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From the Vault: The Proclaimers Cover Roger Miller’s “King of the Road”

Editor’s note: TDMB is reposting great music from the early days of the site. This was originally posted on April 20, 2012 and some of the details are out of date. The original video was much better, but was taken down.

Roger Miller’s King of the Road” was a big hit in 1964. It has the old sensibilities: Homelessness is far from a tragedy. Riding the rails–a hobo’s life–is all about freedom. It’s quite

Whatever. It’s a great song. Here is a terrific cover by The Proclaimers, twins from Scotland. They did it for the soundtrack of a 1990 movie called The Crossing.

Other songs from The Proclaimers include I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles) and I’m On My Way, which was a hit from the soundtrack of Shrek. The band’s website says that a new album, Like Comedy, will be released on May 7, though its unclear whether that’s the U.K. release date, the date for the U.S. or both.

Miller’s version of King of the Road is colorful and funOther songs include Dang Me and Chug-a-Lug. (Clearly, he was Roger Miller, not Arthur Miller.) Here he sings Old Friends with Willie Nelson at Farm Aid in 1985.

Here’s What’s Here

The Daily Music Break explores every genre of music, from hip hop to opera. It's simple: Boundaries are dumb. It's all good. Here is more about the site and here is our index:

--A Tribe Called Quest to The Dick Hyman Trio (In other words, A to H)

--Indigo Girls to Queen Ida (I to Q)

--Radiohead to ZZ Top (R to Z)

Reading Music

The stories of the great bands and musicians are fascinating. Musicians as a group are brilliant, but often troubled. The combination of creativity and drama makes for great reading.

Here are some books to check out.

Duke Ellington brought class, sophistication and style to jazz which, until that point, was proudly unpolished and raucous. His story is profound. The author, Terry Teachout, also wrote "Pops," the acclaimed bio of Louis Armstrong. Click here or on the image.

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What else is there to say? Here is the story behind every song written by The Beatles. Click here or on the image.

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The Grateful Dead don't get enough credit for the profound nature of its lyrics. Many of the band's songs are driven by a deep and literate Americana ("I'm Uncle Sam/That's who I am/Been hidin' out/In a rock and roll band" and "Majordomo Billy Bojangles/Sit down and have a drink with me/What's this about Alabama/Keeps comin' back to me?").

David Dodd's exhaustive study tells the story, song by song. Click here or on the image.

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