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Roger Dean Miller (January 2, 1936 – October 25, 1992) was an American singer-songwriter, guitarist, and actor best known for his hit song "King of the Road," "Dang Me," and "England Swings," all from the mid-1960s Nashville sound era. Miller began writing hits such as "Billy Bayou" and "Home" for Jim Reeves and Ray Price's "Invitation to the Blues" after growing up in Oklahoma and serving in the United States Army in the late 1950s, as well as "Invitation to the Blues" and "Home" for him.
He began recording and touring in the 1990s, charting his final top ten countries with Willie Nelson in 1982. He reached the peak of his fame in the mid-1960s.
In addition to writing and performing many of the songs for Robin Hood's 1973 Disney animated film Robin Hood, he also wrote and performed some of the songs.
He wrote the music and lyrics for the 1985 Tony-award-winning Broadway musical Big River, in which he appeared, later in his life. Miller died of lung cancer in 1992 and was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame three years later.
His songs continued to be recorded by other artists, with the covers of Alan Jackson's "All Tall Trees" and "Husbands and Wives" by Brooks & Dunn; both reached the top spot on the country charts in the 1990s.
The Roger Miller Museum in Erick, Oklahoma, was a salute to Miller.
Roger Miller was born in Fort Worth, Texas, and he was Jean and Laudene (Holt) Miller's third son. When Jean Miller was a year old, he died of spinal meningitis. Laudene's three sons were sent to live with three of Jean's brothers because she was unable to help the family during the Great Depression. Miller grew up on a farm outside of Erick, Oklahoma, with Elmer and Armelia Miller.
As a child, Miller did farm work, such as picking cotton and plowing. He later said he was "dirt poor" and that the family did not have a telephone as late as 1951. He received his primary education in a one-room schoolhouse. Miller, an introverted boy, was a fan of daydreaming or writing songs. "There's a picture on the wall," one of his oldest works said. It's the most expensive of them all, Mother"
Miller was a member of the FFA in high school. On a Fort Worth station with his cousin's husband, Sheb Wooley, she listened to the Grand Ole Opry and Light Crust Doughboys. Wooley taught Miller his first guitar chords and gave him a fiddle. Miller was inspired by wooley, Hank Williams, and Bob Wills' aspirations to be a singer-songwriter. He began to run away and perform in Oklahoma and Texas. He took a guitar out of desperation to write songs at 17, but he turned himself in the following day. To avoid prison time, he enlisted in the United States Army to avoid prison. "My education was Korea, Clash of '52," he later said. Miller, a military musician from Atlanta, Georgia, played fiddle in the "Circle A Wranglers," a military musical group started by Faron Young near the end of his military service. Although Miller was stationed in South Carolina, his brother, Kenneth C. "Jethro" Burns, of the musical duo Homer and Jethro, persuaded him to return to Nashville after his release.
Miller began his musical career in Nashville after leaving the Army. Since Miller did not have one, he met Chet Atkins, who begged him to sing, loaning him a guitar. Miller played the guitar and performed a song in two different keys out of sheer annoyance. Atkins recommended that he return later to have more experience. Miller became a bellhop at Nashville's Andrew Jackson Hotel, and he was soon known as the "singing bellhop." Minnie Pearl had him recruited to play the fiddle in her band. George Jones, who introduced him to music executives from the Starday Records label, who had arranged an audition, was then introduced to him. The executives were pressed to record a recording session with Jones in Houston. "Total Trees" and "Happy Child" were written by Jones and Miller.
Miller, who married and became a father, moved from music to becoming a fireman in Amarillo, Texas. By day, he was a fireman at night, but not at night. Miller said he only saw two fires, one in a "chicken coop" and another "slept through," and the department "suggested" that "[he] seek other jobs." Miller was introduced to Ray Price and became a member of the Cherokee Cowboys. He returned to Nashville and wrote "Invitation to the Blues," which was covered by Rex Allen and later Ray Price, whose album was a top-three hit on country charts. Miller began working for Tree Publishing on a $50 a week basis. Ernest Tubb's "That's the Way I Feel" was written, and Faron Young's first number one, "Billy Bayou," was released alongside Jim Reeves' "Home" and "Want" was his first number one. blieben songwriters of the 1950s, Miller became one YEARS later. "Roger was the most creative, and most disciplined person you could imagine," Bill Anderson later recalled, quoting Miller's Tree Publishing boss, Buddy Killen's attempts to coerce him to finish a piece. According to Killen, he was known to give away lines, inciting many Nashville songwriters to follow him around because "everything he said was a potential song."
