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Mark James, ‘Suspicious Minds’ Songwriter, Is Dead at 83

Mark James, ‘Suspicious Minds’ Songwriter, Is Dead at 83


Mark James, a genre-defying and Grammy Award-winning songwriter whose hits included “Suspicious Minds,” “Hooked on a Feeling” and “Always on My Mind,” died at his house in Nashville on Saturday. He was 83.

His loss of life was confirmed by his daughter, Sammie Zambon. The Houston Chronicle first reported the information of Mr. James’s loss of life.

Various stars, together with Elvis Presley and Willie Nelson, lent their voices to Mr. James’s catalog of songs over time.

His profession of powerhouse hits started in 1968 with “The Eyes of a New York Woman,” reduce by the nation and pop hitmaker B.J. Thomas. Mr. Thomas, a lifelong good friend of Mr. James, then recorded “Hooked on a Feeling,” Mr. James’s 1968 tune celebrating newfound love, which hit the highest 5 that 12 months. The tune once more made it to the highest 5 in 1974, when the Swedish rock band Blue Swede launched its model.

Mr. James catapulted into a unique stratosphere in 1969 when Elvis reduce “Suspicious Minds,” a tune Mr. James first recorded and launched as a single, to little discover, the earlier 12 months. Elvis’s model reached No. 1 in 27 international locations and have become certainly one of his greatest hits and his final No. 1 single. The tune is included in Rolling Stone’s listing of the five hundred biggest songs of all time.

“Always On My Mind,” which Mr. James co-wrote with Wayne Carson and Johnny Christopher, grew to become certainly one of his most adorned works. Brenda Lee recorded the primary model in 1972 earlier than Elvis launched his soak up 1973 and John Wesley Ryles made it a high 20 nation hit in 1979, in keeping with the Texas Heritage Songwriters Association.

Yet it was Mr. Nelson’s 1982 model that earned “Always On My Mind” a Grammy for tune of the 12 months and for finest nation tune, in addition to tune of the 12 months from the Country Music Association. It was later inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 2008.

Mr. James’s arsenal of songs has been recorded by a variety of artists, together with Michael Bublé, Jay-Z, The Pet Shop Boys, Bill Withers and The Fine Young Cannibals. They’ve been featured within the movies “Reservoir Dogs” and “Lilo & Stich,” and within the “Guardians of the Galaxy” franchise.

Mr. James was inducted into the New York Songwriters Hall of Fame, Nashville Country Hall of Fame and the Texas Songwriters Hall of Fame. In 1999, Broadcast Music Inc., the music rights administration firm, named “Hooked on a Feeling,” “Suspicious Minds” and “Always on My Mind” to its listing of the 100 biggest songs of the twentieth century.

Mr. James was born Francis Rodney Zambon on Nov. 29, 1940, in Houston. (The Houston Chronicle reported that he glided by Mark James as a result of, when he began enjoying music in public, Houston membership house owners “didn’t just like the sound of Francis Zambon.”) He is survived by his spouse, Karen Zambon; his daughters, Sammie and Dana Zambon; two grandchildren; and prolonged household.

In all, Elvis recorded 5 songs by Mr. James and named two of his albums after them, “Raised on Rock” and “Moody Blue.”

In an interview with The Tennessean, Mr. James recalled the second when Elvis was booked for a studio in Memphis and he realized “Suspicious Minds” can be good for him.

“I rotated within the chair and it was like seeing a golden primary and I knew that was the tune I’d been in search of,” he mentioned, including, “I felt like even shaking Elvis and saying, ‘This is a superb one for you, man, to document.’ But I knew most likely everybody on this planet had most likely mentioned that to him. So all I may do is inform the blokes round him, ‘Get him to chop this, it is a nice one for him!’”

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