Sign up for newsletter
 

Milsap, Cochran, Wiseman to join country hall

Tuesday, April 22, 2014 – The Country Music Association announced today that Hank Cochran, Mac Wiseman and Ronnie Milsap will be joining the Country Music Hall of Fame.

Cochran will be inducted in the rotating Songwriter category. Wiseman will be inducted in the Veteran category. Milsap will be the 2014 inductee in the Modern Era category.

"They let me know a few weeks ago," Milsap said after the induction, "and not telling anyone has been the hardest thing, because it's one of those dreams that just... It's one of the things I've always wanted. The idea that this music meant enough to people, held their lives and loves so that it made a mark that lasted."

Cochran, who died in 2010 at 75, enjoyed 29 top 10 hits over a 30-year span. His hits include "Make the World Go Away" and "I Fall to Pieces" have both been recorded by more than 100 artists. "Don't Touch Me," "The Chair," "Don't You Ever Get Tired of Hurting Me," "I Fall to Pieces" and "She's Got You" are other Cochran hits.

Born in rural Mississippi, Cochran dropped out of school at 12 and hitchhiked to New Mexico with his uncle. They both went to work on oil rigs. At 16, Cochran went further west to California and later served in the army and working at Sears, Roebuck. He scored a songwriting job at the West Coast branch of Pamper Music and transferred to company headquarters in Nashville in 1960. He also recruited Willie Nelson to join the firm's writing staff.

In 1961, Patsy Cline's version of "I Fall to Pieces" (co-written with Harlan Howard) became Cochran's first big songwriting success. By the end of 1962, he'd written 10 charted singles. Cline, Ray Price, Eddy Arnold, Norma Jean, and Cochran's then-wife Jeannie Seely sang his songs during the 1960s. Merle Haggard had a number one hit with Cochran's "It's Not Love (But It's Not Bad)" in 1972. Cochran's "She's Got You" (Loretta Lynn), "That's All That Matters" (Mickey Gilley), and "Don't You Ever Get Tired of Hurting Me" (Milsap) were all chart toppers.

Cochran enjoyed another period of success during the 1980s with new songs recorded by Vern Gosdin, Keith Whitley, and George Strait. During his lifetime, Cochran recorded his own albums for RCA, Monument, Capitol, and Elektra.

Wiseman, 89, was a popular bluegrass vocalist. He is known for his Dot Records interpretations of songs including "Shackles and Chains," "Jimmy Brown the Newsboy," "I'll Be All Smiles Tonight" and "Love Letters in the Sand." He also was as a sideman with Flatt & Scruggs and with Bill Monroe, featured vocalist with Molly O'Day, country recording director for Dot (1955-59), and a founding member and first secretary of CMA (1958).

Wiseman was born in Crimora, Va. in 1925. Early in his career, he worked at WSVA in Harrisonburg. Following his service with O'Day, Flatt & Scruggs, and Monroe, Wiseman began recording for Dot in 1951.

While continuing to record, he became a Dot producer. After 1965, Wiseman became a favorite on the bluegrass festival circuit, and hosted his own festival in Renfro Valley, Kentucky, from 1970 to 1983. He has recorded for Capitol, MGM, RCA, Churchill and CMH Recordsd.

Milsap, 71, is known for his soulful singing during his four-decades long career. His music has encompassed country, country-pop, rock, rhythm & blues, funk, pop, and classical music made the singer-keyboardist a formidable entertainer who defies narrow classification. He has earned 6 Grammy awards for Best Male Country Vocal performance, 4 CMA awards, and 35 number 1 hits.

Born blind into an Appalachian family named Millsaps on Jan. 16, 1943 in Robbinsville, N.C., he went to live with grandparents at age 1. According to his 1990 autobiography, "It Was Almost Like a Song," his mother regarded his blindness as divine punishment and asked his father to take Ronnie away. At six, having heard gospel music at church and country music via radio, he entered the State School for the Blind in Raleigh, N.C.

Milsap released his debut single, "Total Disaster," in 1963 on Atlanta's Princess Records. He chose music over law school, and he was recording R&B-tinged pop for New York's Scepter label by 1965. A 1968 move to Memphis led him to Chips Moman's American Studio. Milsap played piano and sang on Elvis Presley's "Kentucky Rain" (1970) and recorded briefly for Moman's Chips label; he then cut LPs for Warner Bros. and Reprise in 1971-72.

