Ned Miller, a country crooner and songwriter whose biggest hit, “From a Jack to a King,” endured in covers by stars like Elvis Presley and Bobby Darin long after Mr. Miller stopped performing because of shyness, died on March 18 in Medford, Ore. He was 90.
Mr. Miller considered himself a songwriter more than a singer and had such bad stage fright that he sometimes asked friends to perform under his name. Many of his most successful compositions, like “Dark Moon,” were better known as hits for other artists, including Gale Storm and Bonnie Guitar.
Mr. Miller’s recording of his composition “From a Jack to a King,” an upbeat song about a man’s fortune changing for the better when he wins the woman of his dreams, did not cause a stir when it was released in 1957.
But when Capitol Records rereleased the record, which featured Mr. Miller’s warm tenor warbling over languid guitars, in 1962, it became a hit, reaching No. 6 on the Billboard pop chart in 1963.
Mr. Miller did little touring to support it.
Mr. Miller’s other songs include “Do What You Do Well” and “Invisible Tears,” which was written with his wife’s help. He stopped recording after 1970 and said he was relieved to be through with the music industry.
“If you love shows and like to perform, it’s a great business, but if you don’t, you shouldn’t be in it,” he was quoted as saying in the liner notes of a German album in 1991.
Henry Ned Miller was born in Rains, Utah, on April 12, 1925, and grew up in Salt Lake City. He graduated from Murray High School, near Salt Lake City, and served in the Marines during World War II.
He married Clara Magers, known as Sue, in 1945. He worked as a pipe fitter and air-conditioning installer and frequented country music venues before moving to California to write music.
In addition to his wife, with whom he lived in White City, Ore., he is survived by a sister, Bonnie Powell; four daughters, Lynda, Karen, Rhonda and Leslie Miller; a son, Jack; nine grandchildren; and three great-grandchildren.