio.

Not only were the ‘50s and CMM in town, but Million Dollar Quartet was looking for extras for the show. So I grabbed another fellow newbie Memphian and we naively set off hoping to make our big debut, but mainly hoping to spot THE CMM. 

IMG_0857When we arrived on set (yes I know how fancy I sound saying “on set”) we couldn’t believe that they sat us down in spiffy director’s chairs and pampered us like we were big time movie stars. They did our hair and makeup, dressed us in faint pastels and vintage saddle shoes and sent us to the Levitt Shell for our scene. Little did we know we were going to be in the scene of Elvis’ very first concert, performed right here in Memphis at the Levitt Shell.

Side note: how cool is it that the historic Levitt Shell, the place where Elvis performed his very first concert, is the same place that offers free music four nights a week during the summer and has just kicked off its fall concert series. Memphis is a city of great musical history and they sure do love to share that with others.

We filmed all night, literally from sundown to sunup. We sang, we cheered and we danced all night to Elvis’ ‘Good Rockin’ Tonight’. When the filming was all said and done, CMM came to speak to us lowly “fan girls” and graciously allowed us to snap some photos with him. We were exhausted by the end of the night but, in the end, we got what we came for! And we got to experience Memphis in a really fun way.

CMM and Ava

Million Dollar Quartet premieres on CMT in February 2017. Make sure you look out for me and my .5 seconds of fame at the Elvis concert!

What else am I up to? Keep up with my Year One adventures here.

What is Year One? Go here to read more.

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