January 10

One Day at a Time: A Cristy Lane Hit from Kris Kristofferson

To be precise, it was Kris Kristofferson and Marijohn Wilkin who wrote it.

From the time this gospel tune was released, it quickly dominated the airwaves. Soon, churches played it often. Your mothers may have also sung it to you back when you were kids. Hence, most of us were familiar with it.

If you haven’t memorized the lyrics yet, sing-along with us!

One day at a time, Sweet Jesus!

The Songstress

One Day at a Time” is a Cristy Lane country single. Though not the first to record it, her 1980 version became a hit in the US. Its prominence remained in the following decade. To date, it is one among churches ‘favorites

Cristy Lane was born, Eleanor Johnston of Peoria, Illinois. Her husband, Lee Stoller, was an avid fan of country music. Hence, she was persuaded to sing country with Stoller being her manager. Several of her songs made it to the top ten of country hits. ‘Let Me Down Easy’, ‘I’m Gonna Love You Anyway’, ‘Penny Arcade’ and ‘I Just Can’t Stay Married To You were among them. Come 1979, she was awarded the Female Vocalist of the Year by the Academy of Country Music.

One Day at a Time, however, was her first No. 1. With the same rationale that gospel songs don’t sell, her label, United Artists Records, thought it a bad move. Imagine the surprise then when it turned out to be a multimillion-selling single.

Inspired perhaps by the success, Stoller made attempts to publish Cristy Lane’s biography using the same title. Sadly, they got rejected. Eventually, Stoller published the biography and its readers loved it! The book became a best seller in the mid-80s.


The impact was far reaching an influence worldwide. As a result, other artists who made their own recordings with it benefited.

Aside from Cristy Lane’s version, One Day at a Time was also a hit in the United Kingdom (1978) and in Ireland (1979).


Cristy Lane, gospel, kris kristofferson, songwriters

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