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.
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.
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.