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November 19, 2010 / John Sieger

The Man Who Wrote The Letter

01 The Man Who Wrote The Letter

I did meet the man who wrote The Letter. His name is Wayne Carson and I was introduced to him by Lou Whitney of the Skeletons at 12th and Porter, a club in Nashville. Wayne also wrote Soul Deep, Neon Rainbow for the Boxtops and You Were Always On My Mind, the 1983 Grammy Song of the Year. When Willie Nelson sang the latter, I thought it was OK. When Wayne got up and sang it with The Skeletons I was floored, a great singer and a sterling example blue-eyed soul. I’m not a torn-from-the-pages-of-his-own-life kind of writer, so I can’t explain why this encounter made itself into a song. I remember saying to someone some time after that meeting, “I met the man who wrote The Letter” and it struck me as a possible lyric. This demo was recorded at the BoDean’s old studio with Mark McCraw, their former manager, engineering. The studio was sitting idle most of the time and Mark and I have always gotten along well, so he brought me in as a favor. Thank you, Mark. The drummer is Cy Costabile, from my very first band — he still has a very nice groove. You can also tell my brother Mike is on the bass, it’s well played!



Leave a Comment
  1. Dave Ramont / Nov 19 2010 10:56 pm

    cool song. oddly -very oddly- i just played that song about an hour ago…
    Good luck!

  2. michael kloman / Aug 16 2011 3:29 pm

    great story, john. so carson wrote box tops hits and “you were always on my mind” — i’m scared of that guy! alex chilton is one of my *favorite* singers, all-time.

    • John Sieger / Aug 16 2011 5:28 pm

      Thanks Michael… You must be on vacation or something. Never had so many comments!

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