meta name="generator" content="Adobe GoLive 5"> Ronnie Milsap

No matter what you think of country music, when someone mentions Appalachia and music in the same stream of thought, you can't help but think of the song, "Smoky Mountain Rain' . This song performed by the incomparable Ronnie Milisap is just a slice of this artist's amazing musical repetoire which spans almost 30 years. His skills have endured the pop-country musical fads of the 70s and 80s, and his true country-to-the -core recordings reflect the high standards he sets for himself and his sound. This is not surprising, since Ronnie built his talent on a solid rock foundation of meeting challenges not all of us have to face in our every day lives. Ronnie was born blind to a family in Robbinsville, North Carolina in 1943. He was adopted by his grandparents at the age of one because his mother felt his blindness was a punishment. At the age of 6, Ronnie went to the State School for the Blind in Raleigh, North Carolina, taking with him a deep appreciation for hillbilly music. Ronnie has described his education there as 'education heaven and disciplinary hell'. This challenging environment didn't stop Ronnie from absorbing as much classical and pop musical styles as his brain would take.

Upon graduation in 1962, Milsap attended Young Harris Junior College while still chasing his musical dream, from which he graduated two years later. His first single 'Total Disaster' was released in 1963. Though he could have decided to take his education even further studying law, Ronnie signed with the large Scepter label out of New York. Ronnie had some success with Scepter, but decided to move to Memphis in 1968 where he played most nights at T.J.'s. Ronnie also sang and played piano on Elvis Presley's song, 'Kentucky Rain'.

In 1972, Ronnie made the move to Music City, playing a standing musical gig at club and hotel called 'the King of the Road '. A year later, Ronnie signed deal with RCA Records. It was at this time Ronnie began to blaze a trail through musical history as the country icon he is now. Hits like 'I Hate You', 'That Girl Who Waits On Tables', 'Daydreams About Night Things' and 'Pure Love' gave Ronnie the reputation as a country singer who could put a positive spin on a country tune. The year 1977 saw Ronnie crack the pop charts with the hits 'It Was Almost Like a Song', 'What A Difference You've Made In My Life', 'Only One Love In My Life' and 'Let's Take the Long Way Around The World'. Recording history like that gave Ronnie the CMA Award for Male Vocalist of the Year from 1974-1977. He also was the CMA's Entertainer of the Year in 1977. Ronnie's winning ways continued into the 80s and 90s and still continue today. This is a performer that doesn't believe in just holding on to the success he has. Ronnie has given back to the world by elping perfomers like country songwriter/performer/Cincinatti Bengal vet Mike Reid get started. He also established the Ronnie Milsap Foundation for individuals with vision impairment.

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