Exactly 76 years ago, the female country gospel singer that brought life to the hit song, Once a Day was born. Connie Smith, one of America’s most beloved country singer debuted on radios and music charts back in 1964. Smith was only 23-years-old then.
Her warmly received song Once a Day seized the No. 1 spot on the Billboard Country Music charts for over 8 weeks, making her the title-holder of the only female country singer with the longest number 1 record in the said music charts.
From there, Connie’s career spiraled upwards and she soon bloomed from a small-town housewife in Ohio to a renowned country artist. While some critics unwittingly compared Smith to Patsy Cline, it did not stop many of her supporters from deeming her as one of country music’s long list of underrated but top-performing artists. In fact, in 2001 Smith was voted as one of the top 40 Greatest Women of Country Music of all time by her fellow singers. Smith ended up in 9th place.
Reminiscing Connie Smith’s humble beginnings
Connie was born in Elkhart, Indiana in 1941. Her birth name is Constance June Meador. Despite her birthplace, Connie’s parents were originally from West Virginia, and this explains why the beloved country artist spent more time there and in Ohio later on. It was also in West Virginia that Smith first exhibited her vocal prowess to the public. The singer’s childhood, which was turned bleak by her father’s abusive behavior, also served as the source of emotional inspiration for her songs. Not long after, Connie got married and bore a healthy baby boy. At that time, she had already moved to Marietta, Ohio.
She juggled her duties as a housewife with her local TV show appearances around her hometown. It was until country singer Bill Anderson discovered her in August of 1963 in a singing contest near Columbus, Ohio, that Smith was offered professional help to finally acquire a recording contract. After just 3 months, Connie was finally signed to RCA Records, and the rest was history.
Connie Smith may not have earned the same amount of commercial success like the other female artists of her generation (Dolly Parton, Loretta Lynn, and Tammy Wynette), her singing voice is still recognized as one of the finest melodies that country music has ever encountered.
To the charming and talented Connie Smith, cheers to 76 years of a life well-lived and a career beautifully painted in the memories of all your fans!