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Cristy Lane

Cristy Lane is best remembered for her 1979 single "One Day at a Time," a gospel song that blended Protestant fervor with the language of self-help in a seamless, heartfelt whole. She is also noteworthy as one of the builders of the Branson, MO, live-entertainment phenomenon. Lane was born Eleanor Johnston to a family of 12 in Peoria, IL. Married before she was 20, she had three children by 1964. Her husband, Lee Stoller, a salesman, encouraged her to sing professionally, but she was painfully shy. After some tentative attempts, she landed several nightclub appearances and then a guest slot on Chicago's WLS Barn Dance radio program in 1968. She took her stage name from that of a Peoria DJ, Chris Lane.

Several early attempts to break into country music in Nashville came to nothing, and Lane struggled with the pressures of the performing career her husband was urging upon her. She attempted to commit suicide twice in the late '60s, once after a difficult 1969 tour of Vietnam, organized by Stoller during which Lane performed 120 shows and was involved in a helicopter crash that left her stranded in the midst of a battle. Lane and Stoller returned to Peoria and opened a pair of nightclubs that featured Lane as the marquee attraction.

In 1972, the Stoller family moved to a Nashville suburb and continued its attempts to get Lane's career off the ground. The reaction from established label executives ranged from indifference to sexual come-ons for Lane, and finally Stoller formed his own label, LS, in the mid-'70s. He was tireless in promoting Lane's career, and his efforts were rewarded when the label's debut single, "Tryin' to Forget About You," and its follow-up, "Sweet Deceiver," made the charts in 1977. That year she also made it to the Top Ten and the Top 20 with "Let Me Down Easy" and "Shake Me, I Rattle," respectively. Lane scored three more hits the following year and in 1979 was named New Vocalist of the Year by the Academy of Country Music. During the awards ceremony Lane sang "I Just Can't Stay Married to You," which later became a Top Five hit. In late 1979, Lane was signed to United Artists Records and had three more hits. But the label balked at releasing the song Lane and Stoller had planned for their next single, "One Day at a Time."

That song was a several-years-old entry from Kris Kristofferson's catalog of compositions; co-written with Nashville veteran Marijohn Wilkin, it was of a piece with other religious songs (such as "Why Me, Lord?") the hard-living Kristofferson had written in soberer moments. Shortly before Lane's version appeared, the song had topped British charts in a version by vocalist Lena Martell. For country radio in 1980, it was an unorthodox song, but Lane and Stoller correctly estimated its powerful impact. After it hit number one on the country charts, Lane released "Sweet Sexy Eyes," her final Top Ten hit. Her career hit the skids temporarily when Stoller was imprisoned on racketeering charges in 1982, but the couple bounced back after Stoller observed the spectacular success yodeler-crooner Slim Whitman had experienced after beginning direct television marketing of his music.

By 1986 Lane and Stoller had put together a strong pair of linked materials: a One Day at a Time album and a Lane autobiography of the same name. Marketed through television advertising and later on the World Wide Web, these items sold well for years and kept Lane's name before a demographic just waiting to be tapped: that of country fans in late middle age. As Branson began to emerge as a major entertainment destination in the late '80s and early '90s, Lane and Stoller jumped on the bandwagon. Their Cristy Lane Theatre became a major Branson attraction, hosting not only Lane's own performances but also early appearances by Branson stars-to-be such as Yakov Smirnoff (in 1992). Lane sold her Branson theater in the mid-'90s but remained active as a performer. She has recorded several albums of gospel and sentimental standards for marketing through her website and elsewhere. Plans were laid in the early 2000s for a film depicting Lane's life story. ~ James Manheim
full bio

