NED MILLER – a skilled songwriter and later on, a recording artist first wrote From a Jack to a King in 1957. The sales were not promising though. Still, Miller believed the song has a potential that five years later, he persuaded his record company to re-issue a single in 1962. Miller himself recorded his own composition. What was a bit disappointing about him though, was that he refused to overcome his anxiety on stage. It could have helped in the promotion both of the Single, and him as a rising star. Hence, no live performance was ever made for the song.
Surprisingly and in that same year, From a Jack to a King made its way to the ears and hearts of fans. The song topped the charts of US Song Billboards from country to pop and to adult contemporary. Likewise, it was a massive hit in the Ireland and in the United Kingdom. His gut was right after all. It was his first and biggest breakthrough in the music industry.
Listen to Miller and ponder how well he played his cards to see the Jack on the king’s throne.
Others would have followed that success with more records, but not Miller. He contented himself in songwriting for the rest of his career. It was not a total loss for him though. He found a continuing success in being a composer. Two of his most distinguished works were Dark Moon by Gale Storm and A Falling Star by Jimmy C. Newman.
Regardless, From a Jack to a King proved to be a trump-card by other artists who covered it including Jim Reeves, Elvis Presley and Jerry Lewis. About 45 cover versions were released from its first release.
Two decades after Miller’s success, 1980’s big star Ricky Van Shelton enjoyed another #1 record for his version of From a Jack to a King. Check his sampling below.