Several weeks ago I wrote a posting on Percy Mayfield and put out a call to see if anyone out there had a line on Elvis’ x-rated outtake version of Mayfield’s masterpiece Stranger In My Own Hometown. Reader JohnnyQ responded with a link to said recording, and having downloaded it, in a fit of excitement sent out copies to several friends that I thought would enjoy hearing Elvis sing “motherfucker”, “cocksucker” and “hard prick” in the same tune. Of the responses I got back, my favorite was from esteemed author and cultural commentator Nick Tosches, who wrote: “Jim: as somebody who always felt that Elvis killed rock’n’roll until it rose from the dead again in 1965, I must say that this raises the value of his stock considerably in my mind. In fact, aside from Heartbreak Hotel and one cut on Having Fun On Stage (“…when you look in the mirror and see you are bald”, or whatever it is), this is the best Elvis I’ve ever heard”.
I concur, it is indeed right up there with Mystery Train and the version of Reconsider Baby from Elvis’ Back in my own mind. So for those who don’t bother with the comment section, I thought I’d put it right out here for the world to hear. It’s just too good to keep a secret. Monday was the thirty third anniversary of Elvis’ death (and the seventy first anniversary of Robert Johnson’s death, and it would have been Kelly Keller’s fifteenth birthday, had she lived) so consider this my tribute to all three. Don’t you love the photos?