Selected Discography

x

Track List: 25 Greatest Classics

1. Wind Beneath My Wings

2. The Way We Were

3. Yesterday

4. Everything I Own

5. You Light Up My Life

6. Secret Love

7. One Day At A Time

8. Always On My Mind

9. You Needed Me

10. For The Good Times

11. Release Me

12. There Goes My Everything

13. I Can't Stop Loving You

14. Tennessee Waltz

15. This Is The First Time

16. Souvenirs

17. Danny Boy

18. Stardust

19. Always

20. Somewhere My Love

21. To Each His Own

22. I'm With You Tonight

23. Amazing Grace

24. How Great Thou Art

25. God Bless America

x

Track List: The Son Of God Is Born

4. All In His Hands

5. Always Go To Him

6. He's Got The Whole World In His Hands

7. He Sees My Heart

9. That's Him

10. He Could See My Heart From There

11. I Wasn't Even There

12. No Greater Love

13. I See Jesus

14. Ave Maria

15. My Redeemer

16. Lay It On Me

17. I'm With You Tonight

x

Track List: I'm With You Tonight

1. I'm With You Tonight

2. It's Now Or Never

3. Smoke Gets In Your Eyes

4. Harbor Lights

5. It's Down To You And Me

6. You're Healing My Heart

7. He Sees My Heart

8. I Have A Dream

9. Simple Little Words

10. Sweet Sexy Eyes

11. Danny Boy

12. Love Letters In The Sand

13. Once Or Twice

14. Love Lies

15. By The Way

16. He's Back In Town

17. Those Were The Days

18. I Will

19. He's Got The Whole World In His Hands

20. Just As I Am

21. Here's To Us

22. Star Spangled Banner

x

Track List: Amazing Grace

1. Amazing Grace

2. Footprints In The Sand

3. The Son Of God Is Born

4. He Sees My Heart

5. I Have A Dream

6. I See Jesus

7. You Light Up My Life

8. Standing On The Promises

9. All In His Hands

10. Lay It On Me

11. Ride My Wings

12. My Redeemer

13. Love Lifted Me

14. I'm With You Tonight

15. He Could See My Heart From There

16. The Peace Within Me

17. Last Word In Jesus Is Us

18. Danny Boy

x

Track List: I Believe In Angels

1. I Have A Dream

2. I'm With You Tonight

3. I See Jesus

4. A Little Bit Of Heaven

5. You Light Up My Life

7. Everything Is Beautiful

8. Just As I Am

9. Footprints In The Sand

12. He's Got The Whole World In His Hands

13. You're Healing My Heart

x

Track List: Songs Of Passion

1. I'm With You Tonight

2. Wings On My Dreams

3. I Wasn't Even There

4. I See Jesus

5. I Believe In Angels

6. He Could See My Heart From There

7. That's Him

8. A Little Bit Of Heaven

9. Songs Of Passion

10. The Peace Within Me

11. His Father's Eyes

12. No Greater Love

x

Track List: 14 Golden Hymns

1. One Day At A Time

2. Just As I Am

3. Amazing Grace

4. Just A Closer Walk With Thee (2003)

5. Ave Maria

6. Away In The Manger (14 Golden Hymns)

7. Rock Of Ages

8. He's Got The Whole World In His Hands

9. Footprints In The Sand (Footprints In The Sand Album Version)

10. Sweet Hour Of Prayer (14 Golden Hymns)

11. Precious Memories

12. Sing To The Lord

13. Standing On The Promises (Footprints In The Sand Album Version)

14. The Lord's Prayer (Footprints In The Sand Album Version)

x

Track List: One Day At A Time Vol I & II

1. One Day At A Time

2. Just As I Am

3. Just A Closer Walk With Thee

4. Amazing Grace

5. Rock Of Ages

6. Softly & Tenderly

7. How Great Thou Art

8. In The Garden

9. I See Jesus

10. Ave Maria

11. Give Them All To Jesus

12. Whispering Hope

13. I Love You More Every Day

14. He's Got The Whole World In His Hands

15. Why Me, Lord

16. The Old Rugged Cross

17. Where The Roses Never Fade

18. Precious Memories

19. I Wanna Put Something Back

20. Have Thine Own Way Lord

21. Love Lifted Me

22. Sing To The Lord

x

Track List: Footprints Vol I & II

1. Footprints In The Sand

2. I Have A Dream

3. He Sees My Heart

4. Sweet Hour Of Prayer

5. What A Friend We Have In Jesus

6. Standing On The Promises

7. Lay It On Me

8. Son Of God Is Born

9. I Love To Tell The Story

10. I've Come Back

11. Jesus Loves Me

12. God Bless America

13. Danny Boy

14. Last Word In Jesus Is Us

15. Always Go To Him

