Roger Miller

The Third Time Around

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Third time the charm, this is one of the classic Roger Miller records on Smash. At least half of the dozen titles here are among his most famous, and every song is written by him. Many were recorded in a marathon two-day session featuring just Miller and his guitar plus a few lead guitarists, piano, drums, and bass. What a range of themes and characters are presented, from the little "Swiss Maid" to "Big Harlan Taylor" and the sad sack who sobs "The Last Word in Lonesome is Me" Miller gets so much out of so little, evidence "Kansas City Star", a rockabilly-flavored classic starring a bragging kiddie show host. The Jerry Kennedy arrangements and picking from session pros who were uncredited at the time are really superb. Every track seems as if extra effort was made to make it sound fresh and different. Miller is indeed fortunate that such an individualistic style as he had was allowed plenty of breathing room, ample proof that a recording company can be successful when it is wise enough to allow an artist to present new music on its own terms, without compromise or interference.

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