Lyle E Style (yes that is his real name) is a country singer/songwriter from Canada that wanted to know more about the life of Roger Miller he found books on the singer/songwriter scarce. So he did what anybody would do…persuade some of the most famous country artists to spend time with him to talk about memories of Miller and wrote his own damn book, Ain’t Got No Cigarettes: Memories of Music Legend Roger Miller. And it’s a gem!
Buck Owens, Bobby Bare, Roy Clark, David Allan Coe, Merle Haggard, Waylon Jennings and Kris Kristofferson are just a few of the legends that took time to talk to Style about Roger and two things seem to be universally agreed upon by all parties, Roger was a genius and he was loved by all of them. Sure he was an addict (amphetamines and coca-cola) and pissed away a lot of money (sending Lear jets from Las Angeles to Nashville to pick up Bar-B-Que!) but all the stroes and with fond memories.
I had vague memories of driving around with my mom in her huge Olds Delta 88 and hearing Roger’s songs playing endlessly on the radio. For a stretch you couldn’t escape his songs – “Dang Me”, “King of the Road” and “Husbands and Wives.” These songs were as ubiquitous as Ashlee Simpson or The Black-Eyed Peas are today…but without sucking.
Roger Miller passed away far too young, at the age of 56, in October of 1992, of cancer.
He left a legacy that shines in the heart of all the old-school Nashville outlaws and legends that still remember him warmly.