On This Day: Ronnie Milsap Inducted into the Grand Ole Opry in 1976

by Katie Maloney

Forty-five years ago today, country icon, Ronnie Milsap claimed his spot at the Grand Ole Opry.

At the time, Milsap was only 33 years old and he was no stranger to the Opry stage. He had already been a frequent guest at the venue. Milsap was preparing to release his eighth studio album, It Was Almost Like A Song. Additionally, his single, “(I’m a) Stand By My Woman Man” became his sixth number one hit at the time.

During an interview, Milsap shared how he came to be inducted.

“Before I joined the Opry in 1976, Jeanne Pruett was always getting me to come out here and guest,” said Milsap. “Eventually she said, ‘I think you need to join the Grand Ole Opry.’ And I said, ‘Well, how do you do that?'”

Milsap then shared that his friend and fellow country star, Roy Acuff, inducted him.

“All of a sudden, one night, I was over here, and Mr. Roy Acuff came up to me in the hall and said, ‘Hey, Ronnie, you want to be a member of the Opry?’ I said, ‘Yes, sir.’ He said, ‘Okay, then, you’re going to be a member of the Grand Ole Opry.'”

Ronnie Milsap at the Grand Ole Opry.

Ronnie Milsap Asks Audiences What They Want Him To Play During Concerts

With 40 number one hit songs, only George Strait and Conway Twitty have more number one country songs than Ronnie. So, how does he choose which songs to play during concerts? During an interview, Milsap shared that his method of choosing a concert set-list is to ask the audience.

“A lot of times when you are wondering what they want to hear, ask ‘em. They’ll tell you,” said Milsap. The audience is a big part of what you do. Their response spurs a performer to do better than he’d ever thought he was going to. The audience does that for you. They make you better on that night than you thought you were going to be.”

And at 78 years old, Ronnie Milsap is still connecting with fans. He even has tour dates listed on his website for 2021 performances. Fingers crossed music venues open and fans can start putting in their song requests to Ronnie.