Truck Driver Songs: Ronnie Milsap “Prisoner of the Highway”

Songs for Truckers Ronnie Milsap
Songs for Truckers Ronnie Milsap
Buy the music of Ronnie Milsap at Amazon

We’re back with another look and listen to our long running site series Truck Driver Songs. Here we take note of some musical legends from every era of rock and country music who give a shout out to all the truck drivers who work tirelessly to get us everything we need. This week, it’s a country ballad from the mid-80s that contrasts the freedom and confinement a trucker can feel on the road.

After a very rough childhood that got even rougher after doctors removed both of his eyes due to blood clots, Ronnie Milsap soon began earning attention from teachers for his musical skills. Despite his disabilities, he was able to learn several instruments and became a skilled songwriter as a teenager. His talent eventually earned him a full ride to college to study music. However, the desire to perform was too strong in Ronnie to keep him in school and he left his college for the musical stage soon after.

His big break came in December 1972, as Milsap relocated to Nashville after a chance meeting with country music star Charley Pride who was in the audience for a Milsap gig at the nightclub Whiskey A-Go-Go. Pride was impressed with Milsap’s singing and encouraged him to change course and focus on country music. Milsap began working with Pride’s manager, Jack D. Johnson, and was signed to RCA Records in 1973.

From 1976 to 1978, Milsap became one of country music’s biggest stars. He scored seven number one singles in a row. Eventually Ronnie would be credited with six Grammy Awards and 40 number one country hits, third only to George Strait and Conway Twitty. He continues to perform to this day.