“King of the Road“ is a song written and originally recorded in 1964 by country singer/songwriter Roger Miller….as the lyrics tell of the day-to-day life of a vagabond hobo….who despite being poor….a “man of means by no means”….revels in his freedom by describing himself humorously or possibly cynically as the “king of the road”….as it was Miller’s fifth single for Smash Records…..when the popular crossover record hit # 1 on the US Country chart….# 4 on the Billboard Hot 100….and # 1 on the Easy Listening surveys….as it was also # 1 in the UK Singles Chart and in Norway. Miller recalled that the song was inspired when he was driving and saw a sign on the side of a barn that read, “Trailers for sale or rent“…. which would become the opening line of the song.
The song has been covered by many other artists, including George Jones, James Collins, Dean Martin, Val Doonican, James Booker, The Fabulous Echoes, Jack Jones, the Statler Brothers, Boney M., R.E.M., Glen Campbell, Alvin and the Chipmunks, Boxcar Willie, Johnny Paycheck, Randy Travis, James Kilbane, John Stevens, Rufus Wainwright & Teddy Thompson, Peligro, The Proclaimers, Ray Conniff Singers, Giant Sand, The Reverend Horton Heat and Jerry Lee Lewis
The song was performed live by Merle Haggard, Willie Nelson, Marty Stuart, Dwight Yoakam and Dolly Parton during Roger Miller’s posthumous induction into the Country Music Hall of Fame at the 1995 CMA Awards ceremony….and as seen in this video herewith….Roger Miller performs “King Of The Road” live on stage at Austin City Limits in 1983.