(Miriam Di Nunzio’s article appeared in The Chicago Sun-Times, 1/7.)
“Elvis Presley’s musical influences were the pop and country music of the time, the gospel music he heard in church and at the all-night gospel sings he frequently attended, and the black R&B he absorbed on historic Beale Street as a Memphis teenager.” — elvis.com
And 38 years after his death, Elvis Presley remains one of the greatest artists in music history.
To commemorate what would have been his 80th birthday on Jan. 8, here are a few ways to celebrate the man and his music (outside of recommending my favorite Presley films or visiting his Graceland home, of course) right here in Chicago:
- 1. A very cool way to sample Elvis and his music is to catch a performance of “Million Dollar Quartet” at the Apollo Theatre, 2540 N. Lincoln. The Tony Award-winning show, which stars Brandon Bennett (as Elvis Presley), Shaun Whitley (as Carl Perkins), Lance Lipinsky (as Jerry Lee Lewis) and Adam Lee (as Johnny Cash), is the longest-running Broadway musical production in Chicago history. The show was inspired by a legendary 1956 Sun Records recording session (immortalized in an iconic black-and-white photo) that brought together the four music icons for a long night of conversation, career-changing decisions, and plenty of the music that made each of them superstars.