Red Dirt Diaries: Honoring A Songwriter's Legacy

Friday, September 14th 2018, 7:56 pm
By: Karl Torp

An Oklahoma grandmother is out to keep her father's songs on the radio.

Neta Johnston's father Eddie Miller could fill several “best of” volumes with the hundreds of country music songs he wrote decades ago.

Miller was born in Camargo in 1919 and worked on the railroad after quitting school. But his passion for playing music brought him to California.

“He loved music. His first song, ‘I Love You Hone,’” Patsy Cline recorded it. He wrote that when he was 14 years old,” says Johnston who lives in Duncan.

In fact, nine of the songs on Kline's first album in the mid 1950’s were Eddie Miller songs.

“Elvis did two of his songs,” says Johnston, who still collects royalty checks for her father’s music.

Miller’s biggest hit “Release Me” became a worldwide hit and has been performed for countless artists.

Last month, on Miller’s behalf, Neta accepted the Mae Boren Axton Service Award from the Academy of Country Music.

The award is named after another famous Oklahoma songwriter.

Miller, who died in 1977, co-founded the Academy of Country Music.

Johnston says collecting the awards and honoring her father is all about keeping legacy alive.

“I’m proud of it, I just don’t want it to end,” says Johnston, who plans to pass down the copywritten song collections to her children.