Song of the Day 11/3

Posted: November 3, 2011 in J.C. Personal
Tags: ,

I’m a sucker for a cover song, that’s why I list the covers in my posts. I am always curious what other artists will do with a well-known tune. From Garth Brooks’ “You May Be Right”, to Volbeat’s “Only Want to Be With You”, to everything by Me First and the Gimmie Gimmies, covers are great. The best thing about a cover is that if you don’t like it, the original remains. Today’s song is a cover that has been recorded by many artists. I will make mention of some of the other versions, but focus on one.

“Always on My Mind” was originally recorded by Brenda Lee in 1972. Written by Johnny Christopher, Mark James and Wayne Carson, “Always on My Mind” has been released over 300 times. One of the most successful was Elvis’s 1972 version, recorded just weeks after he separated from Priscilla. Originally a B-side of “Separate Ways” (fitting) the song was later listed as a double sided hit.

In 1987, Pet Shop Boys, an English dance duo performed a synthesizer led version of the song for a television special on the tenth anniversary of Presley’s death. The song was so well received that the duo recorded the song, which became UK’s Christmas number one single that year.

In 1982 the song was recorded by Willie Nelson. Upon its release, the song hit number 1 on the Hot Country Singles chart and number 5 on the Billboard Hot 100. Nelson’s version won three Grammys, Song of the Year, Best Country Song and Best Male Country Vocal Performance. It also won several country music awards. Nelson performed the song with Johnny Cash in 1998 for the VH1 Storytellers: Johnny Cash & Willie Nelson. Here’s the story you won’t find many other places: Songwriter Wayne Carson was in the studio as a session musician with Willie Nelson. Before Nelson came in, his agent spoke to the session musicians and told them “Do not try to suggest a song to Willie. We really want Willie to write most of his own songs, so just let him record what we’re here to record”. At the end of the session, Willie asked the musicians if they had anything. Reluctantly, Carson spoke up and said that he had a song that had been a hit for some other artists. The result was “Always on My Mind”. It ended up being the title track to Nelson’s 1982 album.

The song takes place either during a break-up or post break up. The singer is admitting his faults, but saying that despite the “little things [he] should have said and done” but never took the time; the subject of the song was always on his mind.

Today, let’s take the time to make sure the people, who are always on your mind, know that they are.

See ya on the “b” side

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