Once a Day

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"Once a Day"
Connie Smith-Once a Day.jpg
Single by Connie Smith
from the album Connie Smith
B-side "The Threshold"
Released August 1, 1964
Format 45 RPM
Recorded July 16, 1964
Genre Country, Nashville sound
Length 2:17
Label RCA Victor
Songwriter(s) Bill Anderson
Producer(s) Bob Ferguson
Connie Smith singles chronology
"Once a Day"
"Then and Only Then"

"Once a Day"
"Then and Only Then"

"Once a Day" is a song written by Bill Anderson and recorded as the debut single by American country artist Connie Smith. It was produced by Bob Ferguson for her self-titled debut album. The song was released in August 1964, topping the Billboard country music chart for eight weeks between late 1964 and early 1965.[1] It was the first debut single by a female country artist to reach number one, and held the record for the most weeks spent at number one by a female country artist until it was surpassed by Taylor Swift's "We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together" in December 2012.

This song peaked at number one on the Billboard Hot Country Singles chart for the week of November 28, 1964, and it stayed at number one for eight consecutive weeks.

Background and content[edit]

"Once a Day" was written by American country artist, Bill Anderson, especially for Connie Smith.[2] Originally recorded by Smith as a demo, the song was officially recorded at her first session with RCA Victor Records on July 16, 1964 at Studio B in Nashville, Tennessee. Produced by Bob Ferguson, the session was accompanied by Nashville's "A-Team" of musicians, which included members of Anderson's touring band, The Po' Boys.[3] The song itself describes a woman who has not gotten over her previous lover. Although the woman explains that she has limited her grieving to "once a day," it is later found out that she is grieving, "once a day, every day, all day long." The song's chorus is repeated twice throughout the song and goes as follows:

Once a day, all day long
And once a night, from dusk till dawn
The only time I wish you weren't gone
Is once a day, every day, all day long

While also singing lead vocals on "Once a Day," Smith was also featured playing the song's guitar accompaniment.[4] The song was re-recorded by Smith in French and was re-titled, "Pas Souvent." That year the song was released as a single to France, and was released seven years later on Smith's compilation, Love Is the Look You're Looking for in 1973.[5] It was re-recorded for a third time for her 1976 studio album, The Song We Fell in Love To on Columbia Records.

Cover versions[edit]

Since the song's release, "Once a Day" has been recorded by over 50 different artists.[3] Such artists as country artist, Loretta Lynn recorded a cover of the song for her 1965 album, Songs from My Heart. The same year, David Houston recorded "Once a Day" for his studio album, Twelve Great Country Hits. In 1966, R&B vocalist, Timi Yuro released her version as single, which peaked at #67 on the Billboard Pop Chart. Chicano artist, Trini Lopez recorded the song in 1968 for his country album, Welcome to Trini Country. In November 1969, country artist, Lynn Anderson released an album of country cover versions entitled, Songs That Made Country Girls Famous, which included a version of "Once a Day." Dean Martin recorded a Traditional Pop version of the song, which was released on his 1970 album, My Woman, My Woman, My Wife. In 1986, Australian Rock band, The Triffids recorded "Once a Day" for their album, In the Pines. Punk Rock artist, Mike Ness recorded a version for his 1999 solo album, Under the Influences. In 2005, Martina McBride's album of country classics, Timeless included a cover of the song.[6] In 2006 Van Morrison included a cover on his Pay The Devil release. in 2015, Doyle Lawson, Paul Williams, and J.D. Crowe released a version on their compilation album, Still Standing Tall and Tough.

  • Debbie Rule, covered the song on her album Texas Girls (2015).

Chart performance[edit]

"Once a Day" was released as Connie Smith's debut single under RCA Victor Records. It was rush-released as a single August 1, 1964, and moved quickly up the country music chart.[3] The song became Smith's commercial breakthrough recording, reaching No. 1 on the Billboard Magazine Hot Country Songs chart the week of November 28, and remaining at the top spot for eight weeks until January 16, 1965. This longevity record stood unmatched until December 2012, when "We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together" by Taylor Swift overtook the achievement with nine weeks at No. 1. Despite this success, Smith never topped the Billboard country charts again, and this song became her solo No. 1. She did, however, top the country charts twice more in Canada, with her cover of Gordon Lightfoot's Ribbon of Darkness (1969) and The Everly Brothers' ('Til) I Kissed You (1976).

Smith previously held the record of being the only country female to reach No. 1 with a debut single. Trisha Yearwood equalled Smith's record in 1991 with, "She's in Love with the Boy."[7][8] After it reached No. 1, "Once a Day" became one of the year's biggest songs and was nominated for Best Country Song from the Grammy Awards.[9]

"Once a Day" made Smith a major star in country music, nominating her for a series of Grammy Awards, including Best Female Country Vocal Performance and Best New Country Artist.[9] It was released on Smith's self-titled debut album in March 1965, which also reached No. 1.[3] The single helped gain Smith a series of major hits under RCA Victor in the 1960s. Her follow-up single, "Then and Only Then" (released in 1965) reached No. 4 on the Billboard Country Chart, and a series of unbated Top 10 hits continued until mid-1968, including "If I Talk to Him," "Ain't Had No Lovin'," and "The Hurtin's All Over."[2] Smith would continue on to have nineteen more Top 10 singles during her career.


Chart (1964-1965) Peak position
U.S. Billboard Hot Country Songs 1
U.S. Billboard Bubbling Under Hot 100 1


  1. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2004). The Billboard Book Of Top 40 Country Hits: 1944-2006, Second edition. Record Research. p. 319.
  2. ^ a b Bush, John. "Biography - Connie Smith". allmusic. Retrieved 2008-10-24.
  3. ^ a b c d "Connie Smith - Biography (click on "biography" section of website)". Connie Smith Music.com. Retrieved 2009-08-19.
  4. ^ "Connie Smith [1965 album] > Credits". allmusic. Retrieved 2009-08-19.
  5. ^ "Connie Smith Discography - - Joe Sixpack's Guide to Hick Music". Slipcue.com. Archived from the original on 2009-08-05. Retrieved 2009-08-19.
  6. ^ ""Once a Day" - Second Hand Songs". Second Hand Songs.com. Retrieved 2009-08-19.
  7. ^ "Meet the Opry - Connie Smith". opry.com. Archived from the original on September 28, 2008. Retrieved 2008-10-24.
  8. ^ Bernstein, Joel. "The Resurrection of Connie Smith". Country Standard Time. Retrieved 2009-08-19.
  9. ^ a b Wolff, Kurt (2000). "Ch. 8 - It's Such a Pretty World Today: The Nashville Sound Arrives". In Orla Duane. Country Music: The Rough Guide. London, England: Rough Guides Ltd. p. 327.

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