Roger Miller, 56, who topped the pop and country charts in the mid-1960s with a string of easy-does-it, finger-popping hits such as "King of the Road," died of cancer Oct. 25 at a hospital in Los Angeles.
Mr. Miller, who also wrote the music for the Tony Award-winning Broadway show "Big River," announced in January that he was undergoing radiation treatment for a tumor below his vocal cords.
The singer-songwriter's bouncy tunes and witty lyrics brought him 11 Grammys in 1964 and 1965.
"King of the Road," a cheerful account of the hobo's life, took the country by storm in 1965 and won Mr. Miller six Grammy awards.
Other hits from that period included "Dang Me," "Chug-a-Lug," "England Swings" and "Can't Roller Skate in a Buffalo Herd."
In 1966, Miller had his own NBC variety show, "The Roger Miller Show."
His career revived in 1985 with "Big River," his first effort at writing for the stage. Based on "The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn," the show won seven Tonys, including one for best score, and ran for 2 1/2 years. Mr. Miller briefly played the role of Pap in the Broadway production and in a national tour of the musical.
His other hits included "Kansas City Star," "(And You Had a) Do-Wacka-Do," "Engine, Engine Number Nine," "Husbands and Wives," "In the Summertime" and "Walking in the Sunshine."
Mr. Miller, who lived near Santa Fe, N.M., was known for his quick wit, down-home charm, cackling laugh and mischievous grin.
He was born in Fort Worth and reared in Erick, Okla. He learned to play drums, fiddle, guitar, banjo and piano, wrote his first song at 5 and made his debut as a performer in front of 37 classmates in a one-room school.
He dropped out of high school, took odd jobs and sang with bands in small towns throughout Texas and Oklahoma. He also rode Brahma bulls in rodeos.
After serving in the Army in Korea, where he became part of a Special Services band entertaining troops, Mr. Miller was briefly a firefighter and then tried his luck in Nashville. He worked there as a bellhop and began writing songs for stars including George Jones, Ernest Tubb, Andy Williams and Patti Page.
In the late 1980s he performed with symphony orchestras and in supper clubs.
Survivors include his third wife, Mary; seven children; and seven grandchildren.