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You Are Always On My Mind

(Wayne Carson/John Christopher/Mark James)

Song written by Wayne Carson, John Christopher and Mark James which had the original version recorded by Brenda Lee and issued 12 June 1972.  It reached a meagre #45 on the Billboard country chart.  Elvis Presley also covered this song the same year and his version managed to peak at #16 on the country chart and #9 on the U.K. pop chart.

It was Willie Nelson who would take this song into the stratosphere in 1982.  It topped the country chart and went #5 on the Billboard pop chart.  It crossed the Atlantic and scored a modest #49 on the U.K. pop chart.  It won the Grammy for Song of the Year, and the CMA’s Song of the Year two years running.  Billboard magazine figured it was the #1 country and western song for the entire year of 1982.

Five years later, “Always On My Mind” was remade by the unlikeliest of bands, the Pet Shop Boys, who gave it their trademark dance-synth-pop treatment and had surprising success with it, scoring the coveted #1 Christmas single in the U.K. and peaking at #4 on the Billboard pop chart.  It was their last top ten hit in the U.S.  Ironically, a group that took their moniker from a Pet Shop Boys song, West End Girls, covered it on their Christmas CD The Best Kids Christmas Album in the World Ever Ever Ever!!!

John Wesley Ryles recordings
MCA 41124 (MC-9105) (US promo 45)

Although this promo 45 has the song listed as “You Are Always On My Mind”, this is actually a re-recording of “Always On My Mind”.  Also, Wayne Carson Thompson’s name has been curttailed to “Wayne Carson”.

3.      British and American Hit Singles 1946-1997 by Chris Davies (Batsford)