Roger Miller d. 1992


When I was very young I heard Roger Miller and was fascinated by the Do-Wacka-Do and Chug-a-lug, Chug-a-lug of his songs. There was not a record store within miles of my town, but somehow my parents managed to find this album for me. I knew every song by heart. Roger Miller sang,  Kansas City Star, that’s what I are. Yoodle-eedle-ladee you oughta see my car!”  He sang, “Dang me, dang me, they  oughta take a rope and hang me.”  He was a wacky and brilliant composer and player; he seemed to be a  happy and self-conscious man. Watching clips of him on television shows, one notices that he hardly ever sang a song all the way through without interrupting himself with self-deprecating comments. He sang about sad and serious things but as a performer he couldn’t stop fooling around. He was a playful person. He played with words and made funny noises with his mouth. With rhymes and puns he made his fans smile.  He was  a country boy from Oklahoma who ran in the top echelon of the pop stars of his day. His destiny and final musical destination was Broadway. He wrote the words to Big River, including this lovely song.  (Thank you, Matt.)

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