Clarence native Chad Michael Murray will star in a new CMT scripted drama based on the musical "Million Dollar Quartet."
Murray ("Agent Carter," "One Tree Hill," "Scream Queens") will play Memphis music legend Sam Phillips, founder of the influential Sun Records. Phillips helped break the careers of such music legends as Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash and Jerry Lee Lewis.
CMT calls the drama "a coming-of-age story set in Memphis during the tumultuous early days of the civil rights movement, and tells the untold true story of nothing less than the birth of rock 'n’ roll. Guided by Sam Phillips, young musicians like Johnny Cash, Elvis Presley, Carl Perkins and Jerry Lee Lewis combined the styles of hillbilly country with the 1950s R&B sound created by artists like Muddy Waters, B.B. King, Fats Domino and Ike Turner, and changed the course of music forever. The series chronicles these young artists’ often jarring and sudden meteoric rise to fame in the face of sweeping political change and social unrest."
Also cast are Jennifer Holland as his wife, Becky Phillips; Drake Milligan as Presley, Kevin Fonteyne as Cash, Christian Lees as Lewis and Jonah Lees as Swaggart; and Margaret Anne Florence as Marion Keisker.
Production begins in Memphis in the spring with the drama set to premiere on CMT in November. It will be directed by Oscar nominee Roland Joffé.
Murray, a 1999 Clarence High School graduate frequently returns to his hometown where he can be seen at Buffalo Bills games. He was here in December with his wife, actress Sara Roemer, to donate $20,000 to benefit the Child Life Department at Women & Children's Hospital.
“I want the kids who come here … to have a good time, to have toys and games and forget about all the heavy stuff in life and truly enjoy themselves,” Murray said at the time. “That’s what this was about for me.”