September 5

Ronnie Milsap and His Controversial Tale of ‘Stealing’ Songs


The Controversy

Here we have the tale of two songs by Ronnie Milsap that were swirled in a controversy known as “copyright infringement”. The earlier record, “(I’m A) Stand By My Woman Man” from 1976, appeared to me to be in trouble from the two main fronts: title and melody.

 The intro in “Pig” Robbins’ was just too similar to the notes he played on Charlie Rich’s mega-hit “Behind Closed Doors” three years earlier, and that particular issue did provide a mild headache for Ronnie’s producer Tom Collins.

The controversy began with “I Wouldn’t Have Missed It For The World” was considerably more common: a songwriter claims his song has been stolen by another writer.

Who started it?

The charge was made by disc jockey Tim Williams, who worked at radio station KOKE in Austin, Texas. He claimed that he had sent Collins a song with the same title. In response, Collins denied the allegation, saying that he had overheard the clichéd phrase for years and merely suggested it as a title to Charles Quillen.

Fleming and Morgan intentionally stayed out of the hassle that went on with the lawsuit. She adamantly stated that they never had anything to do with stealing a song and was offended that anyone might think they would. She insisted that they would just do their job to write if they gave her a title.

As was the case with the earlier song, “(I’m A) Stand By My Woman Man,” the controversy surrounding “I Wouldn’t Have Missed It For The World” was fairly insignificant compared to other high-profile “copyright infringement” lawsuits in the music industry down through the years.  It was just “business as usual” to them.

Nonetheless, both songs made it to the number one spot. “(I’m A) Stand By My Woman Man” written by Kent Robbins #1, 1976) and “I Wouldn’t Have Missed It For The World” written by Kye Fleming, Dennis Morgan & Charles Quillen, #1, 1982.


These are two really great songs from a very talented Country singer. I hope you enjoyed both videos. Tell us what you think.


ronnie milsap, stand by my woman man

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