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Ronnie Milsap

My Life – 2006 (Sony)

Reviewed by Robert Loy

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CDs by Ronnie Milsap

It is a sad fact of human nature that we do not realize what we have until it's gone. Ronnie Milsap, thankfully, is still very much with us, but it may not be until after his passing and the inevitable biopic (a la Ray Charles and Johnny Cash) that we realize what an extraordinary story this singularly talented man has lived. Born blind and into abject Appalachian poverty, he was abandoned by his mother, classically trained on the piano, started out as a soul musician, moved to Nashville and conquered the world of country, scoring 40 number 1 hits.

Perhaps more amazing than all that, however, is the fact that Milsap has recently re-signed with his old record label, the one that dumped him when - in accordance with modern record company SOP - he got close to the age where he could get the senior discount at Denny's. If he's feeling the pressure to prove something it doesn't show. These are the same soulful easy-on-the-ears tracks we've come to expect from the man. If he does seem to be contemplating his legacy a bit on tracks like "Time Keeps Slipping Away" and "My Life," it's counterbalanced by catchy love songs like "Accept My Love" and the tequila-tinged single "Local Girls"

Just imagine what a great scene in "Milsap: The Movie" it'll be when the guy who proved to the world on the first reel that you don't have to be sighted to be a great country singer shows them on the last reel that you don't have to be young either.