Mystery Train (1955)

Elvis Presley

For LP Fans Only
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Besides having a jumping Rock-A-Billy rhythm and one of Elvis’s most raw and soulful uptempo vocals, “Mystery Train” really is a mystery. The title is not even mentioned in the lyrics.

So, what happened in this odd little story? Did “his baby” die and her casket is on that mystery train? Or are they reunited physically?

Bluesman Junior Parker did the number in 1953 for Sun Records, and then in 1955 it was given to Elvis, who knocked it out for the same label. Both songs were produced by Sam Phillips. It is based on an older traditional song by The Carter Family from 1930.

Elvis’s two sidemen, Scotty Moore on lead guitar and BIll Black on bass add a raw vigor to “Mystery Train.” The weird, echo effect underscores the mystery. Sixteen coaches long.