In 1958, Miller signed a recording contract with Decca Records. He was paired with Donny Lytle, a singer who later rose to fame under the name Johnny Paycheck, to perform "A Man Like Me" and later "The Wrong Kind of Girl" by Miller. Neither of these honky-tonk-style songs have charted. Miller's second single for the label, featuring the B-side "Jason Fleming," foreshadowed Miller's future design. Miller, a drummer with Faron Young's band, went on tour with Far évidemment Young's band, but he had never drummed before. During this time, Miller, who also known as "In the Summertime"), reached a new peak on the country charts, peaking at No. 5 on the charts. 14. With his single "When Two Worlds Collide," cowritten with Bill Anderson, he made a bigger splash next year. However, Miller soon became bored of writing songs, divorced his wife, and began a partying lifestyle that earned him the moniker "wild child." He was dropped from his record label and began to pursue other pursuits.
Miller decided that he might have a chance to work in Hollywood as an actor after numerous appearances on late night comedy revues. He signed with up-and-coming label Smash Records for $1,600 in cash in exchange for recording 16 sides. Smash accepted the plan, and Miller performed his first session for the company in 1964, when he sang "Dang Me" and "Chug-a-Lug" were among the company's hits. Both were launched as singles, with peaking at No. 81. The number 1 and No. Both 3 on country charts; both on the Billboard Hot 100 reached No. 1 in the rankings; both were well-reced. No. 7 and No. 9. Miller's career was changed by the songs, but Miller had the former penned in just four minutes. He reached the No. 1 position later this year. "Do-Wacka Do" hit the 15 boys and then the greatest hit of his career "King of the Road" appeared on the Country and Adult Contemporary charts, peaking at No. 10 during peaking at No. Billboard 100: 4 on the Billboard 100. It also ranked No. 58 in the charts. In May 1965, 1 on the UK Singles Chart for a week. Miller was inspired by a bill in Chicago that read "Trailers For Sale or Rent" and a photo of a tourist at a Boise airport, but Miller took months to write the song, which was rated gold in May 1965 after selling a million copies. During the summer, the item received numerous awards and a royal check worth $160,000. "Engine Engine No. No. 2" was one of Miller's best hits later this year. 9," "Kansas City Star" (a Top Ten country hit in 1965 about a local television children's show personality who would rather live in the safety and stability of his career in Kansas City than try to become a bigger celebrity – or risk failure – in Omaha) and "England Swings" (an adult contemporary No. 8) (an Omaha teenager contemporary No. 1). 1). "Husbands and Wives," a mid-tempo waltz focusing on topics that affect marriages, began in 1966.
In September 1966, Miller was given his own television show on NBC. It lasted for 13 weeks before coming to an end in January 1967. During this period, Miller recorded songs by other writers. category was "Walkin in the Sunshine," which reached No. No. 5. No. 7 and No. In 1967, there were 6 on the country and adult contemporary charts. With the first recording of Bobby Russell's "Little Green Apples," he reached his final top ten hits later this year. He was the first to cover Kris Kristofferson's "Me and Bobby McGee," debuting at No. 1 in the United States. 12 on the world charts. Miller's album A Trip in the Country debuted in 1970, featuring "Total, Tall Trees," which Miller developed in a honky-tonk-style framework. Miller was signed by Columbia Records in 1973, a year after Smash Records collapsed. Dear Folks: Sorry I Haven't Written Lately in 1973. Miller wrote and performed three songs in the Walt Disney animated film Robin Hood's animated feature "Not in Nottingham" and "Whistle-Stop" (which was sampled for use in the famous Hampster Dance web site later this Flug) later this year. Speiltoe, the equine narrator of the Rankin/Bass holiday special Nestor the Long-Eared Christmas Donkey, was narrator of the Long-Eared Christmas Donkey in 1977. Old Friends, Miller's collaboration with Willie Nelson on an album called Old Friends. The title track was based on a song he had written for his family in Oklahoma. The album, which featured guest vocals from Ray Price, was the last hit of Miller's career, peaking at No. 67. In 1982, there were 19 on the country charts.
He continued to record for various record companies and charted a few songs, but decided against writing in 1978, feeling that his more "artistic" creations were not appreciated. Following the introduction of Old Friends in 1981, he was out of work in the entertainment industry, but after being approached in writing a Broadway score based on Mark Twain's Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, he returned. Despite the fact that he hadn't read the book, Miller accepted the invitation after learning how the tale brought him right to his childhood in rural Oklahoma. The opening took a year and a half, but he finally finished it. On April 25, 1985, the performance, titled Big River, premiered at the Eugene O'Neill Theatre in New York. Miller's musical received rave reviews, including "Best Score" for him. For three months after actor John Goodman's departure, he appeared in Huck Finn's father's Pap. In 1983, Miller appeared in a dramatic film version of Quincy, M.E. When freebasing cocaine, he was a nation and western singer who is seriously injured.
Following Big River's popularity, Miller and his family returned to Santa Fe to live with his family. He co-wrote "It Only Hurts When I Cry" from his 1990 album If There Is A Way," as well as background vocals. In 1991, the album was released as a single, peaking at No.. 76. On country charts, there are 7 on the list. In 1990, he began playing guitar for the first time, but he was diagnosed with lung cancer the next year. On October 26, 1992, the day after Miller's death, he appeared on television for the last time on television.