Mae Boren Axton

born on 14/9/1914 in Bardwell, TX, United States

died on 9/4/1997 in Hendersonville, TN, United States

Mae Boren Axton

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.
Mae Boren Axton

Born February 09 1914
Bardwell, Texas, United States
Died August 04 1997
Hendersonville, Tennessee
Nationality American
Occupation Music promoter
Known for Co-writing "Heartbreak Hotel"

Mae Boren Axton (September 14, 1914 in Bardwell, Texas April 9, 1997 in Hendersonville, Tennessee) was known in the music industry as the 'Queen Mother of Nashville'. She co-wrote the Elvis Presley hit single "Heartbreak Hotel"[1] She worked with the likes of Mel Tillis, Reba McEntire, Willie Nelson, Eddy Arnold, Tanya Tucker, Johnny Tillotson, Kelli Warren and Blake Shelton.

Personal life

Mae Boren was born in Texas to Mark L. and Nannie Boren. The only daughter out of nine children, she is the sister of United States Congressman Lyle Boren.[2] When Boren was two years old the family moved to Oklahoma. She attended East Central State College and the University of Oklahoma, where she earned a bachelor's degree in journalism. She obtained a public teaching certificate and taught English and journalism at schools throughout Oklahoma.[3]

Boren married John T. Axton, an officer in the US Navy, and they had two sons: country star Hoyt Axton and John, who became an attorney. The family lived in Comanche, Oklahoma during the children's pre-teen years. In 1949, the family moved to Jacksonville, Florida when Axton became stationed there. Boren taught English at Landon High School.[4]

Music career

Boren is credited with writing approximately 200 songs.[5]

Heartbreak Hotel

Main article: Heartbreak Hotel

Boren was the link between Elvis Presley and RCA Records. She introduced a 19-year-old Presley to Colonel Tom Parker after a performance in Memphis. She worked on behalf of Bob Neal to promote Presley and pressured RCA Nashville division head Stephen H. Sholes to sign Presley. In 1955 Boren co-wrote the Elvis Presley hit-song "Heartbreak Hotel" with Thomas Durden.[5] However, former WQIK owner and DJ Marshall Rowland, who knew both Axton and Durden, said the song had already been written and performed by Durden long before Axton added her name to it.


In 1997 at the age of 82, Mae drowned in her hot tub at her home in Hendersonville, TN after an apparent heart attack.


  1. Thomas Durden. Obituaries. The Guardian. Retrieved on 30 September, 2011.
  2. Oklahoma Historical Society: Encyclopedia of Oklahoma History and Culture-AXTON, LYLE HAGLER
  3. Oklahoma Historical Society: Encyclopedia of Oklahoma History and Culture-AXTON, MAE BOREN
  4. Larry Cohen Productions: North Florida Music Hall of Fame-Axton, Mae
  5. 5.0 5.1 Axton, 384.

Further reading

  • Axton, Mae Boren. Country Singers as I Know 'Em. Hurst: Sweet Publishing Co. (1973).

External links

  • Mae Boren Axton from Black Cat Rockabilly Europe
  • Obituary from The Independent
This page was last modified 13.12.2011 22:43:43

This article uses material from the article Mae Boren Axton from the free encyclopedia Wikipedia and it is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License.