Flashback: Connie Smith Sings ‘Then and Only Then’ for Marty Robbins

Connie smith & Marty Robbins
Connie smith & Marty Robbins

On New Year’s Day 1964, Connie Smith — then still an aspiring singer — met Grand Ole Opry star Bill Anderson at a concert in Canton, Ohio. It was actually their second meeting: The first followed Smith’s victory in a talent show in Columbus, after which Anderson invited her to perform on the Ernest Tubb radio show and record some demos.

It was a whirlwind, and by summer of ’64, Smith had her first hit for RCA with the record-setting Anderson-penned smash “Once a Day.” A year later, Connie Smith herself joined the Grand Ole Opry. In the nearly 60 years since her induction, she has been one of the country-music institution’s brightest and bubbliest stars, with a powerful, emotion-packed voice.

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