Back in the heady days of 2006, Tinsel and Rot inducted its inaugural class into the Tinsel and Rot Hall of Fame. Our Board of Governors took 2007 off. They were exhausted and didn't feel like inducting anyone. You got a problem with that?
Anyway, the Board of Governors has decided to induct another 12 lucky folks into the prestigious Tinsel and Rot Hall of Fame (location of actual physical structure TBD). But why induct them all at once? (Are you enjoying these rhetorical questions? Are you?) So, Tinsel and Rot will be inducting one person a month in 2008. Exciting!
And, so, please welcome Roger Miller into the Tinsel and Rot Hall of Fame.
Since I really only knew Roger Miller from "King of the Road," I'm not sure why I picked up the cassette with the green cover at J&R Music World in the late 1990s. I'm sure a low price had something to do with it, and I'm guessing that the fact that Side Two had songs called "My Uncle Used To Love Me But She Died" and "You Can't Rollerskate in a Buffalo Herd" probably gave it the edge over the other Roger Miller cassettes in stock. Whatever the case, I wore that tape out (and maybe the patience of anybody who had the pleasure of driving me around in the months that followed my purchase), rewinding furiously and listening over and over to "Chug A Lug" (Track 1, and, coincidentally, the first one I became obsessed with), "Dang Me," "Do Wacka Do," and the aforementioned two on Side Two. It was probably the last cassette I listened to obsessively.
I bought a few other cassettes after that (most memorably, "King of the Road: The Genius of Roger Miller," a three-tape boxed set), a bunch of CDs (including the eternal road trip go-to "The Best of Roger Miller"), and even some LPs. And I find it difficult to declare any song on any of those a clunker. The man does no wrong in my eyes. My general aversion toward musicals prohibits me from judging whether "Big River" was any good, but I bet it was just fine.
When I went to Nashville for the first time, I didn't really have a lot of info about hotels in the area. Then, while poring through Travelocity, I discovered a fact that sealed the decision. The current Days Inn by the stadium used to be called Roger Miller's King of the Road Hotel. I booked immediately. Sure, I rethought that decision when a guy threw a can at my head down the road from the hotel and when the people in the room next door were in the middle of a particularly boisterous sex session. But I was still oddly pleased that I had stayed someplace that used to have Roger Miller's name on it. Yes, I'm weird. But so was Roger Miller, so at least I'm in good company.
Tinsel and Rot is pleased to induct Roger Miller into the hallowed (virtual until the fundraising campaign reaches its conclusion) halls of the Tinsel and Rot Hall of Fame.
Five Roger Miller Songs You Should Hear:
"Kansas City Star"
"I've Been a Long Time Leavin' (But I'll Be A Long Time Gone)"
"In The Summertime (You Don't Want My Love)"
"It Happened Just That Way"
"My Uncle Used to Love Me But She Died"
Visit the Roger Miller website for great biographical info and a plethora of awesome clips.
And here are some great YouTube clips:
Roger on "The Johnny Cash Show"
Roger singing "In the Summertime"
Roger's greatest hits medley with the Muppets