The journey of a song can take many twists and turns over the years. They can get pitched over and over again, or many different versions can be recorded with changes in tempo and style. Such is the case with “Make Me One More Memory”.
Written by ‘Country’ Johnny Mathis over 5 decades ago, the song was originally recorded by Mathis. The styling was that of a heart-wrenching Country ballad in the recording style of the late 60’s and early 70’s with a famed Gospel quartet providing background vocals (The Florida Boys).
Shortly after Mathis rendered his own version of the song, Johnny Paycheck recorded “Make Me One More Memory”, but this time in more of a Country shuffle fashion with that classic Country Music steel guitar all through out the recording.
Over the years “Make Me One More Memory” was pitched over and over again. Probably no Country artist was pitched the song more than George Jones. Mathis’ producer at the time fully believed it would’ve have been the ideal match for the song and pitched it many times. Why not, Jones had recorded around 20 Mathis tunes in the past. Mathis himself passed it on to George a few times over the years as well.
Once Avid Group Publishing (John Mathis Jr) acquired the copyright to the song a decade ago, John Jr was working with GRAMMY Winner Brad Davis on a Bluegrass tribute album to George Jones and thought it would make a great bonus cut with the backstory of the “one the could have been”. So Davis produced and performed a stellar Bluegrass version of the song for the album.
The journey of a song can never be predicted. Sometimes they travel far and wide and then they come around full circle. Sometimes the journey is accidental. Such is the case with another recent recording of “Make Me One More Memory”, one song with many artistic interpretations over the year. When Music City Records contacted John Jr. to pitch songs from his Avid Group Publishing catalog of his father, an MP3 of Brad Davis’ bluegrass version was accidentally pitched instead of the original ‘Country’ Johnny Mathis version. Charley Pride must have liked it because it landed on his new album, ‘Music In My Heart’, released July 7th 2017.
A 60 year journey with a few great stops along the way … “Make Me One More Memory” … still traveling after all these years.