ROGER MILLER was born in Texas and grew up in Oklahoma. He made his first significant mark on the entertainment world as a songwriter of such hits as "Invitation To The Blues," "Billy Bayou," "In The Summertime (You Don't Want My Love)," "When Two Worlds Collide," "Home, Half A Mind" and "That's The Way I Feel." Repeated appearances on The Tonight Show, The Jimmy Dean Show, The Steve Allen Show and a stint as a regular on The Merv Griffin Show established Miller in the collective American mind as a spontaneous and consistently original wit, as exemplified in songs such as "Dang Me," "Chug-A-Lug" and "King Of The Road."
Roger Miller's songs transcend the boundaries of any category. Numerous artists have had both pop and country success with his songs, including Miller himself, whose inspired lunacy and expressive voice carried his own recordings to the top of both the pop and country charts, sweeping the Grammy Awards two years in a row. In 1964, "Dang Me" won Miller five Grammy Awards for Best Country Song, Best New Country Artist, Best Country Recording, Best Single and Best Male Country Vocal Performance; his first album, Dang Me/Chug-A-Lug, was named Best Country Album of the year. Miller more than repeated in the 1965 Grammys, when "King Of The Road" won six awards including Best Song, Vocal Performance, Recording and Single, and his album, The Return Of Roger Miller, was honored as Best Country Album of the year. That year the Academy of Country Music named Miller Best Songwriter and honored him with its inaugural Man of the Year award. During his career he garnered six Gold Records, was inducted into the Nashville Association of Songwriters International Hall of Fame and was presented with the Academy of Country Music's Pioneer Award. Roger Miller's other hit songs include "Engine #9," "England Swings," "Husbands And Wives," "Kansas City Star" and "Little Green Apples." His 31st and final album, Old Friends, was a collaboration with Willie Nelson. In addition to having his own show on NBC in 1966, he was a frequent guest and guest host on numerous television programs, starring in several of his own highly acclaimed specials. Miller also appeared as Johnny Appleseed in an episode of the series Daniel Boone, played a dramatic role on Quincy and scored and narrated the Disney movie Robin Hood.
After a career that encompassed recordings and concerts, television and motion pictures, Miller made his Broadway debut in 1985 as the composer and lyricist for the musical BIG RIVER: THE ADVENTURES OF HUCKLEBERRY FINN. It was the smash hit of the season, winning an astounding seven Tony Awards including one for Miller's score, and was named Best Musical of the season. Eventually Miller appeared in the production as the pernicious Pap Finn, the role created by John Goodman. His performance was a triumph.
Roger Miller died on October 25, 1992 at the age of 56.
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