Wayne Carson, who wrote The Box Tops' 1967 #1 hit "The Letter
," came up with "Always On My Mind" when he was working at a recording studio in Memphis. He lived with his wife in Springfield, Missouri, and the trip to Memphis had gone 10 days longer than expected. When he called the missus to tell her he would be there even longer, she let him have it. He tried to assuage her by telling her that was thinking about her all the time - she was "always on my mind."
"It just struck me like someone had hit me with a hammer," he told the LA Times
. "I told her real fast I had to hang up because I had to put that into a song."
Over the next few days, he finished writing the song with two other writers at the studio: Johnny Christopher and Mark James.
"All that 'Always' was about was one long apology," Carson added. "I guess there are a lot of people in the world who were looking for a way to say that in a song."