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Mark James, Grammy-winning songwriter of ‘At all times on My Thoughts’, dies at 83theinsiderinsight

Legendary songwriter Mark James who wrote Elvis Presley’s “Suspicious Minds” and “At all times on My Thoughts” and BJ Thomas’s “Hooked on a Feeling” has died aged 83.

James died in his residence in Nashville on 8 June. The information was first reported by his hometown newspaper, the Houston Chronicle.

“Mark’s legacy and zest for all times will stay on within the hearts of those that beloved him, and thru his timeless lyrics and melodies which were the soundtrack of lovers for generations,” his household mentioned in a press release.

“He was a charming storyteller who had the sweetest smile, essentially the most infectious snicker and a twinkle in his eye that by no means dimmed,” they mentioned.

James was inducted into the Songwriters Corridor of Fame in 2014, and in 2000 was named in BMI’s checklist of the Songwriters of the Century, alongside Paul McCartney and Elton John. James additionally entered the Texas Songwriters Corridor of Fame, the New York Songwriters Corridor of Fame, and the Nashville Songwriters Corridor of Fame.

“At all times on My Thoughts,” which he co-wrote with Wayne Carson and Johnny Christopher, gained James two Grammys for nation track of the yr and track of the yr in 1983. The track was beforehand recorded by Elvis Presley in 1972, and launched shortly after he separated from his spouse Priscilla. Nonetheless, it was launched as a B-side monitor and didn’t make too many waves.

Willie Nelson’s rerecording of the track in 1982, alternatively, took “At all times on My Thoughts” to the fifth spot on the Billboard Sizzling 100 and the highest of the nation songs chart, which then resulted within the Grammy wins.

Willie Nelson – At all times On My Thoughts

A synth-pop cowl by the Pet Store Boys in 1987, on a tv present commemorating tenth anniversary of Presley’s demise, did so properly that the duo launched the track as a single, spending 4 weeks atop the UK’s Christmas number-one chart.

“At all times on My Thoughts” was inducted into the Grammy Corridor of Fame in 2008.

Over his profession span, James’s compositions have been recorded a number of instances by Presley. “Suspicious Minds,” “Raised on Rock,” “It’s Solely Love” and “Moody Blue” have been all James’s compositions.

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James described “Suspicious Minds” as a “sledgehammer” in the Houston Chronicle in 2014, which was Presley’s final No. 1 track earlier than his demise in 1977.

James had launched it himself in 1968, attempting to arrange his personal music profession, but it surely was Presley’s recording that actually made it a success.

“Late one evening, playing around on my Fender guitar and utilizing my Hammond organ pedals for a bass line, I got here up with a catchy melody. I used to be married to my first spouse then however nonetheless had emotions for my childhood sweetheart, who was married again in Houston,” James told the Wall Street Journal about “Suspicious Minds” in 2012.

“My spouse suspected I had these emotions, so it was a complicated time for me. I felt as if all three of us have been all caught on this entice that we couldn’t stroll out of.”

Elvis Presley (1935 - 1977) being fed a mouthful of wedding cake by his bride Priscilla Beaulieu at the Aladdin Hotel, Las Vegas.
Elvis Presley (1935 – 1977) being fed a mouthful of marriage ceremony cake by his bride Priscilla Beaulieu on the Aladdin Resort, Las Vegas. (Getty Photos)

A yr later, Presley was informed concerning the track, and reportedly went “loopy about it” when he heard it. “He needed to listen to the track time and again, and realized it on the spot,” mentioned producer Chips Moman.

Presley not solely recorded the track, however used nearly the identical association to file his model.

“Within the years that adopted, each time I noticed Elvis, he’d cross the room simply to say howdy to me – irrespective of who was with him. After he died, I heard he’d at all times requested the fellows within the studio, ‘Did Mark ship me any extra songs?’ Golly, I want I had recognized that,” James mentioned.

Elvis Presley – Suspicious Minds

A number of of James’s songs have discovered recognition after different artists launched covers. Swedish rock band Blue Swede hit No 1 with their model of “Hooked on a Feeling” in 1973. This cowl was utilized in Tarantino’s 1992 movie Reservoir Canines, and within the trailers and soundtrack of Guardians of the Galaxy in 2014.

Born Francis Zambon in Houston, Texas in 1940, James was teased in class as a result of his father was a trainer and needed to put on orthotics due to unhealthy ankles. He discovered refuge in cinema, and realized that “an incredible story will be informed time and again.”

He modified his identify to Mark James very early in his profession, as a result of Houston membership house owners didn’t just like the identify Francis Zambon. His fledgling profession was placed on maintain as he was drafted to struggle in Vietnam. On his return, he signed with a music publishing firm in Memphis, and wrote “The Eyes Of A New York Girl” and “Hooked On A Feeling” for B J Thomas’s album On My Method.

James ended up writing over 300 songs in a seven-decade lengthy profession, and even studied movie scoring on the College of California at Los Angeles.

James is survived by his spouse, Karen Zambon, his daughters Sammie and Dana Zambon, grandchildren and prolonged household.

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