Ronnie Milsap Captures a Mysterious “Stranger”


Ronnie Milsap greeted the video age with “Stranger in My House,” one of the entertainer’s most enduring singles from a long and distinguished career. In 1983, when the song cracked the Top 5 at country radio, TNN: The Nashville Network and CMT were just arriving in people’s homes. Before long, the ominous cable box was infiltrating TV cabinets everywhere.

But that’s not the stranger in the house that Milsap is singing about. With a sizzling keyboard riff, the up-tempo song insinuates something suspicious is going on — a hint of adultery — but so far, it’s only a hunch.

Shot in a black and white film noir style, “Stranger in My House” takes several plot twists and turns. Is it supposed to be pulpy? Spooky? Comical? And who murdered the guitar at the end?

The melodic, mysterious track was written by Mike Reid, who notched his own No. 1 country hit in 1991 with “Walk on Faith.” He also teamed with songwriter Allen Shamblin to compose Bonnie Raitt’s heartbreaker, “I Can’t Make You Love Me.” Of course, Milsap’s fans know that Reid also composed “Inside,” “Show Her,” “Still Losing You,” “In Love,” “How Do I Turn You On” and “Where Do the Nights Go” and many others for the legendary singer.

Between 1973 and 1992, Milsap earned 49 Top 10 country hits and won eight CMA Awards. Thanks to a new partnership with Sony Legacy, he’s back in the game with Summer #17, due March 18. The diverse album is strengthened by a well-chosen set of memorable songs from his youth, as well as two satisfying duets with versatile vocalist Mandy Barnett.

Enjoy Milsap’s classic video for “Stranger in My House.”