Getting To Know…Ronnie Milsap - Carolina Country

Getting To Know…Ronnie Milsap

Getting To Know…Ronnie Milsap

Born: January 16, 1943, in Robbinsville

Known For: Country "crossover" singer and pianist

Accomplishments: Ronnie Milsap was born almost blind and lost his remaining vision in childhood. Abandoned early on by his mother, he was raised by his grandparents until around age 5, when he went to the Governor Morehead School for the Blind in Raleigh. Instructors noticed his ear for music, and Milsap eventually studied classical music and learned several instruments. In high school, he formed a rock band then switched to R&B, where he met with mixed success. He then met country music legend Charley Pride, who encouraged him to move to Nashville and try country music. Milsap relocated there and in 1974 enjoyed two No. 1 singles, one of which won him his first Grammy. By the late '70s, he was one of country music's most popular performers, and in the '80s he successfully crossed to a pop market. Milsap has won six Grammies, had 40 No. 1 hits, and was named to the North Carolina Music Hall of Fame in 2002. This year, he released a new CD called "Country Again."

Quote: "This business is always changing. If you're going to be a leader, you've got to take chances."

Comments (4)

  • I worked as the Personnel/Payroll Clerk at the Governor Morehead School from 1965 to 1969 while my husband was an older student studying Electrical Engineering at N.C. State University. We are both natives of a small town in eastern North Carolina near the Virginia line. I was trying to find out which years Ronnie Milsap was in attendance there. I like a lot of Milsap's country music especially the one about Knoxville TN in the rain as we lived in Knoxville from 1975-1985 when my husband was employed at the TVA headquarters there.

    Nina Williams Nethery |
    December 08, 2018 |

  • I attended Governor Morehead School for the blind in 1976-1978. Ronnie did a show in Raleigh, some students got attend the concert. I was fortunate to met him that night. I commented on is rhinestone studded jacket. He told me after the show he would give it to me. Unfortunately we had to leave because it was late, I never got his jacket
    He was the nicest guy you would ever want to meet.

    Gina S Dickens |
    December 20, 2020 |

  • As mentioned in my earlier comment, I worked in the Administrative office at the Governor Morehead School from 1965 to 1969 while my husband was studying electrical engineering at N.C. State U. I really enjoyed my time working there and hated to leave but after his graduation we had to move back to Virginia as he went back to work at the Newport News Shipbuilding and Dry Dock Co. which is where he had been an apprentice graduate in 1960. Although both of us are natives of North Carolina and our families reside there, we have not lived there since 1969. My husband told me that he would take me back on a permanent basis when it was time to bury me SO I opted to stay in Tennessee and just visit my North Carolina family! I enjoy Milsap's music and I'm glad that he chose to follow his dream of being a performing artist.

    Nina Nan Nethery |
    December 20, 2020 |


    Arthur Lepri |
    December 11, 2021 |

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