Today, country music icon Connie Smith releases her newest track “A Million and One” from her long-awaited new album The Cry of the Heart, out August 20th (Fat Possum). On the release, the Country Music Hall of Fame legend is at her absolute finest, affirming Merle Haggard’s declaration about Smith when he said, “If you’re talking about a country singer, there ain’t nobody better.” Watch the “A Million and One” video with a nostalgic intro from country legend Ernest Tubb HERE. Listen/Pre-Order The Cry of the Heart HERE.
Smith will “take over” the Opry on June 26th at 7pm CT and the event will be televised on Circle TV. The unprecedented evening kicks off with an interview with Connie as part of the network’s “Circle Sessions,” which will air before the performance. Joining Connie on stage to sing her songs will be Lee Ann Womack and Mandy Barnett. In addition, Smith will be awarded a certificate from the Library of Congress, as they recently inducted her classic “Once a Day” into the National Recording Registry. The evening concludes with the premiere of her life story mini-documentary. Opry tickets can be purchased HERE and you go HERE to watch on Circle.
The Cry of the Heart is Smith’s 54th album, her first release in a decade and her third collaboration with producer/husband Marty Stuart who says, “She makes a record when she’s ready and nothing pushes her in that direction until she’s in the mood and space to do it and the songs are right. “A Million and One” kicks off The Cry of the Heart with Smith’s soul-stirring voice, a cappella. Smith originally performed the track, a 1966 hit for her fellow Grand Ole Opry member Billy Walker, on Stuart’s show in 2014. “I heard ‘A Million and One,” Stuart says, “and it’s like, “Ah, there’s the start of a record!”
On the album Smith is joined by Stuart and His Superlative Band, Kenny Vaughn (electric guitar), Harry Stinson (drums), and Chris Scruggs (electric bass/ tak guitar). Others include long time steel guitar player Gary Carter, ace Neil Young alumnus Chad Cromwell and a host of legendary, A-Team session musicians, namely Hargus “Pig” Robbins (piano), Paul Martin (guitar/ vocals) and Justin Weaver (guitar).
Smith has been consistently fanning the country music flames since her first hit single in 1964, “Once A Day” and has carried the torch ever since. In March of 2021 the Library of Congress announced that “Once a Day” was one of the 2020 selections for its National Recording Registry. “People ask me, ‘What is country music,’” says Smith. “I say, ‘To me, country music is the cry of the heart.’ We all have these experiences in our hearts and I’m trying to identify and communicate with people so they know they’re not alone.”
Circle is the award-winning music and lifestyle network dedicated to celebrating everything country. Circle offers entertainment news, documentaries, movies, archival, new and licensed programming, Grand Ole Opry performances, and more. The network recently announced ad-support streaming distribution partnerships with Redbox, Peacock, The Roku Channel, Samsung TV Plus, XUMO and VIZIO Free Channels, bringing its country lifestyle programming to millions more through TVs, smartphones and tablets. Named Digiday’s 2021 Best Streaming TV Platform and Pollstar’s #1 Livestreamer for 2020, Circle is a joint venture between Opry Entertainment Group, a subsidiary of Ryman Hospitality Properties, and Gray Television.
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