Written by: Herman (Little Junior) Parker, Sam Phillips
Recorded: July 11, 1955, Sun Studio, Memphis
Released master take number is unknown.
Single: w/ "I Forgot to Remember to Forget", Sun 223, 45rpm and 78rpm, August 6, 1955
Also re-released on RCA, 47-6357, (78rpm, 20-6357), December 2, 1955
Also re-released as Gold standard series, 447-0600, September 30, 1958
Highest U.S. Charts Positions:
#11 on Billboard's Country Disc Jockey chart
For other versions, see Lyrics and Downloads section below.
(Just my opinion. Give us yours!)
I'm still not sure what the mystery is about the train in "Mystery Train". Is it because the train can't decide if it's taking his baby away or bringing her back? Is it a wedding train, a funeral train? Is it just Junior Parker giving it a mysterious title to mess with us all for the next 50 years? Oh well, no mystery about the fact that it's one of Elvis' iconic moments at Sun Records, toward the end of his stay there, in late summer, 1955. A fast-paced shuffling number with some great Scotty Moore guitar, and Elvis wailing away throughout, and famously whooping it up and laughing as the song fades out.
I'll add some more later, but meanwhile check out the videos, music and links.
(What did the critics and fans say?)
"Mystery Train" is rock music, a fine fast number.
Elvis' rockabilly-tempo version of Little Junior's blues ranks as one of the most groundbreaking and stirring of his early recordings. With the sound and feeling of the freight yards, Elvis transforms the blues into something purely personal.
...Its rise to legend came a year later when Elvis Presley recorded it as his final Sun single, the first record of his to reach number one on the country charts and grease the way for him to be sold to RCA Victor, the record being big enough to be his first release for the new label as well...
ElvisStartPage - As the name implies, this is the place to start when looking for Elvis sites!
Elvis Presley - Another directory of Elvis websites. The place to go to find Elvis on the web!
Study Up Some More!
Ernst Jorgensen's complete chronicle of Elvis' recording sessions, with loads of detailed information about each session and each song.
This is the definitive encyclopedia on Elvis' life details, as well as all the background and trivia you need for all the songs, movies, and TV appearances. Authors are Fred L. Worth and Steve D. Tamerius.
The subtitle of Ace Collins' book says it all: "The stories behind Elvis' #1 hits"!
"Elvis The #1 Hits: The Secret History of the Classics". Another self-explanatory book title. :)