Sons of Sun – Elvis, Jerry Lee, Johnny and Me is a rock and roll play about Sun Records, Memphis, and the famous musician who started their careers there. Much like the famous Sun Records label itself, this Australian production has become the little music dream that rocked. In a few short years this play has travelled from its humble 2012 debut at the Sandringham (Sando) Hotel in Newtown, Sydney to sold out shows and standing ovations at the Sydney Opera House. In April 2022, Sons of Sun will be staged for the first time at the Parkes Elvis Festival.
Told through the character of Sun Records founder Sam Phillips, his assistant Marion Keisker, and the musicians that Sam recorded, the show features a three piece live band fronted by Sydney musician John Kennedy, performing excerpts of thirty-five songs from Elvis, Johnny Cash, Carl Perkins, Jerry Lee Lewis, Roy Orbison and many more. The tenacious Sam Phillips is played by Sydney actor, Matt Charleston, with co-stars Victoria Beck and Ben Maclaine taking on multiple roles from Sam’s assistant Marion Keisker to Howlin’ Wolf.
The Sydney Morning Herald’s John Shand described the show as “ neither a musical nor a cabaret, but rather an innovative hybrid that is part play, part concert.”. Sydney’s weekly magazine The Music said the show is, “an impressive troupe of professionals developing a rarely heard narrative with enthusiasm and simple creativity.” Glenn A. Baker stated, “The show sent shivers down my spine.”
Kennedy of Love Gone Wrong fame began developing the Sons of Sun concept in 2011 with the release of his Sons of Sun Vol.1 CD. Award winning Melbourne playwright Kieran Carroll (The Giraffe’s Uncle, 3XY OR I DIE) has written an accompanying script to Kennedy’s beautiful renditions. Director Louise Fischer seamlessly blends the narratives and songs to produce a compelling, original and heartbreaking blend of rock and roll theater. Kennedy sings the songs of the iconic Sun Records artists with former Red Wiggle Murray Cook and Paul Scott completing the Sons of Sun stage band. Neil Gooding was the originating director for the show.
SONS OF SUN – ELVIS, JERRY LEE, JOHNNY AND ME
Written by Kieran Carroll from an original idea by John Kennedy
Directed by Louise Fischer
Starring Matthew Charleston, Victoria Beck and Ben Maclaine
Music performed by John Kennedy, Murray Cook and Paul Scott