Roger Miller sings “King of the Road” Live at Farm Aid 1986.

Was released in January 1965, on March 27, 1965, the song would reach number one on U.S. Billboard Hot Country Singles, remained for five consecutive weeks. It would be the second and last number one of Roger Miller's career.

YouTube Farm Aid Channel
YouTube Farm Aid Channel

King of the Road:

Single cover Roger Miller ( Philips 1965 )
Single cover Roger Miller ( Philips 1965 )

Song written and recorded by Roger Miller on November 3, 1964, for the Smash label, with the production of Jerry Kennedy, was released in January 1965, on March 27, 1965, the song would reach number one on U.S. Billboard Hot Country Singles, remained for five consecutive weeks. It would be the second and last number of Roger Miller’s career.

The song was included on the album, The Return Of Roger Miller (Smash Records 1965). On the U.S. Top Country Albums, would arrive at the position number 2.
Critics gave the album positive reviews, remarking that “King of the Road” was “perhaps the most perfect country song ever written”, the song won 5 Grammy awards, for Best Contemporary Rock ‘N Roll Single, Best Contemporary Vocal Performance, Best Country & Western Recording, Best Country Vocal Performance, and Best Country Song.

Lp cover Roger Miller ( Smash 1965 )
Lp cover Roger Miller ( Smash 1965 )

The story of how the song was written, has three versions, in three different locations: between Chicago and the airport of Boise, Idaho, the other location is in Kitchener, Ontario, Canada. And last, when he moved from Amarillo to Nashville with his wife and three children. What is clear is that the three versions have two things in common: a sign that said “Trailers for sale or rent” and the statue of a vagabond, with these two points of inspiration, wrote this great song that today is part of the history of country music.

Lp cover Roger Miller ( Hilltop 1971 )
Lp cover Roger Miller ( Hilltop 1971 )

Some versions :
Jewel Akens April 1965 (ERA Records)
Jack Jones May 1965 (Kapp Records)
David Houston May 1965 (Epic)
Dick Curless May 1965 (Tower)
Del Reeves Aug 1965 (United Artists Records)
George Jones 1966 (Musicor Records)
Tennessee Ernie Ford 1966 (Capitol)
Boxcar Willie 1980 (Main Street Records)
Ed Bruce 1981 (Koala)
Randy Travis 1996 (Warner)
and many more, more than 100 versions.

Roger Miller – King Of The Road Lyrics

Trailer for sale or rent, rooms to let fifty cents
No phone, no pool, no pets, I ain’t got no cigarettes
Ah but, two hours of pushin’ broom buys a
Eight by twelve four-bit room
I’m a man of means by no means, king of the road

Third boxcar midnight train, destination Bangor, Maine
Old worn out suit and shoes, I don’t pay no union dues
I smoke old stogies I have found, short but not too big around
I’m a man of means by no means, king of the road

I know every engineer on every train
All the children and all of their names
And every handout in every town
And every lock that ain’t locked when no-one’s around
I sing…

Trailers for sale or rent, rooms to let fifty cents
No phone, no pool, no pets, I ain’t got no cigarettes
Ah but, two hours of pushin’ broom buys a
Eight by twelve four-bit room
I’m a man of means by no means, king of the road

Trailers for sale or rent, rooms to let fifty cents
No phone, no pool, no pets, I ain’t got no cigarettes
Ah but, two hours of pushin’ broom buys a
Eight by twelve four-bit room…

Don't Let Me Cross Over (Columbia 1962)
Don’t Let Me Cross Over (Columbia 1962)