The Tennessee Theatre offers several touring Broadway shows each year, often featuring some cast members who had been with the show in its original run in New York, but if you call “Author!” after an especially satisfying performance, you’re unlikely to actually fetch one. Saturday’s presentation of Million Dollar Quartet would have been an exception. Colin Escott, a Tony nominee for co-writing the 2010 play with Floyd Mutrux, was in the audience.
Long before his involvement with the successful play, Escott, an Englishman who moved to the United States almost 40 years ago, was best known as a country-music historian who has written a well-regarded biography of Hank Williams; he’s also an authority on the Grand Ole Opry and, of course, Sun Records in Memphis. In addition to his flirtation with the Tony, he’s also a Grammy winner for his work on the 1998 Complete Hank Williams collection. He lives in Pulaski, Tenn., with his Mississippi-raised wife. Here to check on certain details concerning the ever-changing cast, they spent the evening in Knoxville. We caught up with them at the Downtown Grill and Brewery, where he and his wife were enjoying a post-show pizza.
He says he’s especially interested in the musical history of the place, and has argued in favor of including Knoxville as Tennessee’s third Music City.