The late country star Roger Miller was a champion of the ’60s Nashville sound era. His chart-topping, honky-tonk-influenced hits made way for today’s country-pop crossover. It makes sense that Kacey Musgraves —- who also draws from and subverts classic Nashville stylings —- was recruited to cover his 1965 song “Kansas City Star” for the forthcoming compilation King Of The Road: A Tribute To Roger Miller.
Musgraves is in some very notable company on the collection. Across King Of The Road, a lineage of new- and old-guard country names sum up Miller’s wide-ranging influence, with Willie Nelson, Merle Haggard, Kris Kristofferson, Dolly Parton, Alison Krauss, Eric Church, and Lyle Lovett all making appearances. Somewhat less expectedly, you’ll also find contributions from Cake, Toad The Wet Sprocket, and none other than Ringo Starr.
Of course, 2018 saw the coronation of Musgraves in full swing well before she popped up alongside so many esteemed figures from her genre. We named her latest release Golden Hour the second-best album of 2018 so far. For her cover of “Kansas City Star,” she stays true to that sparkling country-pop while honoring the quirky novelty Miller intended, yodeling and all. Listen to Musgraves’ cover and Miller’s original below.
King Of The Road: A Tribute To Roger Miller is out 8/31. Pre-order it here.