The biggest country hit of the year was Roger Miller’s ode to hobos, “King of the Road.” (Hobos loomed large in country music, as did truck drivers. They were both descendants of the drifting cowboy.) After its release in January, the song spent five weeks on top of the country chart, and it made it to No. 4 on the U.S. pop charts—and No. 1 in the United Kingdom. As a thank-you to the Brits, Miller penned “England Swings” in the same gently rollicking manner.
Alternately dubbed the “hillbilly intellectual,” “cracker-barrel philosopher” (Life), and the “unhokey Okie” (Time), Miller cleaned up with six Grammys for “King of the Road,” including Song of the Year, Record of the Year, Best Country Song, Best Country and Western Male Vocal, Best Country and Western Single, Best Country and Western Album (for The Return of Roger Miller)—and even Best Rock and Roll Male Vocal and Best Rock and Roll Single (which betrays the age of the Grammys voters).