In 1968, a blind songwriter from Texas, Leon Payne, and a bandmate were discussing mass murderers and serial killers, people they deemed “psychos.” Payne, who recently suffered a heart attack, wrote this song after the resulting hiatus.
The aberrant song is told from the perspective of a killer confessing his crimes to his “mama.” Payne and his friend, troubled singer Eddie Noack, aimed to revive their careers when they signed onto Nashville’s K-Ark Records and released this single.
Sadly, it wouldn’t gain popularity until after both of their deaths. Payne would succumb in 1969, and Noack from an alcohol related hemorrhage in 1978, just a year before Elvis Costello would cover “Psycho” and turn it into a cult hit.
K-Ark founder John Capps called “Psycho,” “too far ahead of its time.”
Tom is a senior Writing Arts major at Rowan University, minoring in Creative Writing. Along with listening to a variety of different music genres and collecting records, he also plays a few instruments, mainly bass. He also likes to watch TV, write, chill, and go to shows.