On This Day, December 4

“Million Dollar Quartet” is a recording of an impromptu jam session involving Elvis Presley, Jerry Lee Lewis, Carl Perkins, and Johnny Cash made on December 4, 1956, at the Sun Record Studios in Memphis, Tennessee. The jam session seems to have happened by pure chance. Perkins, who by this time had already met success with “Blue Suede Shoes“, had come into the studios that day to record some new material, including a revamped version of an old blues song, “Matchbox“. Sam Phillips, the owner of Sun Records, who wanted to try to fatten this sparse rockabilly instrumentation, had brought in his latest acquisition, Jerry Lee Lewis to play piano. During the early afternoon, 21-year-old Elvis Presley, a former Sun artist now with RCA Victor, arrived to pay a casual visit accompanied by a girlfriend, Marilyn Evans.  At some point during the session, Sun artist Johnny Cash, who had recently enjoyed a few hit records on the country charts, arrived as well.  Jack Clement was engineering that day and remembers saying to himself “I think I’d be remiss not to record this,” and so he did. During the session, Phillips called a local newspaper, the Memphis Press-Scimitar. Bob Johnson, the newspaper’s entertainment editor, came over to the studios with UPI representative Leo Soroca and a photographer. Johnson wrote an article about the session, which appeared the following day in the Press-Scimitar under the headline “Million Dollar Quartet”. The article contained the now-famous photograph of Presley seated at the piano surrounded by Lewis, Perkins and Cash.  Find the Million Dollar Quartet on hoopla and Freegal.


 

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On December 4, 1783, future President George Washington, then commanding general of the Continental Army, summons his military officers to Fraunces Tavern in New York City to inform them that he will be resigning his commission and returning to civilian life. Washington had led the army through six long years of war against the British before the American forces finally prevailed at the Battle of Yorktown in 1781. Observers of the intimate scene at Fraunces Tavern described Washington as “suffused in tears,” embracing his officers one by one after issuing his farewell. Washington left the tavern for Annapolis, Maryland, where he officially resigned his commission on December 23. He then returned to his beloved estate at Mount Vernon, Virginia, where he planned to live out his days as a gentleman farmer. Find George Washington at the library and on OverDrive.

 

About Avalon Free Public Library

Avalon is a bustling little shore town in southern NJ. Our small population of 1800 expands to about 30,000 at the height of summer. We like to think that we serve them all and then some! Our goal is to make our library available to our patrons wherever they may roam.

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