03 January 2012

ronnie milsap: louisianians responsible for popularizing 'the freeze'

ever since we first heard it probably in the early 1980's "if you dont want me to" or the freeze has been one of our favorite songs.

the thing about this song is that it's very mysterious. we'd hear it occasionally on the radio but could never find out the name or what album of mr. milsaps' that it was on.

there is also a real snappy line dance that we would see people at parties dance when the house band would play it live.

over the years we'd search for it with no luck and no leads in music stores in virginia, north carolina, new jersey, florida are a few that come to mind.

then in the late 1980's we were in the alexandria, la. mall and went in to a popular at the time, music store they used to have there called musicland. there was a real young guy behind the counter and we went into our spiel about a song by ronnie milsap that starts out with a piano one of the lines is something like 'if you dont want me too' and there is a line dance ... he smiled and stopped us in mid sentence and said the name of the song is "if you dont want me to" or the freeze and it's not available and that they couldnt order it and that they get people in there every week if not every day looking for it. so that was that.

so skip ahead to 2000 - 2001 when we first got on the internet and napster was going strong and legal so we signed up for napster just to see if we could get that song file and indeed it was the very first file we ever downloaded from there.

despite napster being legal, we didnt feel bad about downloading the file because we had made every good faith effort we could think of to purchase it; on a side note, what was so great about napster -- besides having probably every song ever made on there -- was that it was a great resource for speeches and other historical events.

we're lucky to be able to walk and chew gum at the same time -- much less dance but we've always enjoyed watching line dancing and last night we were on youtube looking for some line dance videos and just happened to search for the freeze and came across a video which was only uploaded to youtube this past august in which mr. milsap gives some of the history behind this song. see below.

"if you dont want me to" was finally released as a track on his newest cd called "country again." so we'll be on the look-out for that cd.

the youtube commenter bobby71446 says that the man in the video lives in leesville, louisiana and that they call him pop.
question: "your first single 'if you dont want me to,' the freeze, hit radio last week; what inspired you to write a song about a new dance craze?"

ronnie milsap: "well, what it is, this song was out a few years ago; it has quite an odd history to it, in that, it was very popular down in louisiana. it was on the 'b' side of a couple of singles to service the juke boxes and folks in louisiana played this song for a celebration. any kind of celebration they play it. where there's a wedding or any other kind of celebration. this dance became so popular we decided it ought to be the first single from this cd." ~ source "ronnie milsap web series - the freeze" 17 august 2011.
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