Ronnie Milsap‘s classic tune, “Smoky Mountain Rain,” made its debut in September 1980, taking the spotlight as the lead track on his album “Greatest Hits.” The song quickly soared to the top of Billboard’s Hot Country Songs chart, claiming the No. 1 spot for an entire week.
Beyond the country realm, “Smoky Mountain Rain” enjoyed remarkable crossover success. It not only secured one of Milsap’s two No. 1 spots on the Billboard Adult Contemporary chart but also reached a respectable No. 24 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.
Fast forward to 2019, almost four decades since its original release, and Milsap decided to breathe new life into the beloved melody. This time, he teamed up with country icon Dolly Parton for a mesmerizing duet. The collaboration, featuring additional lyrics penned by Parton herself, was released as the lead single from Milsap’s album, “The Duets.” A testament to the timeless charm of “Smoky Mountain Rain,” the updated version brought a fresh twist to a cherished classic.
The Story Behind Ronnie Milsap’s “Smoky Mountain Rain”
Written by Kye Fleming and Dennis Morgan, “Smoky Mountain Rain” weaves a poignant tale of a man’s soul-searching journey. The narrative unfolds as he makes the realization that the dazzling lights of Los Angeles aren’t his true home—it’s Knoxville, Tennessee, that beckons him back.
Standing in a phone booth, he endeavors to reach the woman he loves, eager to share his change of dreams. However, the cruel twist of fate reveals that she has moved on. Undeterred, our protagonist sets out on a determined quest, hitching a ride with a trucker bound for Gatlinburg, Tennessee. Despite understanding the reasons for her departure, he pledges to find her, no matter the obstacles in his path.
Ronnie Milsap’s rendition of “Smoky Mountain Rain” transforms this emotional journey into a musical masterpiece. The song invites listeners to immerse themselves in a swirling circus of emotions, capturing the essence of love, loss, and the unwavering determination to pursue one’s heart’s desire. To experience this rollercoaster of feelings, just hit play on the video below!