Stay Away, Joe: Elvis Presley stars in trailer for 1968 film
Elvis Presley performed a number of heart-wrenching love songs throughout his career, but only a few were fuelled by such raw emotions. So when he was presented with one such track crafted with immeasurable sentiment – Always on My Mind – he jumped straight into the recording booth. But there’s a lot more than meets the eye with this song.
Always on My Mind was originally written by Wayne Carson, an American country musician and songwriter, as well as the lyricists Johnny Christopher, Mark James and Richard Kruspe. Wayne recalled how one trip to Memphis, Tenessee, kickstarted the whole affair.
According to the Los Angeles Times, Wayne extended his trip by ten days, prompting his wife to grow furious. He spoke to her over the phone and an argument ensued.
“She was pretty damned irate about it,” Wayne said. “So I tried to calm her down.” (Via CheatSheet)
The sweet nothings he was whispering through the phone eventually fired up his creativity, causing him to utter the words that would become legendary: “I said: ‘Well, I know I’ve been gone a lot, but I’ve been thinking about you all the time’ – and it just struck me like someone had hit me with a hammer. I told her real fast I had to hang up because I had to put that into a song.”
Always on My Mind was originally recorded by Brenda Lee, and first released by Gwen McCrae, in early 1972.
In March 1972, Elvis was shown the song, and he couldn’t wait to record it.
On March 29 he got into the recording booth and laid down his now legendary version of the iconic song. This happened just a matter of weeks after his split with his wife, Priscilla Presley.
Elvis and his wife broke up because, as Priscilla put it, she needed to “take responsibility for herself”.
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Priscilla later told Loose Women: “You obviously didn’t have your own life. You lived his life. You saw the movies he wanted to see. You listened to the music he listened to. You go to places he would go so you really kind of lost yourself. As a woman, I didn’t really know who I was.”
Later that year, in October 1972, Elvis released the emotionally powerful Always on My Mind.
As a result, Elvis’ recording of the track went straight into top ten charts around the world. In Canada it reached number four, while it topped out at number nine in the UK and Ireland.
It didn’t take long for Elvis to get over Priscilla, however. Just a matter of months later – around the time he released Always on My Mind – he met his last great girlfriend, Linda Thompson.
He and Linda were together for the better part of four years before they split. She later cited that his womanising and health choices led her to leave him.
The King of Rock and Roll eventually got with Ginger Alden, and even proposed to her, just before his death on August 16, 1977.
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