I was approached by Kent McNeel who wanted to publicise his Elvis tribute song. There have been many Elvis tribute songs written since Elvis died but this is the best. I had met Mark James (Always on my Mind) in Memphis and bought a copy of his beautiful tribute "Blue Suede Heaven". Until now I always thought Mark's song was the best tribute to Elvis until I heard Kent McNeil's "Miss You in Memphis". It has a haunting melody with beautiful words and Kent should be very proud of his achievement. Every Elvis fan in the world should add the download to their collection and by doing so help raise money for victims of cancer. Just click on the banner to download. There are various payment options.
I said I would be happy to publicise his beautiful song if he would help me raise money for the cancer support charity "Lynda Jackson Macmillan Centre" in memory of Maureen. He very kindly offered to donate 50c from any download anywhere in the world. I hope every Elvis website will put up the banner for "Miss You in Memphis" so that $thousands are raised. Kent will also be donating to other charities from the rest of the download fees. Any fan reading this should contact their fan club and favourite Elvis websites to ask them to put up the banner and publicise the song. The simple download system has kindly been set up by Doug Diamond of www.diamondiscaudio.com
You can read a brief biography of Kent McNeel below. Kent is a close friend of Chips Moman and Mark James.
Kent has had the good fortune of having many mentors who were important in shaping his life –
providing guidance, and several heroes that have inspired him. Growing up, Kent's father owned the
largest oil hauling truck company in east Texas, McNeel Trucking Co. For Kent and his brother Mark,
they had to make a choice: either the oil business or the music business.
Choosing music, Kent and Mark wrote songs together and were eventually asked by record producer
Wayne Shuler to record on Capitol Records. They were produced by Wayne as well as Glen Campbell's
producer Al Delory in 1968. “I was at the studio the night they cut 'Wichita Lineman' – it was indeed a
magic moment!” (it was also Glen Campbell's first Number One record).
In 1970, Kent and Mark went to American Studios in Memphis to sign with producer Chips Moman.
Chips was producing Elvis Presley, BJ Thomas and Neil Diamond at that time. It was an exciting time
to be at American Studios with writers like fellow Texan and friend Mark James who wrote
“Suspicious Minds”, “Hooked On A Feeling”, “Always On My Mind” (with Wayne Carson and
Johnny Christopher) and Mac Davis. Chips went on to produce Willie Nelson, Johnny Cash, Waylon
Jennings, Kris Kristofferson and Ringo Starr and others.
In 1976, Kent cowrote
a book with Mark Luther entitled “How To Be A Successful Songwriter”. It
was the first book of its kind that actually interviewed hit songwriters. Published by St. Martin Press, it
is still considered one of the best books for songwriters and their craft. Each writer interviewed in the
book had to have at least one Gold Record. Many wellknown
songwriters are interviewed such as Mac
Davis, Tom T. Hall, Henry Mancini, Kenny Loggins, Kenny Rogers, Paul Williams, Barry White, Seals
& Crofts, Billy Preston, Barry Mann & Cynthia Weils (who wrote “You've Lost That Lovin' Feeling”)
as well as Broadway's amazing Sherman Brothers who (who wrote music for “Mary Poppins”, “Chitty
Chitty Bang Bang” and Disney's “Winnie The Pooh”). “How To Be A Successful Songwriter” is still in
many libraries and colleges across the U.S.A. as well as being sold on the internet.
Kent wrote songs for Buddy Killen at Tree Publishing (now Sony/Tree Publishing) and has written at
least two songs that are very close to his heart. “Miss You In Memphis” (cowritten
with Tom Lunar)
was played at Graceland, in Memphis during Elvis Week in 1985 at the candlelight ceremony. “Miss
You In Memphis” was the first song to be played at Graceland that was not and Elvis Presley song!
Many fans still ask for this song even now. Kent has decided to launch
www.MissYouInMemphis.com, where the song can be purchased and downloaded instantly. Part of
the proceeds from the sale of “Miss You In Memphis” will be donated to a veterans organization called
We Are Building Lives. For sales of the song via ElvislyYours.
com, proceeds will go to the Lynda
Jackson Macmillan Center.
“Born With It” is another one of Kent's favorite songs he wrote and was released on “NFL Country” a
CD with NFL stars and country music stars. Packers' Super Bowl champ Brett Favre provided
backing vocals on the song with country star Steve Azar singing lead. Kent cowrote
“Born With It”
with Steve Azar.
Kent has truly been involved with some unique songs: Elvis – and the NFL!
Today, Kent is working with Tim Gragath, founder of an organization called We Are Building Lives,
which is helping veterans (both male and female) get a “leg up” and reach their potential and live drugfree
lives. “I was given help with my addictions and as a veteran, I feel the need to give back. It makes
me feel good to see people recover and
beat their addictions”, Kent says.
Kent has found certain characteristics in the artistic people he has worked with throughout the years number
one, respecting others as
well as curiosity, creativity, independence, conviction, perseverance
and a sense of a higher power.
Kent's last thoughts: “Find your passion, follow your heart, and don't let anyone tell you that you can't
achieve your dreams and goals. Believe in yourself and never give up.”