"If I were a silly grin, I'd like to be worn on Roger Miller's face."
Buddy Killen was the Joe Tex/Roger Miller connection. He was lifelong buddies with Miller, brokered several of his record deals, managed his publishing and sat the crazy laughing ADD genius down to complete his songs.
According to "I Love You Drops" singer Bill Anderson, "Roger would come in with seven or six lines of a song. It'd be something fabulous, and Buddy would just have to almost take him and chain him to the table to make him finish."
Killen was also one of the snappers on the giant Miller hit "King of the Road".
Joe Tex covered three different Roger Miller songs throughout his Dial career, and it wasn't just the fact that Killen helped make them the successful artists they were that made them simpatico. Both singers managed to say deeply profound things in often ridiculous contexts, and conveyed both happiness and humor in their performing style in a way that is absolutely captivating and infectious. And they were both funny as do-wacka-do.
JT covered "King of the Road" on The New Boss, "Half a Mind" on I've Got to Do a Little Bit Better, and "Engine Engine #9" on Soul Country.
And on Hold What You've Got, he wrote his own Roger Miller homage/parody, "Are We Ready?", the last verse of which goes out to Newt Gingrich.
Joe Tex with Buddy (right) and journalist Charles Lamb (center)
And just because it's too long to wait until Roger Miller Month, here's Roger and Johnny Cash.
I just told myself a dirty joke!
For more information on Roger Miller and Buddy Killen, check out the informative bio on the official Roger Miller website.