The most influential pianist and country music singer throughout the 70’s and 80’s is undoubtedly Ronnie Milsap. Though credited as a country music artist, he thought outside the box. style compiled elements of country, pop, R&B and rock to his unique sound. He was inducted into the Country Music Hall of fame on October 26, 2014.
Milsap was born in 1943 with a congenital disorder, which left him blind at birth. (His eyes were later completely removed.) Abandoned by his mother as an infant, he was raised by his grandparents until the age of 5. It was at this age that he was sent to Governor Morehead School for the blind, where he had a less than pleasant experience.
He attended college at Young Harris College in Georgia. It was during this time that he joined a popular R&B band called “The Dimensions.” Milsap declined a full scholarship to attend law school in order to pursue a career in music.
It wasn’t until ’73 that he made a name for himself in country music. After relocating to Nashville, he met country music star Charley Pride. Through Pride’s connections, Milsap signed to RCA Records. His first record released with RCA, titled “I Hate You,” peaked at No. 10 on the charts that year.
Through the ’70s, his success as a country music singer continued steadily, and in the ’80’s he began a crossover career. During this time, he shifted his sound to a more pop ballad sound, which allowed him to achieve crossover success on the pop music charts as well as the country charts. He continuously released No.1 hits during this time, including “She Keeps The Home Fires Burning,” “In Love,” Snap Your Fingers” and “Where Do the Nights Go.” His last major hit was released in 1992, titled “All Is Fair in Love and War.”
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