Song: “Always on My Mind”

Made famous at least twice, the song continues to pack a punch — thanks to the Highwaywomen

Song: “Always on My Mind”

This is not Willie Nelson’s version of this timeless tune — the one that usually comes to mind.

Written by Wayne Carson, Johnny Christopher, and Mark James, Brenda Lee recorded “Always on My Mind” first in early 1972, and Gwen McRae released a version shortly thereafter.

The first commercially successful version was released by Elvis in 1972 as well, as a B-side to another song (“Separate Ways”). His version reached #16 on the Country charts in November 1972.

Willie Nelson’s version was released a decade later, in 1982, and became a monster hit — #1 on the Country charts, #5 on the Hot 100 chart, and so forth.

Today’s version comes from the Highwaywomen, a country music supergroup composed of Brandi Carlile, Natalie Hemby, Maren Morris, and Amanda Shires.

Shires takes the lead on this version, her voice sounding more like Dolly Parton than Willie Nelson. Glorious harmonies and a great organ solo round out the song.

The setting is noteworthy — the Gorge, an amphitheater overlooking the Columbia River in Washington state — as is the event. In this case, it was a three-day music festival called “Echoes Through the Canyon,” which featured a rare performance by Joni Mitchell. Tanya Tucker and Annie Lennox also made appearances. Various permutations of the main artists and guest musicians played a mix of originals and covers . . . including this song made famous by Elvis and Willie Nelson.

Enjoy!