A Conversation With Ronnie Milsap

New Country Music Hall of Fame Inductee Recounts Career in CMT Video Interview

In addition to an exceptional career, Ronnie Milsap has had a particularly memorable year that will be highlighted when he’s formally inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame during ceremonies Sunday night (Oct. 26) in Nashville.

Milsap and industry veteran Mac Wiseman will be at the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum for the medallion ceremony that will also posthumously induct songwriter Hank Cochran, who died in 2010.

Milsap’s Hall of Fame induction follows one of the Academy of Country Music’s greatest honors — the lifetime achievement award — which he accepted Sept. 9 at Nashville’s Ryman Auditorium.

Beyond the accolades, Milsap is awaiting the arrival of The RCA Albums Collection on Nov. 4. Issued by Legacy Recordings, the catalog division of Sony Music Entertainment, the 21-CD boxed set features all of Milsap’s original albums for RCA, many being released on CD for the first time.

After the release of “I Hate You,” his 1973 debut single for RCA, Milsap placed 48 consecutive hits on Billboard’s country singles chart. The vast majority reached No. 1, including the Grammy-winning “Please Don’t Tell Me How The Story Ends,” “(I’m a) Stand by My Woman Man,” “(There’s) No Gettin’ Over Me,” “It Was Almost Like a Song,” “Stranger in My House,” “What a Difference You’ve Made in My Life” and “Smoky Mountain Rain.”

During a visit to CMT’s Nashville offices on Wednesday (Oct. 22), the 71-year-old legend talked extensively about his career, including his formative years in Atlanta, the early encouragement he received from Ray Charles, his session work in Memphis and the drive for excellence that remains as strong as ever.

Calvin Gilbert has served as CMT.com’s managing editor since 2002. His background includes stints at the Nashville Banner, Radio & Records and Westwood One.