Top 10 Ronnie Milsap Songs
Ronnie Milsap's songs travel far. Milsap was one of country music’s most consistent hitmakers in the ‘70s and ‘80s. In all, 40 of his songs hit No. 1, he grabbed six Grammy Awards and several CMA Awards, including the 1977 Entertainer of the Year trophy. Milsap’s heartbreaking, but triumphant story could easily be turned into a movie. The 1-year-old blind baby was given up by his mother and later sent to an overly strict school, where he would face harsh disciplinary action just for playing rock n' roll music. The young man overcame his obstacles through his talent and passion for music. A diverse legendary entertainment icon, this list captures just a small glimpse of his massive catalog. From his first No. 1 hit ‘Pure Love’ to ‘80s radio favorites ‘(There’s) No Gettin’ Over Me’ and ‘I Wouldn’t Have Missed It for the World,’ these are the Top 10 Ronnie Milsap songs.
When Kenny Rogers and Ronnie Milsap hit the road together in 1987, they were looking for the perfect song to perform as a duo. Rogers’ friend, Kim Carnes, had written and originally recorded ‘Make No Mistake, He’s Mine’ as a duet with Barbara Streisand. Realizing its potential as a male duet, the two settled on the single which would soon hit No. 1 and earn them a Grammy for Best Country Duet.
This was another of Milsap's songs that won a Grammy, but almost missed its chance to be recorded in the first place. Milsap had already finished making his latest album and the first single was ready to be pressed. However, after hearing ‘There’s No Getting’ Over Me,’ he knew it could be a huge it and pleaded with his record label to add the track and replace it as the first single. The last-minute impulse earned Milsap his biggest charting Top 40 pop hit.
Ronnie Milsap spent several years defining his sound and trying to find his destiny in the music world. From recording rhythm and blues in New York, to playing in Atlanta and Memphis before moving to Nashville, the country piano man found a home recording country music. In 1973, he released two traditional sounding country records in ‘I Hate You’ and ‘That Girl Who Waits on Tables,' paving the way for his first No. 1 ‘Pure Love,’ penned by Eddie Rabbitt.
Ronnie Milsap songs are top notch because the singer has always been on the cutting edge of music production. The mulit-talented instrumentalist could tickle the ivories on a classic honky tonk song or jam on a synthesizer to rock things up. ‘Stranger in My House’ was one of those ‘edgy’ records for its time. Accompanied by a video, which was rare for country artists in the early ‘80s, the song shot to No. 5, received significant airplay on pop stations, and earned a Grammy for Song of the Year.
By 1977, Ronnie Milsap had already released 7 No. 1 country singles. A foreshadow into the success of his pop career was just around the corner when he cut ‘It Was Almost Like a Song.’ After traditional recordings like ‘Daydreams About Night Things,’ ‘I’d Be a Legend in My Time’ and ‘I’m a Stand by My Woman Man,’ the arrangement on this single showcased his musical diversity and landed him his first crossover hit, peaking at No. 16 on the pop charts.
After a string of early '80s successful adult contemporary-style hits like ‘Any Day Now,’ ‘There’s No Getting’ Over Me’ and ‘Stranger in My House,’ Ronnie Milsap wanted to sing a traditional country record for his 1985 'Greatest Hits, Volume 2' collection. Milsap’s search resulted in ‘She Keeps the Home Fires Burning.’ The new addition to the hits collection became Ronnie Milsap's 26th No. 1 song on the Billboard Country charts.
Ronnie Milsap's songs have powerful, especially in those like ‘What a Difference You’ve Made in My Life,’ ‘It Was Almost Like a Song’ and the bittersweet ‘I Wouldn’t Have Missed It for the World.’ The 1981 crossover smash with a catchy chorus contained just the right lyrics to help someone say goodbye in a positive tone. This country radio classic is a must-have on our list of the Top 10 Ronnie Milsap songs.
Inspired by the Freddy Parris and the Five Satins classic ‘In the Still of the Nite,’ songwriters Mike Reid and Troy Seals set out to compose a country song that paid tribute to the doo-wop era. With his diverse love of music, ‘Lost in the Fifties’ was an obvious choice for Milsap to cut. After realizing that many songwriters and artists of that era didn’t receive fair compensation for their work, Reid, Seals and Milsap included Freddy Parris in the songwriting credits to share in the royalties.
Songwriter Archie Jordan told Tom Roland of Billboard’s Book of No. 1 Country Hits that this song was inspired by a man at a Bible study. After telling his story of going through a bad marriage and landing in jail, he said “and then I found the Lord, and what a difference he’s made in my life.” Jordan said, “It just hit me like a ton of bricks, how many people feel that way, and not only about the Lord, but about their parents, their wife or their child.” The inspired songwriter then began composing ‘What a Difference You’ve Made In My Life,' which Milsap recorded.
When it came time to find a new song for Ronnie Milsap’s first 'Greatest Hits' collection, ‘Smoky Mountain Rain’ was a perfect fit. Milsap actually played his own piano on the recording, and he’s often stated in concert that the thumping sound he used on the song was inspired by the piano playing he did on the Elvis classic ‘Kentucky Rain.’ The classic tale of searching for a lost love, combined with slick production and an infectious chorus, landed Milsap at No. 1 again in 1980 on both the country music and Adult Contemporary charts.