Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Roger Miller - selections from 'Roger and Out' (1964)

Roger Miller.

Perhaps I've heard people say - - "Roger Miller... Who's that again?"

- - but it's often followed by "Oh! The 'King Of The Road', 'Dang Me', 'Chug-A-Lug' dude?!? Oh sure - - Love that guy!"

Something I'm sure I've never heard anyone say is: "Roger Miller? Ecch - - I hate his music."

Singer/Songwriter/Musician Roger Miller (1936 - 1992) rocketed to fame in 1964 following the release of his first LP for Mercury Records' 'Smash' imprint, though he'd already spent several reasonably successful years in the music business.

He grew up playing and singing, and began working at it as a career after leaving the army in 1957.
After a couple of coolly-received ventures as a recording artist he worked as a touring musician for several prominent Country & Western artists.

In 1958 he began to have better luck as a Nashville songwriter, supplying hit songs to Ray Price,
Faron Young, Jim Reeves, Ernest Tubb, and George Jones.

By 1961 he felt ready to pursue being a recording artist again. Following a brief and fruitless stint at Decca, he moved to RCA records where he had a bit more luck with a couple of small hits, but he couldn't repeat that success at RCA.

After leaving the label, he moved to Hollywood around '63, began focusing more on writing novelty songs rather than 'straight' Country, and cultivated a slightly laid-back and lackadaisical performance persona.

Several appearances on network TV followed, which led directly to his recording contract with the Smash Record label.

The songs 'Dang Me' and
'Chug-A-Lug' off of that first Smash album 'Roger and Out' each quickly became big hits.

In response to record sales as that was happening, the label quickly reissued the LP with a different cover, changing the design to more prominently feature 'Dang Me'.

Then they soon did it *again* to also include 'Chug-A-Lug', eventually transitioning out the 'Roger and Out' title completely to re-title the record as 'Dang Me'.

(Click on the three cover images to ENLARGE)

The tracks I've included here from the album are just the ones that are currently out of print.

Don't get me started on my opinion of ANY of Miller's Smash and Mercury catalog being out of print...

...Roger Miller?!?
Oh sure - - LOVE that guy!

From Roger Miller's 'Roger and Out' LP,
(Smash Records, 1964)

Listen to:

The Moon Is High
Private John Q
Feel Of Me
Got 2 Aga-in
I Ain't Comin' Home Tonight
That's Why I Love You Like I Do
Squares Make The World Go Round

(click for audio)

See also:
The Official Roger Miller Website

See also also: Follow these YouTube links for some TV (and one film) appearances...

- From 1966, looking a bit incongruous before an audience of screaming teens in the theatrically-released 'Big TNT Show', performing 'England Swings'.

- With Dean Martin sometime around that same period, (give or take) performing 'Got 2 Aga-in'.

- With Johnny Cash in 1969, horsing around with improvisation before settling into 'King of the Road'.

- Performing 'Dang Me' in 1981 on a country music edition of 'Solid Gold'.

1 comment:

Craig D said...

Well, DANG ME! I grew up with the final version of that LP and had no idea about the two previous incarnations!

We also had an LP that was issued on the CAMDEN subsidiary of RCA with his slightly earlier songs.

I also picked up a STARADY RM single years ago, but I can't remeber what it was and it's now long gone.

One of my biggested TV disappointments was when the local NBC affilitae did not pick up Roger's super-short-lived 1967(?) TV variety show...

"I'd give my right arm to be ambidextrious!" - Roger Miller

Freshly-stirred links