Monday, July 20, 2015
– Country and pop songwriter Wayne Carson, who wrote "Always on My Mind" and "The Letter," died at 72 on Monday.
The Denver native went to Nashville to try to forge a career, but later returned to Springfield, Mo., where he had lived at one point, to work with a music publisher. Eventually, one of Carson's songs found its way to Chet Atkins, who thought "Somebody Like Me" would work for Eddy Arnold. The star called Carson saying the song needed a third verse, which Carson gave him over the phone. The song hit number 1 in 1966 for 4 weeks.
Carson had a huge hit the following year with "The Letter" for pop group The Box Tops.
Carson also wrote "Always on My Mind," which won a Grammy in 1983 for Song of the Year and Best Country Song. Willie Nelson recorded the song as did Elvis Presley and Brenda Lee. Carson also penned ""She's Actin' Single (I'm Drinkin' Doubles)," which Gary Stewart cut and "The Clown" (Conway Twitty).
In 1997,Carson joined the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame.