Connie Smith Biography

Constance June Meadows, 14 August 1941, Elkhart, Indiana, USA. Raised in West Virginia and Ohio as one of 14 children, Meadows longed to be a country singer and taught herself to play the guitar while in hospital recovering from a leg injury, caused by an accident with a lawnmower. She sang at local events as a teenager and appeared on several radio and television shows. She married and for a time led the life of a housewife, but after the birth of her first child, she again took to singing. Her break came in 1963, when she was booked to sing at the Frontier Ranch, a park near Columbus. Headlining the show was Bill Anderson, who was so impressed with her performance that he invited her to Nashville to appear on the Ernest Tubb Record Shop live show. Two months later, she returned to make demo recordings, which won her an RCA Records contract. In 1964, her recording of Anderson’s song ‘Once A Day’ became her first hit, spending eight weeks at number 1 and 28 weeks in the US country charts. She became an overnight success and in the next five years added more Top 10 hits, including ‘If I Talk To Him’, ‘The Hurtin’s All Over’, ‘Cincinnati, Ohio’ and ‘Baby’s Back Again’. She later recorded an album of Anderson’s songs, although she did not work with him.

Smith became a member of the Grand Ole Opry in 1965, was much in demand for tours and concert appearances and appeared in films such asRoad To Nashville, Las Vegas Hillbillies andSecond Fiddle To An Old Guitar. In the early 70s, further Top 10 hits included ‘I Never Once Stopped Loving You’, ‘Just One Time’ and ‘Just For What I Am’ and tours included Europe, Australia and the Far East. She moved to Columbia Records in 1973, where her first hit came with a recording of her own song ‘You’ve Got Me Right Where You Want Me’ and in 1977 to Monument, where her biggest hit was a country version of ‘I Just Want To Be Your Everything’ (a pop number 1 for Andy Gibb). From 1979-85, she abandoned active participation in music, apart from some Opry appearances, as she devoted her time to raising her family. A born-again Christian (her eldest son Darren is a missionary), she has performed gospel music on the Opry and recorded an album of Hank Williams’ gospel songs. She regularly plays the Opry, network radio and television shows, and delighted her British fans with her appearance in the UK in 1990. She returned to recording after a long gap in 1998 with an album produced by her husband Marty Stuart, who urged her to return to recording after their marriage in 1997.

Source: The Encyclopedia of Popular Music by Colin Larkin. Licensed from Muze.