Elvis Presley - Mystery Train - 1955


Elvis Presley's "Mystery Train" (1955)

Elvis Presley, a monumental figure in American music, released "Mystery Train" in 1955, a song that has since become a classic in the rockabilly genre. Let's explore the history, influence, and legacy of this iconic track.


"Mystery Train" was originally written and recorded by Junior Parker in 1953. Elvis Presley's version, released in 1955, was significantly different, showcasing his unique style and energy. This song is often cited as a key early example of rockabilly, a genre that blends country music with rhythm and blues.

Recording and Release

Recorded at the legendary Sun Studio in Memphis, Tennessee, "Mystery Train" was produced by Sam Phillips. Elvis' version featured his distinct vocal style and Scotty Moore's innovative guitar playing. It was released as a B-side to "I Forgot to Remember to Forget," but "Mystery Train" quickly overshadowed its counterpart in popularity.

Influence and Legacy

"Mystery Train" is revered for its impact on the evolution of rock and roll and rockabilly music. Elvis' rendition demonstrated his ability to blend different musical traditions, a hallmark of his career. The song has been covered by numerous artists and is included in various "greatest songs" lists.

For more detailed information, visit the Wikipedia article on "Mystery Train".

Interactive Tasks

Quiz: Questions on the song

What year was Elvis Presley's "Mystery Train" released? (1955) (!1956) (!1954) (!1957)

Which studio was "Mystery Train" recorded at? (Sun Studio) (!Abbey Road Studios) (!Motown Records Studio) (!Capitol Studios)

Who originally wrote and recorded "Mystery Train"? (Junior Parker) (!Chuck Berry) (!Johnny Cash) (!Buddy Holly)

What genre is "Mystery Train" most associated with? (Rockabilly) (!Jazz) (!Blues) (!Country)

Who produced Elvis Presley's version of "Mystery Train"? (Sam Phillips) (!George Martin) (!Phil Spector) (!Berry Gordy)

Quiz: Questions on the Performer

In what year was Elvis Presley born? (1935) (!1930) (!1940) (!1928)

What was Elvis Presley's first hit single? ("Heartbreak Hotel") (!"Blue Suede Shoes") (!"Love Me Tender") (!"Jailhouse Rock")

Where was Elvis Presley born? (Tupelo, Mississippi) (!Nashville, Tennessee) (!Memphis, Tennessee) (!New Orleans, Louisiana)

Which branch of the military did Elvis Presley serve in? (U.S. Army) (!U.S. Navy) (!U.S. Air Force) (!U.S. Marines)

What is the name of Elvis Presley's famous home? (Graceland) (!Neverland) (!Paisley Park) (!Dollywood)

Quiz: Questions on the lyrics

Which mode of transportation is central to the lyrics of "Mystery Train"? (Train) (!Car) (!Bus) (!Airplane)

In "Mystery Train," where is the train said to be going? (Unknown) (!To Memphis) (!To California) (!To New Orleans)

How does the song's narrator feel about the train in "Mystery Train"? (Ambivalent) (!Excited) (!Fearful) (!Joyful)

What is the primary theme of "Mystery Train"? (Change and Uncertainty) (!Love and Romance) (!Adventure and Exploration) (!Loss and Nostalgia)

What musical element is prominent in "Mystery Train" that reflects its emotion? (Elvis's Vocal Style) (!Piano Solo) (!Harmonica) (!Drum Solo)


Elvis Presley King of Rock and Roll
1955 Release Year of "Mystery Train"
Sun Studio Recording Studio for "Mystery Train"
Rockabilly Genre of "Mystery Train"
Sam Phillips Producer of "Mystery Train"

Open Tasks


  1. Explore Elvis Presley's Early Career: Research and write a short essay about Elvis Presley's musical beginnings.
  2. Rockabilly Music: Create a playlist of early rockabilly songs, including "Mystery Train."
  3. Cover Versions of "Mystery Train": Listen to different cover versions of "Mystery Train" and compare them.


  1. Recording Techniques in the 1950s: Investigate and present how songs were recorded in the 1950s, using "Mystery Train" as an example.
  2. Sun Studio Tour: Plan a virtual or real visit to Sun Studio and document the experience.
  3. Influence of "Mystery Train": Write an essay on how "Mystery Train" influenced later music genres.


  1. Musical Analysis of "Mystery Train": Analyze the song's structure, chords, and rhythm.
  2. Elvis Presley's Impact on Culture: Create a presentation on how Elvis Presley's music, including "Mystery Train," influenced American culture.
  3. Original vs. Cover: Compare Junior Parker's and Elvis Presley's versions of "Mystery Train" in a detailed essay.

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Oral Exam

  1. Discuss the significance of Elvis Presley's transition from country to rockabilly, using "Mystery Train" as an example.
  2. Analyze how Elvis Presley's style and image contributed to his success, with "Mystery Train" as a reference point.
  3. Reflect on the cultural impact of 1950s rock and roll, considering "Mystery Train" in your discussion.
  4. Evaluate the role of Sun Studio in the development of rock and roll, citing "Mystery Train" as a case study.
  5. Explore the theme of change and uncertainty in "Mystery Train" and its relevance to the era in which it was released.

OERs on the Topic


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