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Sunday, May 31, 2020  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Country Is Not Just Music, It’s Dean Miller’s Heritage

By Jack Hurst Chicago Tribune

The late great Roger Miller writer and singer of distinctive music that ranged from the hilarious “Dang Me” to the Tony Award-winning Broadway smash “Big River” had a son who wanted to get into the music business, but Miller wouldn’t help him.

Not, at least, in the usual sense. Dean Miller says his father believed it would be a hindrance, instead of a help, for him to try to use his influence in his son’s behalf, so Dean came to Nashville and fought it as an unknown the same way his dad, and untold thousands had done. Dean Miller’s debut album, due Aug. 26, boasts several songs that came out of real life.

“Country is not just music,” he says. “It is not the way you dress. It is not the way you act. It is a culture - something you are or you aren’t. My standard line is that there are some people who are Irish, or German, or Japanese. I’m Country. That’s my heritage. That’s who I am.”

One of the album’s songs, “Dreams,” he ripped out of himself at a traumatic time. He says in the very wake of a wrenching breakup, he wrote down all that went through his mind, refusing to edit the lyrics that emerged.

The vocal backup on “Dreams” is sung by Trisha Yearwood. Another song, “Nowhere, U.S.A.,” suggested by Roger Miller’s habitual description of where he came from, features backup vocals by the Mavericks’ Raul Malo. To merit such high-profile assistance, not to mention that of producer Gregg Brown (who has worked with Tanya Tucker, Travis Tritt and Chris LeDoux), Miller had to have more going for him than a famous father.

Keith records Sting song

Toby Keith, who co-produced his new album with James Stroud, has recorded a song by the pop performer Sting titled “I’m So Happy I Can’t Stop Crying” - which turned into a duet with Sting, thanks to transatlantic communication.

The story is that Sting thought the song, which first appeared on one of his albums, was country. After Keith and Stroud produced the Keith tracks, they sent them to England for Sting’s vocals to be added.

The package is due on the street June 24.

Yoakam album all covers

If you’re wondering how Dwight Yoakam had time to write any new music while touring and appearing in a string of impressive dramatic productions including Billy Bob Thornton’s Academy Award-winning “Sling Blade,” well, he apparently didn’t.

Therefore, a new Yoakam album due Tuesday titled “Under the Covers” is Yoakam’s first to consist entirely of cover tunes. They range from Wynn Stewart’s “Playboy” and Johnny Horton’s “North To Alaska” to songs by the Beatles and the Rolling Stones.

The first single will be “Claudette,” which was written by Roy Orbison.

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