Sometimes one of the most frustrating aspects of being an old school country music fan is the lack of availability of some of the older titles of some of country music’s most important artists. That’s most certainly been the case with the catalog of Country Music Hall of Famer Roger Miller. Though you can pull up many of his most iconic songs such as “King of the Road” and “Dang Me,” most of them are only accessible via the dozen or so “Greatest Hits” compilations that have been licensed over the years.
Sure, if you’re a vinyl junky, maybe you’ve done well finding his full-length albums out there in the wild, but good luck listening to them on the go, while the catalog of one of the greatest songwriters ever in country music is virtually inaccessible to a newer generation of listeners. Well now that’s all about to change.
Starting on Friday, May 27th, Capitol Nashville/UMe is going to begin reissuing Roger Miller’s albums originally released on Mercury, MCA, and Smash Records, making them available for the first time via streaming and download. First up are 1970’s A Trip in the Country, 1979’s Making a Name For Myself, and Roger’s 1985 self-titled album.
Then from there, Capitol Nashville/UMe will be releasing three new titles every month this summer, marking 65 years of Roger Miller’s influence in country music, which commenced in 1957 when George Jones recorded the Roger Miller-penned “Tall, Tall Trees.” Twelve original albums altogether will be populated across the digital realm as part of the campaign.
“I’m excited that these classic albums of Rogers are being made available digitally for all to enjoy,” said Miller’s widow, Mary Miller. “As I revisit his wonderful catalog of songs, I’m reminded how much I like hearing his lighthearted ones like ‘Hey Would You Hold It Down?’ as well as how poignant his ballads are. I hope these songs bring you a laugh, a tear, but most of all, a smile.”
Roger Miller’s whimsical and touching songwriting revolutionized country music at the time. Though it was songs like “Chug-A-Lug” and “Do-Wacka-Do” that had folks in stitches and singing along, it was songs like “The Last Word in Lonesome Is Me” that left a more significant mark. In 1964, Roger Miller won a whopping five Grammy Awards, speaking to just how revered he was by his peers. Then in 1965, he won six of them.
There are many other country legends whose legacies have also yet to translate into the digital world, and it takes a lot of effort by fans, families, and labels to make it happen. But with the way back catalogs are becoming increasingly popular as today’s music just doesn’t touch people like yesterday’s, we are slowly seeing some of country music’s most important works re-emerge. And no better place to start than with the works of Roger Miller.
The titles to be released include:
Roger Miller – 1985-MCA
Making A Name For Myself – 1979
A Trip In The Country – 1970
Roger Miller – 1970
Roger Miller – 1969
A Tender Look At Love – 1968
Waterhole #3 (Code of the West) – 1967
Walkin’ In The Sunshine – 1967
Words and Music – 1966
The 3rd Time Around – 1965
Return Of Roger Miller – 1965
Roger And Out – 1964