Milsap moved to Nashville in 1972 and began a long association with RCA Records in 1973. Milsap started charting with country fare including "I Hate You" and "That Girl Who Waits on Tables" (1973). He won a 1974 Grammy for his number 1 take on Kris Kristofferson's "Please Don't Tell Me How the Story Ends." His hits "Pure Love" (1974) and "Daydreams About Night Things" (1975) showcased him as a singer of positive, uptempo love songs. Hits continued in 1976 with "What Goes On When the Sun Goes Down" and the Grammy-winning "(I'm a) Stand by My Woman Man." He was CMA's Male Vocalist of the Year in 1974, 1976, and 1977, he was the organization's 1977 Entertainer of the Year.

Milsap enjoyed 42 top 10 songs between 1976 and 1991, including "Back on My Mind Again" (1978-79), "I Wouldn't Have Missed It for the World " (1981-82), and 1981's "There's No Gettin' Over Me" (another Grammy winner). The 1985 single "Lost in the Fifties Tonight (In the Still of the Night" offered Milsap's R&B roots and secured his fourth and fifth Grammys.

Milsap continued hits in the 1980s and 1990s. He has continued releasing music, including "Summer Number Seventeen" earlier this year.

More news for Ronnie Milsap

CD reviews for Ronnie Milsap

Ronnie Milsap: The Duets CD review - Ronnie Milsap: The Duets
Is Ronnie Milsap proud of his age? For a clue, look no further than the name of his "76 for 76" Tour. There are some other numbers the North Carolina native is probably fond of, such as 40 number 1 records or 6 Grammys. Milsap's qualifications for the Country Music Hall of Fame were such a no-brainer they left electors with no brains. The injustice was rectified when Milsap was finally inducted in 2014. The primary hitmaking days are now a distant memory, but the blind piano man »»»
Summer Number Seventeen CD review - Summer Number Seventeen
Quick, what guy compiled 40 number one country singles, recorded with everybody from Ray Charles to Elvis, but has yet to be enshrined in the Country Music Hall of Fame? Yes, it's Ronnie Milsap, now in his 70s, just like Merle Haggard (who was inducted 20 years ago). Clearly, the ornery outlaws get more attention than the nice guy romantics. And it doesn't help that Milsap has always been interested in many different flavors of music, from '70s Philadelphia Soul to '50s doo-wop. »»»
Then Sings My Soul: 24 Favorite Hymns & Gospel Songs CD review - Then Sings My Soul: 24 Favorite Hymns & Gospel Songs
Ronnie Milsap's first gospel release and first album in 3 years is a double-disc set packing in 24 tracks with a far-reaching selection of songs. There are gospel standards (such as Peace In The Valley and Soon And Very Soon), classic hymns (like How Great Thou Art and Softly And Tenderly), a couple of re-worked secular songs (Ben E. King's Stand By Me and Milsap's own 1978 number 1 What A Difference You've Made In My Life) and a few new songs (World Of Wonder). »»»
Editorial: Walking the talk – When names like Hank Williams, Johnny Cash, Waylon and the Hag are invoked, you're talking hard core country. These are the touchstones of country , the guys who made country music what it was and still is (or maybe can be). When these folks would sing about being down-and-out and the rough-and-tumble, they knew of what they were singing about. Fast forward a few years to the country singers of today. »»»
Concert Review: Combs, Gill, Harris, Crow comprise one final musical platter – Vince Gill played host to an entertaining guitar pull, a show which also featured his longtime friend, Emmylou Harris, slightly newer friend Sheryl Crow and brand-new friend Luke Combs. Gill joked from the outset that this All for the Hall fundraising show needed Combs to sell tickets, and by the audience's response, it was clear many came only to see Combs.... »»»
Concert Review: Stapleton shows his traditional roots – Chris Stapleton's All-American Road show feels like a singular mission to rid the genre of the bro country scourge that has plagued it for years. He came out with a blazing one-two punch of "Second One To Know" and "Without Your Love" and packed a stadium sized onslaught into a 9,000-seat arena. He never once veered from his... »»»
Follow Country Standard Time  Subscribe to Country News Digest  Follow Country Standard Time on twitter  Visit Country Standard Time on Facebook 

