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Roger Miller Tribute Album ‘King of the Road’ to Feature Eric Church, Kacey Musgraves

Ringo Starr, Dolly Parton and Merle Haggard are also included on the wide-ranging two-disc collection, out August 31st

Roger Miller

'King of the Road,' a two-disc tribute LP to Roger Miller will feature Dolly Parton, Ringo Starr, Kacey Musgraves, Brad Paisley and Cake, among others.

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Roger Miller was part Hank Williams, part Will Rogers, yet a wholly original talent with a densely populated mind from which sprang some of the most noteworthy and enduring songs of the 1960s. Amid the yeah-yeah-yeahs of the British Invasion and the protests that “The Times They Are a-Changin’,” Miller was a poet of the uncommon (or sometimes just plain weird) man whose quirky hobo anthem, “King of the Road,” was positively average compared to many of his other oddball compositions, including “Dang Me,” “Chug-a-Lug” and “You Can’t Rollerskate in a Buffalo Herd.”

Influential for his extraordinary songcraft and revered for his offbeat humor, Roger Miller’s artistry will be the subject of a genre-hopping two-disc tribute LP, out August 31st. In the works since 2015 but beset by repeated delays, which is hardly surprising given the array of artists involved, King of the Road was co-produced by the legendary artist’s son, singer-songwriter Dean Miller, with Colby Barnum Wright of Wright of Center Music, and features a dazzling lineup that includes Dolly Parton, Ringo Starr, Brad Paisley, Willie Nelson, Kris Kristofferson, Merle Haggard (in one of his last recordings), Kacey Musgraves and Eric Church. Also featured are contributions from Loretta Lynn, Asleep at the Wheel, Rodney Crowell and actor John Goodman, who originated the role of Pap Finn in the Eighties Broadway musical Big River, which featured Miller’s Tony Award-winning original songs, based on Mark Twain’s The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. Owing to Miller’s influence outside of mainstream country music are offerings from alt-rock bands Toad the Wet Sprocket and Cake, and Americana, folk and bluegrass artists including Daphne and the Mystery Machines, the Dead South and Earls of Leicester featuring Shawn Camp, among others.

While Miller’s dizzying wordplay was legendary, he could also pen heart-rending ballads such as “The Last Word in Lonesome Is Me.” Originally featured on his third LP, released in 1965, the song later became a Number Two hit for Eddy Arnold and was also recorded in 1976 by NFL great Terry Bradshaw. For King of the Road, the song is placed in the capable hands of Dolly Parton and Alison Krauss. The stone-country tune is distinguished not only by the two angelic voices but also by the presence of fiddle, yet another tribute to Miller, who played that instrument in Grand Ole Opry comic legend Minnie Pearl’s band before his own career took off in the early Sixties, with an unprecedented 11 Grammys won in a two-year period.

Roger Miller succumbed to cancer in 1992 at age 56. In 1995, the year Miller was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame, Alan Jackson had a Number One country hit with the songwriter’s “Tall, Tall Trees.” Brooks & Dunn topped the chart in 1998 with his 1966 hit, “Husbands and Wives.”

King of the Road track listing:

1. “Chug-a-Lug,” Asleep at the Wheel featuring Huey Lewis
2. “Dang Me,” Brad Paisley
3. “Leaving’s Not the Only Way to Go,” The Stellas and Lennon & Maisy
4. “Kansas City Star,” Kacey Musgraves
5. “World So Full of Love,” Rodney Crowell
6. “Old Friends,” Willie Nelson, Kris Kristofferson and Merle Haggard
7. “Lock, Stock and Teardrops,” Mandy Barnett
8. “You Oughta Be Here With Me,” Alison Krauss featuring the Cox Family
9. “The Crossing,” Ronnie Dunn and the Blind Boys of Alabama
10. “In the Summertime,” The Earls of Leicester featuring Shawn Camp
11. “England Swings,” Lyle Lovett
12. “You Can’t Rollerskate in a Buffalo Herd,” Various Artists
13. “Half a Mind,” Loretta Lynn
14. “Invitation to the Blues,” Shooter Jennings and Jessi Colter
15. “It Only Hurts Me When I Cry” (Live), Dwight Yoakam
16. “Oo De Lolly,” Eric Church
17. “Engine, Engine #9,” Emerson Hart featuring Jon Randall
18. “When Two Worlds Collide,” Flatt Lonesome
19. “Reincarnation,” Cake
20. “You Can’t Do Me This Way,” Dean Miller featuring the McCrary Sisters
21. “Nothing Can Stop Me,” Toad the Wet Sprocket
22. “Husbands and Wives,” Jamey Johnson featuring Emmylou Harris
23. “Pick Up My Heart,” Lily Meola
24. “I Believe in the Sunshine,” Daphne and the Mystery Machines
25. “Guv’ment,” John Goodman
26. “Hey, Would You Hold It Down?” Ringo Starr
27. “The Last Word in Lonesome Is Me,” Dolly Parton featuring Alison Krauss
28. “I’d Come Back to Me,” Radney Foster featuring Tawnya Reynolds
29. “One Dying and a Burying,” The Dead South
30. “Do Wacka Do,” Robert Earl Keen, Jr.
31. “King of the Road,” Various Artists

In This Article: Roger Miller

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