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The Essential Connie Smith

Connie Smith

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Album Review

Connie Smith is perhaps the only female singer in the history of country music who can truly claim to be the heiress to Patsy Cline's throne. It's not that there aren't many amazing vocalists in the field, and plenty of legends among them. But in terms of the pure gift of interpretation of taking virtually any song and making it a country song of class and distinction, Smith is it. This collection, which covers the first eight years of her career from 1964, when she was "discovered" by Bill Anderson, to the turn of that decade in 1972, includes 20 tracks of pure honey and silk. Smith, who hails from Ohio, may not have the pedigree of Loretta Lynn or Tammy Wynette, but she nonetheless possesses that mercurial "thing" that Cline did: the ability to take the most blatantly country & western song and turn it into a thing that does not betray itself, yet has plenty of urban pop appeal. Here are the hits, "Once a Day," "Cry, Cry, Cry," "Burning a Hole in My Mind," "Just One Time," "I Never Once Stopped Loving You," "The Hurtin's All Over," "If It Ain't Love (Let's Leave It Alone)," and the amazing "Ribbon of Darkness" among them. The set ends with the great standard "How Great Thou Art," which is mindblowing in its rousing spirit. With classic production by Anderson and Bob Ferguson, this is one of the best collections in the RCA Essential series to come down the pike. The only problem is that once heard, the listener will be scouring the bins of used vinyl stores for all of Smith's classics.

Customer Reviews

One of the greats!

Connie is certainly one of the top five great country artist (men and women) of all times. I saw her recently in person and she is absolutely wonderful. She has one of the greatest natural voices in music. It doesn't hurt that she is married to the fabulous Marty Stuart either! A great lady and a great country artist.

The Essential Connie Smith

Fantastic, a must for Connie fans.

Inconceivable Benedict Arnold

Being a BIG LORETTA LYNN fan I have always thought and will tell anyone, that CONNIE SMITH has the best voice in country music or in any Genre of music. When I listen to her I cannot help but feel that God put a little bit of heaven in her voice. She takes a song and unmistakebly makes it her own. I have heard other people try to sing "Once A Day" and it does nothing for me. Her voice will live on in Country Music.


Born: August 14, 1941 in Elkhart, IN

Genre: Country

Years Active: '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

In less than a year, Connie Smith moved from being a small-town Ohio housewife to country stardom with a number one single to her credit. Perhaps overly compared to and identified with Patsy Cline, Smith is still considered by many to be one of the best and most underrated vocalists in country history. Her lonely desperation came straight from the heart; also,...
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The Essential Connie Smith, Connie Smith
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