Elsewhere in the news

Currently at the CST blogs

Willis, Robison spin "Beautiful Lie" Eleven years ago, Kelly stepped away from music. She had just finished touring on 2007's exquisite "Translated From Love" and felt the angst of being a travelling musician with family at home. At that point, Willis and her husband, musician/producer Bruce Robison,... »»»
Chip Kinman celebrates brother, career on "Sounds Like Music" For a brief moment last summer, the news of Tony Kinman's death was, if not greatly exaggerated, then at least fortuitously premature. The roots rock icon, known for his work in The Dils, Rank and File, Blackbird and Cowboy Nation with his younger brother Chip, had been diagnosed with cancer in March 2018,... »»»
Shiflett learns "Hard Lessons" Until recently, Chris Shiflett took a somewhat obsessive/compulsive approach to his music career. For the past two decades, Shiflett has been the primary guitar foil for Dave Grohl in Foo Fighters; early in his tenure, Shiflett was so self-deprecatingly... »»»
White embraces "The Hurting Kind" John Paul White, to paraphrase a Steve Earle song, may just be one of the last of the hardcore troubadours. By 'troubadour,' we mean one of those guys that lives to write great songs - more specifically, great country songs - and then get these songs into the ears of folks that... »»»
Bingham gets personal with "American Love Song"...again A lot of the early reviews for "American Love Song," Ryan Bingham's latest set of raucous and reflective Americana brilliance, have characterized it as the singer/ songwriter's most personal album to date.... »»»
Wilson goes her own way After having huge success at the get go with "Redneck Woman," Wilson eventually went her own way and took a break. During her "hiatus," Wilson started her own label and was a "120 percent mom" to her teenage daughter.... »»»
Carll tells it like it is A visit with Hayes Carll finds him taking a rare day off at home to discuss new album "What It Is" co-produced by Brad Jones and Carll's girlfriend, Allison Moorer. "This album works around three themes; our relationship (he and Moorer), the world and myself.... »»»
Threads CD review - Threads
With "Threads," Sheryl Crow gets the all-star-guest treatment on what she says is her swang song, with each song featuring a favorite fellow artist. She seems a little too young for this kind of tribute. Nevertheless,  »»»
Let it Roll CD review - Let it Roll
Midland is more magicians than musicians. When the trio came out with their omnipresent 2017 single "Drinkin' Problem," they pulled off their first trick: a brand-new band to radio who sounded like old friends. Their sound and their look (matador »»»
While I'm Livin' CD review - While I'm Livin'
It's been 17 years since we've had a new album from Tanya Tucker, so it's a real pleasure to hear her clear throaty vocals deliver these songs with her characteristic raw emotion. Tucker knows how to get into a song and make it her own »»»
Gypsy CD review - Gypsy
Eilen Jewell's "Gypsy" opens with the ominous, mysterious "Beat the Drum," which is a swampy - and yes, gypsy - song of warning about some impending doom or other. It plays out like a softer type of vintage... »»»
Texas CD review - Texas
Rodney Crowell is a rare breed of a country songwriter. Yes, he knows how to write traditional country songs; it's just he's also a deep thinker, which requires extra effort on the part of the listener to appreciate them fully.  »»»
New Moon Over My Shoulder CD review - New Moon Over My Shoulder
Larry Sparks was still a teenager when Ralph Stanley chose him to replace his brother Carter Stanley as guitarist and lead singer in the Clinch Mountain Boys in the wake of Carter's passing in December 1966. »»»
Chronicle: Friends and Music CD review - Chronicle: Friends and Music
The third solo album from a member of Sister Sadie to be released in 2019, "Chronicle: Friends and Music" (following those of Deanie Richardson and Dale Ann Bradley) reflects the breadth of modern bluegrass: energetic and intense, »»»
Blue Roses CD review - Blue Roses

Runaway June - Naomi Cooke, Hannah Mulholland and Jennifer Wayne - weave gorgeous harmonies around the lyrics of these songs on their new album, all but four of which they wrote with other writers. »»»

Wrote a Song for Everyone CD review - Wrote a Song for Everyone
Considering that Creedence Clearwater Revival's back catalogue contains some of the most beloved and iconic music of the rock era, and John Fogerty himself - the man who made all those great songs great - will be dueting with you, an artist has to feel like he's got two strikes against him when he sets out to contribute to a cover album tribute to Creedence Clearwater Revival and John Fogerty. »»»
This World Oft Can Be CD review - This World Oft Can Be
Although it isn't rare to hear women singing and playing bluegrass-inspired music, it is still unusual to take in a five-girl band doing so. Della Mae are not what The Runaways and The Go-Go's meant to rock & roll, perhaps, but they're nevertheless significant and unique. »»»
Wilderness CD review - Wilderness
"Wilderness" is another twisted menagerie of The Handsome Family songs. Once again, husband Brett Sparks sings their songs, sometimes in a bellowing gravedigger voice, after adding music to wife Rennie's lyrics. This time out, each and every tune is named after an animal, insect or other such nature creature. However, Rennie studies animals the way Flannery O'Connor wrote about humans, which is with the weirdness and character flaws in primary focus. »»»