Elvis Presley :: Stranger In My Own Town (1970 Rehearsal)

One on my favorite Elvis albums, even though it’s a bootleg, is Cut Me & I Bleed released on Double G Records. The album is a collection of alternate studio, home, and live rehearsal recordings that present “another side” of Elvis. Pedestal removed, Cut Me & I Bleed chooses to present “The King” in a raw, more human, and often explicit manner, one that often eschews the family friendly image constructed by the Elvis foundation.

Of all the tracks (22 in all), the real gem of the bunch, and a personal favorite, is Presley’s stripped down rendition of Percy Mayfield’s “Stranger in My Own Home Town” (studio rehearsal version, July 24, 1970). I can’t think of a more appropriate song for Elvis to cover at this time in his life. Set amongst friends in a rehearsal jam session, Elvis gives one of the rawest, grittiest, yet honest and soulful performances I’ve ever heard from him.

Riffing on the blues, we hear, “I came home with good intentions about five or six years ago, but my hometown won’t accept me just don’t feel welcome here no more.”

What makes the song so powerful is Presley’s voice, attitude, and his interaction with the other musicians. It’s included in this set of songs as after Presley performs a more traditional rendition of “Stranger in My Own Home Town,” he then continues the jam with a few more verses, adding a few choice words and a personal touch all his own.

I won’t spoil it for you here, but Elvis fans will want to listen to this track with urgency. words/ m hayhurst

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11 thoughts on “Elvis Presley :: Stranger In My Own Town (1970 Rehearsal)

  1. Oh, man … you decided to showcase one of my Elvis favorites as well. It’s so far from his other, more traditional recordings, that most friends I play this for don’t believe it’s him, not without some serious convincing on my part. Peter Guralnick put together an Elvis collection some years back, where he attempted to prove Elvis was a bluesman more than he was anything else. Naturally, this song made its appearance amongst the others.

  2. Cool, I’ve never heard this bootleg before , looks like a good one! Another great bootleg is Elvis Presley- Memphis Sessions FTD CD. Made up of studio outtakes and stripped down versions of his material which ended up on his In Memphis album recorded at American Studios. I love the In Memphis album as it is but these minimal, un-overdubbed renditions of those songs are a real treat.

  3. Heck yeah! The actual living, breathing King himself, just the way he should be– lucid and loosey-goosey and rocking.

  4. Great stuff by the King! It was also published on the “Walk A Mile In My Shoes” box set back in the 1990s.

  5. Y’all gotta get the double-disc “Suspicious Minds”collection that encompasses “From Memphis” time period. It’s probably my favorite record of all time.

  6. wow. hearing Elvis say mother fucker just crushed my childhood love. you know, what was left of it after I realized he had married a fourteen year old.

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