Reader’s Request – Single Review: Ronnie Milsap, “If You Don’t Want Me To”

Requested by reader Keith Means.

Veteran artists who have fallen out of favor at radio often kowtow to the current trends in an attempt to regain acceptance.

There’s certainly none of that going on here.

“If You Don’t Want Me To” sounds so much like vintage Milsap that it’s hardly a surprise that this was recorded in 1980.   A strange choice for inclusion on a new studio album that focuses on traditional country, and an even stranger choice for a single, as it is nothing like the rest of the set.

“If You Don’t Want Me To” could easily have been a #1 single while Milsap was at his peak, though it would’ve been sheer career momentum that got it there.  The song isn’t anything special, though the rest of that new album, Country Again, proves how good he still sounds today.  Give him a better song, and he could challenge Kenny Rogers for the title of oldest country star to hit #1.

Written by Robert White Johnson and Jimmie Lee Sloas

Grade: B-

Listen: If You Don’t Want Me To



  1. Great review! I love to read other opinions on songs, and I really liked the line about veteran artists that “kowtow” to current trends. Thanks again for taking my request!

  2. That’s interesting about the song being recorded before. I see from Wiki it was from an album called Milsap Magic. Can’t argue with your rating. I can see why it wasn’t a single. I saw him at Westbury in the mid 8o’s. Great singer. He joked about driving the tour bus. Maybe he did that at every show.

  3. I started singing “Ricky don’t lose that number” at the beginning. Is that a bad or a good thing?

    I also agree that this is a very strange choice for a single in 2011.

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