‘Always on My Mind’ Songwriter Wayne Carson Dies
Songwriter Wayne Carson, whose biggest hits include the classic "Always on My Mind," has died. He was 72.
Carson (full name: Wayne Carson Head) passed away on Monday (July 20) near Nashville. The prolific songwriter had been suffering from congestive heart failure, COPD, diabetes and gallstone issues, according to his wife, Wyndi Harp Head. Carson had been in hospice care for the past month due to a recent gallstone flare-up.
“He had numerous health issues,” Harp tells the Springfield News-Leader.
Born on May 31, 1943, in Denver as Wayne Carson Thompson, Carson was the son of musicians Odie and Olivia Thompson, who performed on TV and radio as Shorty and Sue Thompson. He learned how to play the guitar at the age of 14, inspired by the sounds of rock 'n' roll, and, after playing in different bands, moved to Nashville in 1962, according to his website biography.
In 1963, Carson signed to Decca Records as an artist himself. Although he had some success on Decca, and also on Elektra and EMH, with four singles ("You're Gonna Love Yourself in the Morning," "Barstool Mountain" and others), his first big break in songwriting came with "Somebody Like Me." Eddy Arnold recorded the song, and asked Carson to help write an additional verse for the track. It went to No. 1 in 1966.
After that, Carson's songs such as "The Letter," "Soul Deep" and "She's Actin' Single (I'm Drinkin' Doubles)" found success with various recording artists. And then came "Always on My Mind," which Carson wrote with Mark James and Johnny Christopher. Brenda Lee, Elvis Presley and Willie Nelson all put their own spin on the tune, and Nelson's recording nabbed multiple Grammy Awards and was named Song of the Year at the CMA Awards in both 1982 and 1983, Single of the Year at the ACM Awards and Song of the Year by the Nashville Songwriters Association International.
Other well-known songs written by Carson include Conway Twitty's "I See the Want-to in Your Eyes" and Johnny Paycheck's "Slide Off of Your Satin Sheets." He was inducted into the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1997.
Services will be held at Harpeth Hills Memory Gardens in Nashville, according to a member of Carson's management team. Details are pending.
The Boot extends our condolences to Carson's wife and loved ones.
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