This next song has been bouncing around the back of my head since I was a kid, but I learned only yesterday that it’s not Roger Miller. It sure sounds like the guy who wrote and performed country-leaning novelty hits including “Dang Me” and King of the Road” … but it’s actually one-hit wonder Leroy Pullins from Berea, Ky. His full name was Carl Leroy Pullins, but I think we can all agree that “Leroy” is funnier than “Carl.”
Roger Miller’s sing-talking style with clever lyrics was hot between 1964 and 1966. “England Swings,” “Chug-a-Lug,” and “You Can’t Rollerskate in a Buffalo Herd” were all country radio hits, so it’s no accident that records producers were looking for someone who could do that exact same thing. Here’s Johnny Knoxville from “Jackass 3D,” still knowing the lyrics to a Roger Miller classic in 2010.
The b-side to “I’m a Nut,” is another Milleresque number called “Knee Deep.” Pullins clearly knows how long you can keep a one-joke song going and brings in home in under two minutes.
After only two albums, Pullins retired from music and moved back to Kentucky. He became a firefighter and died of a heart attack in 1984 at the age of 44. “I’m a Nut” just keeps going though. About ten years ago, actor and “physical comedian” Jimmy Slonina used the song in an on-going YouTube series where he precisely mimes along with his expressive rubber face. Jimmy was host and emcee on Pink’s “The Truth about Love” tour and is currently (as far as I know) in the cast of Mystère by Cirque du Soleil at Treasure Island in Las Vegas.