The album was recorded live on stage on April 23, 1981 in Böblingen, near Stuttgart, West Germany, when all three singers, who had been labelmates at Sun Records at the beginning of their careers, were touring Europe. The show had initially been meant to feature only Cash, but Lewis and Perkins joined him onstage on a night when they did not have a concert scheduled themselves. Without rehearsal, the three performed a number of songs they were known for - including Cash's "Get Rhythm" and Perkins' "Blue Suede Shoes" - as well as slightly more obscure compositions. Perkins, Cash and Lewis had previously collaborated with each other, and with Elvis Presley (who had died in 1977), during the Million Dollar Quartet session, and would later collaborate for the album Class of '55 with Roy Orbison in 1985. For the last song on the album, "I Saw the Light", Cash, Perkins and Lewis were joined by Cash's son John Carter and his daughter Cindy Cash.