Ronnie Milsap, WB4KCG

The mailman just dropped off a printed program for 2015 events at The Center for the Performing Arts — an amazing facility just north of Indianapolis and about forty miles from here. We try to get down there for at least one show a year. Last year it was to see Peter Frampton and the year before that it was Kenny Loggins.

I noticed that country music legend Ronnie Milsap is scheduled to be here in November as part of his “farewell” tour. I had no idea he was in the process of wrapping up his road career though he has been working his profession for many years.

Milsap was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame last year, and turned 72 this year.

Born in Robbinsville, North Carolina. and blind since birth, he was raised in a poor farming community and was schooled in classical music at the Morehead State School for the Blind in Raleigh. Milsap’s debut album was released by Warner Brothers in 1971. During his career, he’s had 40 number one country hits, won six Grammys and eight Country Music Association Awards.

Radio hams know him as WB4KCG — a longtime amateur radio enthusiast and Advanced class operator. I’ve never worked Milsap and have no idea how active he may be but with retirement looming, perhaps he will have more time to practice the hobby?

Milsap is one of several notable musicians who hold (or held) an amateur radio license. Those include Joe Walsh, Lance Bass, Patty Loveless, Chet Atkins and gospel artist Larnelle Harris, WD4LZC.

I’ve heard Harris on 40 meter CW very often – he has a great fist!

Author: Jeff Davis