When Connie Smith was a young girl, she had kept singing just to herself. In fact, she would even cry or hide under the bed if anybody heard her sing. But her dreams had always been bigger than her fear of sharing her talent, imagining herself performing on the Grand Ole Opry.
Smith saw that dream come to light countless times in the nearly sixty years since her induction to the Grand Ole Opry. Of course, Connie Smith songs leave a lasting legacy, making her one of today’s most revered country artists.
So, let’s get to know more about one of the genre’s brightest and bubbliest stars. Here are some facts about Connie Smith.
1. She’s a native of Elkhart, Indiana.
Born Constance June Meador on August 14, 1941, the country singer went through some tough times as a young child. Her father was an alcoholic and abusive to the family, so her parents eventually divorced.
2. She’s one of fifteen children.
Smith’s mother remarried when she was seven years old. In addition to Smith’s four siblings, her stepfather brought his eight children to the new family. Her mother gave birth to two more children, giving Smith a total of fourteen siblings all in all.
3. She graduated salutatorian in high school.
Smith attended Salem-Liberty High School and graduated class salutatorian with only one-tenth of a point behind the valedictorian. However, her family was so poor that the shoes she wore to graduation were bought with money taken up in a class collection.
4. She developed a great love of music while growing up.
Smith’s family has been her biggest musical influence. Her stepfather was an amateur musician who played the mandolin, while her brothers played fiddle and guitar. On Saturday nights, the family tuned into the Grand Ole Opry radio broadcast. Kitty Wells and Jean Shepard are just some of her favorites.
5. She turned one accident into guitar lessons.
Smith got into a lawnmower accident that almost cut her leg off when she was in high school. While recovering in the hospital, someone gave her a guitar to help pass the hours. It was then that Smith taught herself to play chords.
6. She worked different jobs before stardom.
This includes a telephone operator, a drugstore clerk, and a dental assistant.
7. She made her stage debut at a local square dance.
Smith was only learning how to sing back then when she first sang in public during her senior high school years – where she performed Patsy Cline’s “My Happiness.” The result was so bad, she said, but at least she earned $3.00.
8. She has been married four times.
In 1962, Smith first married Jerry Smith, who encouraged her to sing and perform more frequently. However, their marriage didn’t work out, so they decided to get divorced in the mid-1960s. She went on marrying twice in her career until she finally found her one true love.
In 1997, she married country singer-songwriter, Marty Stuart. Stuart first crossed paths with Smith when she was performing in his hometown of Philadelphia, Mississippi. He was only 12 years old then, but he told his mother he would marry the country star someday. Twenty-seven years later, the prediction of Stuart – who was seventeen years younger than Smith – came true.
Isn’t it exciting to know these facts about Connie Smith?