Roger Miller Is ‘King Of The Road’ Again In New Musical

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A new musical about the life and work of Roger Miller, one of the greatest, and funniest, stars of classic country music is now running in California. King of the Road: The Roger Miller Story is playing at the Laguna Playhouse in Laguna Beach, Orange County until 14 May.

Miller, born in 1936 in Fort Worth, Texas, made his first appearance in the US country charts in late 1960. He became one of the genre’s best-known crossover stars with such hits as ‘Dang Me,’ ‘Chug-A-Lug,’ ‘Engine Engine #9,’ ‘England Swings’ and of course his signature song, ‘King of the Road.’

The new musical rendition of his story was co-written by his widow, Mary Arnold Miller, with Cort Casady. The play is directed by Andrew Barnicle, in a production with four speaking roles and four musicians, and musical direction by Omar D. Brancato. Miller is played by Jesse Johnson, with Braxton Baker taking the role of the younger man.

The script for King of the Road moves back and forth between a childhood spent in rural Oklahoma and the ups and downs of his Grammy-winning, chart-topping career. The musical has been praised by the Orange County Register, whose Eric Marchese wrote that the show “is a fitting legacy to a man many only know for the songs ‘King of the Road’ and ‘Dang Me’ but who most will discover, until seeing it, they barely knew at all.”

Miller died at the age of just 56, with 42 country chart entries to his name, in 1992. He was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 1995.

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  1. Carla Fitch

    April 29, 2017 at 5:34 pm

    I knew Roger, for a couple of years back in the 70’s when he came to Utah. He even had me pick him up at the airport when he came into town. I really thought a lot if him, and enjoyed the time we had together. He was a very REAL and genuine kind of
    person…and I felt privliged to have known him.

  2. Billie

    April 30, 2017 at 5:15 am

    We saw Roger at the Georgia Mountain Fair the summer before he passed.
    He was great!
    Have always loved his music!

  3. pat from mt. prospect,il. at the time.

    May 1, 2017 at 10:03 pm

    i used to listen to wjjd chicago, chris lane had a great show and i used to call in and ask for one of roger;’s song starting with king of the road. eddie arnold and roger were appearing at the old mc cormack place and chris lane was kind enough to get my husband and i and a neighbor couple back stage to meet him. i of course got tongue tied and evenas ked to our ome for dinner oon sunday.course he didn’t come! myhusband remarked eddie arnold i s in the next room and here we are with roger. my husband liked eddie arnold and that new s ong he h ad out which was welcome to my world.. sometimes i hear a commercail lately on tv and the person singing it sounds alot l ike roger. have often wondered if it is his son? wish the show would co me to mesa,az. as i wo uld love to see it. i was born in 1936 too.

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