Songwriter Mark James, Known For "Always On My Mind" and "Suspicious Minds," Has Died
Photo by Gary Gershoff/Getty Images for Songwriters Hall Of Fame

Songwriter Mark James, Known For "Always On My Mind" and "Suspicious Minds," Has Died And Elvis Fans Are Sad

Whether you heard of him or not, Mark James leaves a shadow in the music industry a mile wide. The songwriter was responsible for classics such as "Suspicious Minds," "Always on My Mind," and "Hooked on a Feeling." Sadly, the songwriter passed away at his Nashville home on June 8, according to the Houston Chronicle.

Inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2014, James won two Grammys in 1983 for "Always on My Mind." He also earned the BMI Songwriter of the Century accolade in 2000. James often collaborated with Elvis Presley on several songs including "Suspicious Minds," "Moody Blue," "It's Only Love," and "Raised on Rock."

James was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2014. BMI named him one of its Songwriters of the Century in 2000, citing all three of the aforementioned tunes as being on a list of the 100 greatest songs of the 20th century. Fans may also remember his song "Hooked on a Feeling" as the title track from Guardians of the Galaxy.

In 2012, James spoke with the Wall Street Journal about writing "Suspicious Minds" for Presley. He said the song originated during a recording session for his own album. He said, "Late one night, fooling around on my Fender guitar and using my Hammond organ pedals for a bass line, I came up with a catchy melody. I was married to my first wife then but still had feelings for my childhood sweetheart, who was married back in Houston. My wife suspected I had those feelings, so it was a confusing time for me. I felt as though all three of us were all caught in this trap that we couldn't walk out of."

Mark James Worked With Elvis

James never actually saw Presley record the song. He ultimately decided to step away because he felt his presence would make the artist uncomfortable. However, Presley later showed much appreciation to the songwriter. In fact, he ended up becoming one of Presley's favorite writers. The singer would often request new music.  He said, "In the years that followed, whenever I saw Elvis, he'd cross the room just to say hello to me—no matter who was with him. After he died, I heard he'd always asked the guys in the studio, 'Did Mark send me any more songs?' Golly, I wish I had known that."

Following his death, one fan wrote, "Singer songwriter Mark James died. He was 83. R.I.P. Thank you for the music! Elvis Presley recorded 5 songs (co-)written by Mark James including 'Suspicious Minds.'" Another wrote, "It is with great sadness that we learn of the passing of Mark James, a two-time CMA Awards winner. We extend our heartfelt condolences to his loved ones during this difficult time."