‘From a Jack to a King’ Songwriter Ned Miller Dead at 90
Songwriter Ned Miller, known for the hit song "From a Jack to a King," has passed away. The tunesmith died in Medford, Ore., on March 18, at the age of 90; his death, which was not announced until this week, was confirmed by his wife, the New York Times reports.
Miller was born Henry Ned Miller on April 12, 1925, in Raines, Utah. He married Clara “Sue” Magers in 1945 and, in the mid-1950s, moved to California to pursue a music career. There, Miller signed to Fabor Records and released "From a Jack to a King" in 1958, though the song didn't chart until subsequent releases.
“From a Jack to a King” was a country hit twice: In 1963, it rose to No. 2 for Miller (and No. 6 on the pop charts), and then Ricky Van Shelton brought it to No. 1 in 1989. The track was also covered by Elvis Presley, Jerry Lee Lewis, Bobby Darin and Jim Reeves. Miller's songwriting hits also include "Dark Moon," "Invisible Tears" and "Do What You Do Well;" his songs were recorded by artists including Connie Smith, Bing Crosby, Chris Isaak and even Charles Manson.
As an artist, Miller himself recorded for Fabor until 1965, when he switched to Capitol Records. Though he was successful as a songwriter, Miller suffered from extreme stage fright and stopped performing in 1970. He is quoted as saying, “If you love shows and like to perform, it’s a great business, but if you don’t, you shouldn’t be in it." In fact, the Times reports his stage fright was so bad, he asked friends to perform under his name on occasion.
Miller is survived by his wife, Sue Miller; his sister, Bonnie Powell; four daughters, Lynda, Karen, Rhonda and Leslie Miller; a son, Jack; nine grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.
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