16. All In His Hands

17. Jesus Is Rising Again

18. America The Beautiful

20. My Redeemer

21. Jesus, Jesus My Lord

22. You Make It Feel Like Sunday

23. God Is The Answer

24. The Lord's Prayer

25. The Star Spangled Banner

x

Track List: 23 Millennium Classics

1. One Day At A Time

2. For The Good Times (23 Millennium Classics Album Version)

3. Always On My Mind (23 Millennium Classics Album Version)

4. You Needed Me (23 Millennium Classics Album Version)

5. She'll Have To Go (23 Millennium Classics Album Version)

6. Danny Boy (Footprints In The Sand Album Version)

7. I Can't Stop Loving You (23 Millennium Classics Album Version)

8. There Goes My Everything (23 Millennium Classics Album Version)

9. Release Me (23 Millennium Classics Album Version)

10. Sweet Sexy Eyes (23 Millennium Classics Album Version)

11. Tennessee Waltz (23 Millennium Classics Album Version)

12. Simple Little Words (23 Millennium Classics Album Version)

13. Footprints In The Sand (Footprints In The Sand Album Version)

14. Wind Beneath My Wings (23 Millennium Classics Album Version)

15. Amazing Grace

16. How Great Thou Art

17. Stardust (23 Millennium Classics Album Version)

18. Always (23 Millennium Classics Album Version)

19. Somewhere My Love (23 Millennium Classics Album Version)

20. Shake Me I Rattle (23 Millennium Classics Album Version)

21. God Bless America (23 Millennium Classics Album Version)

22. Star Spangled Banner (Footprints In The Sand Album Version)

23. White Christmas (23 Millennium Classics Album Version)

Comments

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cathyrobinso n 7 3 8
She had a cassette called one day at a time wish I knew what songs were on it anyone at Pandora know would help a listener
Report as inappropriate
My mom love the song mom i miss so much R,I,P save a place for me
Report as inappropriate
One of my mom song's love you mom R.i.P������
Report as inappropriate
Cristy Laane you are the best. I listen to your music everyday. You have a God given voice. Delmar Bullock
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Cristy Laane you are the best. I listen to your music everyday. You have a God given voice. Delmar Bullock
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Cristy Laane you are the best. I listen to your music everyday. You have a God given voice. Delmar Bullock
Report as inappropriate
joyshadd
Hey cristy you're my favorite!
Report as inappropriate
AS A VIET NAM VETERAN I WILL ALWAYS PLY AND LISTEN TO CRISTY SHE TO ME IS SINGER FOR SOLDIERS.ONE THAT BRINGS COMFORT TO A TROUBLED SOUL. LETS ME KNOW OUR LORD IS ALWAYS THERE FOR US NEVER FORSAKEN NEVER FORGOTTEN BLESS MISS LANE A GIFT FROM GOD
Report as inappropriate
Her songs speak to my soul and lifts my spirit when I am down. She is a gift.
Report as inappropriate
Really
Report as inappropriate
mar261958
ONE DAY AT A TIME WAS MY MOM'S FAVORITE SONG, EVERYTIME I HEAR THIS SONG IK MY MOM IS REJOCING IN HEAVEN, SHE WAS MY ANGEL! I LOVE YOU MOM, TY CRISSY 4 SHARING YOUR MUSIC.
Report as inappropriate
Cristy has a gift from GOD, with such a beautiful and a clear sounding voice, all of her songs are specialy good.
Report as inappropriate
Mel from East Peoria,I grew up with this great singer. God Bless her, she has been through a lot!
Report as inappropriate
deebug2
Realy Love this artist--espe c i a l l y ONE DAY AT A TIME that song has made a big impact on me--thank you. Dee
Report as inappropriate
One day at a time was played at my sisters funeral, every time I hear it I know angles are singing.
Report as inappropriate
i was raised with her singing one day at a time the song fits me to a t my life was pure hell when i was younger that song got me through the abuse i put up with from my uncle
Report as inappropriate
eve1935
i love this lady she is one of the best.
Report as inappropriate
oaked
I "recently " discovered Christy Lane and fell in love with her fine style of singing.

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