On September 6, Ronnie Milsap’s wife, Joyce Reeves Milsap, passed away. She was 81 years old and on July 25, 1941, in Gainesville, Georgia, Reeves was born. She first met Ronnie Milsap when he was just a teen at a dinner party held by her relative. They married in 1965 and began pursuing Milsap’s musical ambitions together.
Reeves was always a staunch supporter of her husband’s music and the way he listened to it, and as the pair relocated from Memphis to Nashville, she helped Milsap transition into country music. At the end of 1972, the couple chose to live in Nashville and built a house there.
In 1973, Jerry Bradley signed him to RCA Records after hearing three of his songs produced by Cowboy Jack Clement, which were his first country successes. At least until Milsap hit No. 1 with “Pure Love” and “Please Don’t Tell Me How The Story Ends” by Kris Kristofferson in 1974, when he won his first of six Grammy awards and the CMA Male Vocalist award.
Reeves was the muse and inspiration for many of Milsap’s biggest hits, including “Daydreams About Night Things,” “Smokey Mountain Rain,” “Show Her,” “Don’t You Know How Much I Love You,” “A Woman In Love” and “What A Difference You’ve Made in My Life,” as well as what the loss of that love might be informing “Almost Like A Song,” “Still Losing You,” “I Wouldn’t Have Missed It For The World” and the 1985 and 1986 Grammy-winning “Lost in the ‘50s Tonight.” To date, their love created 40 No. 1 hits.
Ronald Todd, the only child of Reeves and Milsap, was the beneficiary of that devotion. Todd, who was 49 when he died, was his mother’s eldest son. Kye, Asher, Mya, and Wyler were all her grandchildren.
According to country music legend Dolly Parton, “there are no words and no songs in the world that can express how much I adore my Sapphire.” As a fan of my music, you may comprehend part of how much I loved my gorgeous, wonderful wife by listening to those songs.” She wasn’t only a songwriter; she was so much more. We were inseparable for more than 30 years; we were inseparable for more than 30 years; we were inseparable for more than 30 years.
Because that song is pure Joyce, whenever someone tells me they enjoy it, I grin.” As he adds, “We had lean times where we laughed, fantastic times that beyond our wildest dreams, and bad times where we clung to each other for dear life.” To say that she is in heaven with our Todd—and I know that somehow she is still here with me every day because that was just who she was would be an understatement. “
Joyce’s funeral will be private because to COVID concerns.