Sunday Music – Home

Posted on Sun 03/04/2018 by


Today’s music video is Home, sung here in this clip by the American singer songwriter Roger Miller.

Link to Video at You Tube

This video was posted to You Tube by Jason Madore

It’s an odd thing really, how your tastes in music evolve. When you start to become aware of music, usually in your early teens, you like what is the current popular music of the time. You hear music long before that time, but in your youth it is more background and incidental. Then when you do gain an awareness of your own, all that earlier music is from a time before, and is often associated with the music your parents liked, and because your newly acquired liking for music is different, then you like what you like, and the music of your parent’s age is somehow anathema, and as I have often said here, every age thinks that it was them who ‘invented’ music.

I was no different, really, and my preference for music of my age began when I changed from a child to a teenager, and that was in the early 1960s, what we of our age now refer to as the golden age, that age referred to in the U.S. as The British Invasion, when there was so much new music coming out of the UK, and almost on a daily basis, sometimes so bewilderingly fast that you couldn’t keep up with it. Because of that, and because all we had was the new fangled transistor radios, now becoming cheap enough for young teenagers to buy, and they tuned them into their own radio stations and listened to only the music they identified with.

Then, when I started to earn a wage of my own, and could afford LP records, I would purchase the ones I liked.

Then something happened, almost gradually really. I started to realise that some of the music my parents liked was actually quite good, and some of it was referred to by those music stars from my era as being among their strongest influences, so I wanted to hear what it was all about.

Now here, a second thing came into play.


Here in Australia, even though we think of ourselves as a ‘big’ Country, we are in fact quite small, and because of that, the radio audience is also a quantum level smaller as well. So, all we heard on radio was the music which was popular at the time. We had ONE National Top 40 Chart for every song there was. Later on in life, I learned that in the U.S. they had a couple of Major national Top 40 Charts. They also had an Adult Contemporary Chart, a Blues Chart, (well Rhythm and Blues) an easy listening chart, and a couple of Country Charts.

Here in Australia, it was all just music. So instead of separate genres of music we just had the one chart. So anything from those other genres did not get played all that much on radio here in Australia, and if it did, then it was already a Smash Hit anyway, and we never really knew the difference, as all the music was different anyway.

So, gradually, we became aware that there was indeed other music from other genres, and that music from those genres began to be categorised now in our own minds. Now, although there was Country Music around for an awful long time, because we were none the wiser, it was all just music to our ears, and I can’t really recall Country Music being classified (well, on a regular basis anyway) as Country Music, and some people actually thought it was two categories, Country ….. and ….. Western.

That now leads me back to Roger Miller. He had a couple of novelty songs which were hits here in Australia, and because there has always been novelty songs, then they also were all in together as just plain old Popular Music. Roger was nowhere near as popular here in Australia as he was in the U.S. and even his Monster hit King Of The Road only just made it inside the top 20 on the National Top 40 Charts, the biggest of his hits here, and perhaps only two or three others just made it onto the Top 40 Charts.

So, I never really heard much of Roger Miller at all, perhaps one or two songs across the years, and I do remember his song England Swings as one of them.

In the early 70s and now with a record collection which was growing, I was becoming more aware of other genres of music other than what I grew up with in the 60s.

There was this tiny little record shop I would frequent often, and the guy who ran it was well aware of me, and my tastes in music, as I would more often than not get a new LP on the Friday immediately following our fortnightly payday. I would sometimes spend anything up to half an hour or more in the shop, and just pore over the records in their racks.

Either the store owner started to rearrange things in his store, or I just happened to notice it, one of those Friday afternoons, I was waiting for the ‘guys’ to turn up after shopping and we usually spent an hour or two at the Hotel nearby, a popular haunt for most of us when we were in town, and somewhere we always gathered. I had already selected the album I was getting for that day, and was just biding time. I noticed the rack of Country Music records he had, and in those days, there weren’t all that many, and I flicked through them. The store owner came over and commented that ‘this was different’, as he was well aware of my taste in music, and it didn’t extend to what I actually thought at the time was something new, Country Music. I recognised some of the names, and I was a little astonished that they had been placed in this ‘section’, Country and Western Music, which I had sort off associated with, umm, perhaps hillbilly music. I picked up an album by Roger Miller, a name I vaguely recalled. I only recognised one song on the album, which was titled Words And Music, an album Roger originally released in 1966, so it wasn’t like it was a new album, and dating from the time as I was starting to form my own appreciation of music.  You might think that the store owner was just looking to make a sale, but I knew he was genuine because he knew me pretty well now, but he mentioned that I might actually like it. I did buy that album, and later on , in the Pub, a couple of friends commented when they asked what I had purchased this time, and when I told them, I got some distinctly amusing looks, and a comment, ‘You’re actually going to listen to that crap,’ as Country Music was not perceived as being particularly all that cool at the time.

When I did get back home, and played the album, I actually liked it, and that surprised me more than anything, because it was so far outside what I thought as music I would like. A couple of the songs were pretty ‘cheesy’ but all in all, it was easy to listen to. It was also unlike any other album I had. Most songs in those days were around 4 minutes long, some longer, and an album was usually around 40 minutes or more in length. This album had 12 songs on it, six each side and most were only around 2 minutes long, and the whole album was barely 20minutes in length.

The two songs I really liked the most were Husbands And Wives, and the song I have featured today, Home. When I looked at the credits on the album, only one song was a cover from another artist, and all the others were written by Roger Miller.

Years later, and now with access to the Internet, I found that Roger was indeed a songwriter of (some) novelty type songs, but he was categorised as a Country Music artist. I also found out that he was also a well respected songwriter for other artists. One of those songs on the album which I did recognise was Billy Bayou, but I do not remember the version that Roger was singing on this album. You think of an artist singing a song, especially in those days of the late 50s and early 60s as being solely from the artist who sang the song, without knowing that a lot of artists in those days sang songs written by others.

Billy Bayou was written by Roger Miller for Jim Reeves and it was a Number One hit for Reeves, and the song I liked, the one featured today, Home,  was also written by Roger Miller for Jim Reeves, and it was also a Number One hit for Reeves, and both of them were originally released by Reeves in 1958/9, so almost a decade or more before I heard them on this album.

A month or so later, I actually got hold of a second album by Roger Miller, and both albums got some odd looks when friends would go through my collection of albums and see those two in there with all the rest of them.

From that point on, my tastes in music expanded, and I was all the better for it. There is just so much good music out there, from every era, and from every genre, and from every age, and from so many different artists and bands. Sometimes you need to take a leap of faith, and be so surprised.

Posted in: Music, Videos