Thursday, May 05, 2016

Passings: Ned Miller (1925 - 2016)

Ned Miller, who crossed from the country to the pop charts in 1962 with From a Jack to a King, died on March 18.

The New York Times only confirmed his death on Tuesday after receiving word from his wife, Sue, to whom he was married for 71 years.

Miller began songwriting while still in his teens, seeing his first hit in 1957 with Dark Moon which was a hit for a number of different artists including Bonnie Guitar and Gale Storm. Later that year, Guitar had another hit with Miller's Mr. Fire Eyes.

Ned was much more comfortable as a songwriter than a performer, being a regular sufferer of paralyzing stage freight, but he did enter the studio in 1957 for Fabor Records to record his song From a Jack to a King. Upon its initial release, it went nowhere and, after a short stint with Capitol Records, he convinced Fabor to rerelease the record in 1962. It went to number 6 on the Hot 100, 2 on the Country and 3 on the Adult Contemporary charts. Jack was also a hit in the U.K. where it peaked at number 2 and Ireland where it topped the charts.

Miller never had another hit of that size, but he did continue to record and chart through 1970 with such hits as Invisible Tears, which was also a top ten AC song for Ray Conniff, and Do What You Do Well.

In 1970, Miller retired from recording but continued to write music with his wife, Sue.

Miller is survived by his wife, four daughters, a son, nine grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.

Ned Miller songs that reached the top 20:

  • Dark Moon - Bonnie Guitar (1957 / #6 Pop / #14 Country)
  • Dark Moon - Gale Storm (1957 / #4 Pop)
  • Dark Moon - Tony Brent (1957 / #17 U.K.)
  • Mr. Fire Eyes - Bonnie Guitar (1957 / #71 Pop / #15 Country)
  • From a Jack to a King - Ned Miller (1962 / #6 Pop / #2 Country / #3 AC)
  • Invisible Tears - Ned Miller (1964 / #13 Country)
  • Invisible Tears - Ray Conniff (1964 / #57 Pop / #10 AC)
  • Do What You Do Well - Ned Miller (1964 / #52 Pop / #7 Country)
  • Behind the Tear - Sonny James (1965 / #1 Country)
  • Snow Flake - Jim Reeves (1966 / #66 Pop / #2 Country)
  • Heart, We Did All We Could - Jean Shepard (1967 / #12 Country)
  • Next Time I Fall In Love (I Won't) - Hank Thompson (1971 / #15 Country)
  • From a Jack to a King - Ricky Van Shelton (1988 / #1 Country)

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