My Journey Continues: From Arkansas to Memphis

daniel adlerIn northeast Arkansas the sunlight filters through the cumulus clouds, flat and gray on the bottom and lined in white gold, and shadows stream down in diagonal rays of particles onto the field like a faint black mist but it’s clear carolina blue right above us and white in the distance near the horizon.

In Memphis we went to Sun Studios, where the Million Dollar Quartet (Elvis, Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis and Carl Perkins) played. It was only for a day in 1956, when Jerry Lee Lewis and Carl Perkins were recording and Elvis (whose contract Sam Phillips, the owner of the studios, sold to RCA Records for an unprecedented $35,000) dropped by just to say hey. Sam Phillips called up the newspaper man to take pictures of this group, and he invited Johnny Cash too and then secretly went into the back and started recording because how could he pass this chance up, even though he knew that he could suffer major copyright infringement if the recording got out. So he never told anyone. And when it finally did get released it was on RCA.


The rib meat was so succulent on Beale street…It’s funny, the place has a kind of Bourbon St. feel, but it’s much more…Western.

By Daniel Ryan Adler

Daniel Adler writes fiction and nonfiction and is finishing his MFA at University of South Carolina.

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