The Story Behind The Song: ”Once A Day”


Anderson didn’t give up and arranged a meeting with RCA Victor’s A & R Director Chet Atkins. Chet was attentive and liked very much what he heard on Connie’s demos, but then he dropped his own hammer (which was very similar to Owen’s): “I’ve got three girl singers already here at RCA,” Atkins explained. “Skeeter Davis, Dottie West and Norma Jean, and I can’t even get enough material for them. How am I supposed to find songs for another girl singer?” Taking a deep breath, Anderson took the plunge. He told Chet, “If you sign Connie, I promise you that I will write more than enough songs for her.” And so it was.


Connie signed a long-term contract with RCA Victor on June 24, 1964. Because Atkins found himself too busy with other artists, he assigned staff producer Bob Ferguson to helm Connie’s sessions, which he did for many years until Connie’s departure from RCA in November, 1972. Ironically, Connie announced her decision to leave the label the very same week that Eddy Arnold did the same thing.

He had been with RCA for nearly thirty years. After Smith signed her RCA contract, Anderson remembered the promise he had made to Chet that he would be able to deliver enough material for Connie, so Bill proceeded to get to work.

He worked day and night trying to come up with songs for her first session, just three weeks away. Bill’s first two creations proved solid. “I’m Ashamed Of You,” and “The Threshold” were both good songs, but they weren’t as commercial as Anderson thought they needed to be for a hit debut single.

Continuing to mull over ideas, he finally came up with a tune he considered perfect. “Once A Day” had one of the best hook lines the master tunesmith ever conceived. Smith’s first RCA session took place on July 16, 1964 where she recorded four songs, the stand-out being “Once A Day,” which was rush-released on August 1st.

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