Born in Elkhart, Indiana, Constance June Meador was one of fourteen children. When she was a teenager, Connie was injured in a lawnmower accident which nearly cut off her leg. While in the hospital recovering, she picked up a guitar and started learning different chords. Once she had fully recovered from her accident, Connie started performing at different local talent shows around the Ohio Valley.
In the early 1960s, Connie married her first husband and became a housewife. She was still appearing on different radio and television shows in the area, which is where Bill Anderson first discovered her. In 1964, Bill was performing at the Ernest Tubb Record Shop and brought Connie in as his special guest. Within a couple months, she was recording her first demo record, which included tunes that had been written by Bill Anderson himself. Once the demo was complete, it was taken to Country Music Hall of Fame member, Chet Atkins, who signed Connie to RCA Victor in Nashville.
Connie Smith's first single was one that was written by Bill Anderson called "Once A Day," and was released in August of 1964. It reached number one on the Billboard charts and remained there for eight weeks and on the charts for a total of thirty weeks. Although this was Connie's only number one hit, it still holds the record for any female country singer with a single at number one. There are only a few female singers who even come close with a number one single that held the spot for six weeks. This is very impressive, considering it was Connie's debut single. The songs that followed the success of "Once A Day" may not have hit the same number on the charts, but they did do well. They include singles such as "Tiny Blue Transistor Radio," "Then And Only Then," "Nobody But A Fool Would Love You," "The Hurtin's All Over" and "Cincinnati, Ohio.
The Grand Ole Opry invited Connie to become a member in 1965. If having all of these hits and joining the Opry wasn't enough, she even appeared in several movies including "Las Vegas Hillbillies," "Road To Nashville" and "Second Fiddle To A Steel Guitar."
After several ups and downs in her personal life, Connie married fellow country star, Marty Stuart in 1997. Although Connie has not had a hit on the charts in a long time, she has toured consistently and still makes several appearances at the Grand Ole Opry. Her sound is timeless and so is her personality, which is why she is still a diamond shining bright every weekend in Nashville, Tennessee.
"Once A Day"
This is Connie Smith's only number one. It is a fan favorite at the Grand Ole Opry and everywhere she travels. It is a perfect country song that includes heartache, heartbreak, and pure misery, but delivered in the style that Connie has made famous. The music is classic and the steel guitar has a certain ring that has never been duplicated.
"Nobody But A Fool (Would Love You)"
This track has an interesting melody and the tempo is brisk. Connie's voice shines bright on every word. Although it has a fast beat, the words are very sad. Nothing is like having your heart ripped open and feeling like you will never love again, but Connie makes it sound easy.
"Then And Only Then"
Out of all of Connie Smith's top hits, this one sounds more "pop" than anything. It is still very country, but for the time period, it does contain several notes that resemble the "malt shop" sounds. It still sounds great and the steel guitar and piano licks are incredible. It is about a girl who is missing her man and vows that she will not stop crying until he comes home.
"Ain't Had No Lovin'"
When listening to Connie, you have to sit back and truly listen to the words and the music and know how to separate the two. Some of her lyrics are very dark and describe the misery that each character faces, but the music often sounds happy. It is a unique combination that has worked beautifully for her since the start, and you can expect nothing less on this track.
"Tiny Blue Transistor Radio"
This was not one of Connie's most famous songs, but it did well enough on the charts to make this list. Like many of her tunes, it was written by Bill Anderson. It is about a woman who was given a little radio by her better half. Sadly enough, she was listening to it when she heard a dedication go out over the air from her man to his girl on the side. This is a classic tune that could only have been pulled off by Miss Connie Smith.
Album RecommendationsThe Essential Connie Smith'
This album is geared towards to Connie Smith fans who enjoy her most popular hits. There are a couple of songs that were not as big on the charts, but for the most part, this is a standard "Greatest Hits" package that everyone can enjoy. This record is perfect for any occasion and can be enjoyed by every classic country fan.
As soon as you hear this record, it is clear that Connie Smith has been off the charts for way too long. Although this album has been out for a while, it is her most recent solo project, and is well worth the listen. It is classic and pure, which is what Connie is known for. This is all original material and proves that Connie Smith is just as talented today as she ever was.
This is the ultimate Connie Smith collection, and is perfect for anyone who loves her. It contains four discs that include over one hundred tunes from her impressive catalog. It inludes everything from her top ten hits all the way down to the tracks that were never released as singles. Although it is a little pricey, it is timeless and includes a booklet that will also take you through the years of her amazing musical journey.