Legendary songwriter and producer Wayne Carson has died at the age of 72.
According to USA Today, Carson passed away July 20 while in hospice care. The music man had been suffering from a long list of health issues over the past month, including congestive heart failure and gallstones.
At the age of 14, Carson began playing guitar after being inspired by the music of country western singer Merle Travis. He spent the early part of his life touring with bands across the country until settling down in Springfield, Mo. There, he began working with music publisher and promoter Si Siman.
Carson had his first hit with “Somebody Like You”, which Eddy Arnold recorded and brought to the top of the charts in 1966. Carson’s other hits include “The Letter”, which was recorded by both the Box Tops and Joe Cocker, and “Who’s Julie”, which was Mel Tillis‘ first career top 10 single.
Though, as a songwriter, Carson is best known for “Always on My Mind”, which was recorded by both Elvis Presley and Willie Nelson. Nelson’s version even earned a Grammy for “Song of the Year” in 1983.
Wayne Carson is survived by his wife, Wyndi Harp Head, and their son. Funeral services will be held at Harpeth Hills Memory Gardens in Nashville, Tenn.