Before I say anything else, I have to admit this: I am biased. Ronnie Milsap is one of my all-time favorite singers and my mean in any genre. I happen to think Ronnie is flat-out a great singer and entertainer. I interviewed Ronnie a number of years ago when I was working in Aberdeen (and he was in the middle of one of the greatest music career’s ever). As it turned out, he is one of the nicest people I’ve ever talked to (along with Country legend Freddie Hart, but that’s another story).
So as I’m looking through the Country Music Hall of Fame, and the newest members Garth Brooks, Connie Smith, Hargus ‘Pig’ Robbins, I notice something.
There’s no Ronnie Milsap in the Hall. Wait, let me double-check. Marty, Mel, Merle…but no Milsap. There’s gotta be a mistake! Or maybe since I’m such a huge personal fan, I’m biased for him. Maybe he wasn’t all that great. I suppose one of the measure’s for Hall of Fame membership would be big hit’s. I mean big hits, you know, the #1’s. Did Ronnie have a few?
How about “Pure Love”, “Please Don’t Tell Me How The Story Ends”, “I’d Be A Legend In My Time”, “Daydreams About Night Things”, “What Goes On When The Sun Goes Down”, “I’m A Stand By My Woman Man”, “Let My Love Be Your Pillow”, “It Was Almost Like A Song”, “What A Difference You Made In My Life”, “Only One Love In My Life”, Let’s Take The Long Way Around The World”, “Nobody Likes Sad Songs”….whew!
Oh, and that’s only the #1’s he had in the 1970’s. Ronnie had another 23 #1’s in the 1980’s.
No, I’m not talking about ‘big hit’s’, I’m not talking about ‘Top 10’s’…I’m talking #1’s. How many performer/singers in the Hall of Fame had fewer #1 hits than Ronnie Milsap? How about all of them except George Strait and Conway Twitty.
Now, was Ronnie Milsap more important to Country Music than, say, Hank Williams? Ernest Tubb? Roy Acuff? Buck Owens? Charley Pride? Nope, I’m not saying that. But, like it or not, he had more #1 hits than any of those legendary artist’s.
And I found him to be a nice guy. I don’t recall any particular controversy surrounding Ronnie or his career. I don’t remember any huge problem with booze or drugs (although that most certainly doesn’t keep one out of the Country Music Hall of Fame!).
So…I don’t know. Is it political? Did Milsap make someone or some people mad somehow?
Well, guess I’ll just put on my Milsap Greatest Hits CD. Oh wait, I meant CD’s. You can’t get all of Milsap’s #1 hits on one CD. Most of the other member’s of the Hall you certainly can.