When we’re talking about the country artists with the most No. 1 hits, the name of Ronnie Milsap would always be a mention. Apart from the countless awards and recognition he received, the country music singer and pianist has 40 chart-toppers under his belt. He ranked third to George Strait and Conway Twitty in this aspect. Sometimes, if an artist has a long list of No. 1 songs, it’s quite interesting to know the first song that set such record. In the case of Ronnie Milsap, it’s the song “Pure Love” that became his career-breaking hit. The song gave him the first of his 40 singles that bested many other country records.

Aside from Milsap, another country music legend earned his first No. 1 with the song “Pure Love.” He was no other than the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame member Eddie Rabbitt. The “Suspicions” singer was a songwriter in Nashville before launching a recording career. He wrote two songs that propelled his name to fame. The first was the 1970s hit “Kentucky Rain” which gave Elvis Presley a Top 20 on the pop chart. Following this was the country ballad “Pure Love” which became an even more successful record. The song topped the Hot Country Songs chart in 1974.

Ronnie Milsap flashes a brilliant smile before the camera.

Photo credit: Ronnie Milsap’s Facebook Page

“Pure Love,” A No. 1 Song for Milsap and Rabbitt

Before Ronnie Milsap became an influential performing artist in country music, his musical interest was on rock and roll. So, he began recording songs on this theme. He also became a session musician for Elvis Presley where they worked on several recordings. Among these was the hit single “Kentucky Rain” which Eddie Rabbit wrote. After performing as opening act for country music star Charley Pride, Milsap was convinced to change course and focus on country music.

In 1974, Milsap released his third country studio album, Pure Love, which spawned two chart-toppers. The album’s lead single and title track was his first No. 1 country hit. On the other hand, “Pure Love” was Rabbitt’s first written song that reached the highest spot of the same chart. In 1975, Rabbitt recorded his version of the song.

Watch Milsap’s live performance of the song below.