King Of The Road
Roger Miller was in his first year of life, when his father died. His mother had a debilitating illness, so he was raised by an aunt and uncle. Roger had learned to love music at a very early age, having written his first song at the age of five. He quit school in the 8th grade to be a ranch hand and rodeo rider.
Along the way he worked on a ranch; served in the military (his choice verses jail time for stealing a guitar), was a bellhop, and even a fireman. But his heart beat to creating music.
"The school I went to had 37 students," "me and 36 Indians. One time we had a school dance and it rained for 36 days straight"....
He was a gifted song writer, and much of his music was humorous and quite able to induce laughter. But he also had a serous side; having written music performed by such greats as Jimmy Dean, Ray Price, Willie, Ricky Van Shelton, Jim Reeves, Bill Anderson and more.
...The human mind is a wonderful thing, it starts working from before you're born and doesn't stop till you sit down to write a song...
Miller also wrote the score for the Broadway musical "Big River", based on Mark Twain's "The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn". He peformed for a brief period on Broadway national tour as the charactor "Pap". The opening of "Big River" on Broadway (NYC); went on to win seven Tony Awards, including best musical and best score; original cast album was the first of its type ever recorded in Nashville;
Miller won a total of 11 Grammys, a platinum single, six gold singles, and five gold albums.
He dominated the Grammys so drastically that the rules were changed to prevent such domination of the awards in the future.
Miller earned 22 BMI citations and received a BMI 3 million performance award for "King of the Road" and BMI 1 million performance awards for "Don't We All Have the Right" and "It Only Hurts When I Cry".
Roger Miller died October 25, 1992 of throat cancer.
He was elected to the Country Music Hall of Fame in 1995. He was 57 years old.