Songwriter, Wayne Carson, claims to have written “Always On My Mind” in just ten minutes while sitting at his kitchen table in 1972. The epic tearjerker ballad has charted in the U.S. four different times. The song was originally given to Brenda Lee but never became a big hit. Then, Wayne had the song secretly passed along to one of Elvis Presley’s bodyguards. He loved it and recorded it just as he was separating from his wife, Priscilla. The song’s lyrics took on special meeting while the Presley’s marriage was crumbling. Then came Willie Nelson’s incredible version. “Always On My Mind” was the #1 selling country record for 1982. The record won Song Of The Year and in 2008, “Always On My Mind” was inducted into the Grammy Hall Of Fame.
The sensitive lyrics of loss and regret have made this song an all-time classic. The original lyrics (pictured here) were sold on eBay in 2009 with all profits going to charity. Let’s countdown the Top 10 versions. You’ll be surprised by some unique versions (Pop punk, Euro-dance, and even a Canadian snuck in there). Honorable Mention: The sexiest video version, titled “Tell Me” by Groove Coverage. Little known country artist, John Wesley Ryles, actually had hit the Top 20 on the country charts three years before Willie, but his version pales in comparison. There is even a version by Cissy Houston that I’ve heard is incredible, but I’ve yet to discover it. Please share with us if you can unearth the record.
10. (tie) METRIC and RYAN ADAMS
9. AMERICAN IDOL’s ANOOP DESAI
8. MICHAEL BUBLE’
7. CHRIS DE BURGH
6. ME FIRST AND THE GIMME GIMMES
5. ERIC BENET’
3. PET SHOP BOYS
2. WILLIE NELSON
1. ELVIS PRESLEY