Meet the Million Dollar Quartet: Derek Keeling (aka Johnny Cash)

Posted by Holly Whitfield | February 6th 2012 3527 0

"Million Dollar Quartet", the musical about a legendary recording session at Sun Studio, is coming to the Orpheum next week.

The cast already knows Memphis music – here's your chance to get to know them. A handful of cast members were kind enough to let me ask them a bunch of questions about the show, Memphis, and what's in their headphones. Today, meet Derek Keeling, who plays Johnny Cash:

Photo credit: Joan Marucs

(Photo credit: Joan Marucs)

Name: Derek Keeling   

Hometown: Charleston, WV

Character I play  in "Million Dollar Quartet": Johnny Cash

My favorite song to come from the show or the time period the show takes place (1956): is "Folsom Prison Blues".

The most fun part of being on tour with MDQ is: playing your own instrument in the show.

The strangest / funniest thing that’s happened to me during a performance was:  We had a power outage during one of our shows. During "Folsom Prison", everything turned off including most of the instruments. The only thing left was an emergency generator light and my acoustic guitar. The show kept going and the power came back before the end of the song.

When MDQ comes to Memphis, I’m excited about seeing: Sun Studios. It's amazing that we will be able to go the studio where our entire show takes place. The history that took place in that small room is amazing. More than 50 years later, the impact is still heard.

My favorite thing about my character is: Johnny Cash is an everyman that just happened to make it big. I think a lot of people identified with him because he always stayed a grounded a spiritual and family man.  

The album I’m listening to on repeat lately is: Johnny Cash. I always listen to him before the show every night, just to make sure I'm singing as close to the source as I can.   
 My hidden talent is: As a kid, I was a ballet dancer.   

You should come see MDQ because: the show has great energy and it's a lot of fun.  Unlike most shows, we are playing all of our own music. There is no hidden orchestra.  What you see is what you hear.

The touring Broadway production of "Million Dollar Quartet" will be at the Orpheum from Feb. 14 – 19th. There are still tickets available.

Author: Holly Whitfield

I write about what’s going on with Memphis music, food, arts, events, sports, people, and culture. Memphians love Elvis and barbeque with a passion that must be seen to be believed, but there is so much more to this place.

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  1. world clock says:

    Meet the Million Dollar Quartet: Derek Keeling (aka Johnny Cash) – just great!

  2. worldclock says:

    Meet the Million Dollar Quartet: Derek Keeling (aka Johnny Cash) – just great!

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