Cristy Lane is best remembered for her 1979 #1 Country Single "One Day at a Time," a gospel song and #1 million selling biography. 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 WGN Barn Dance radio program in 1968. She took her stage name from that of a Chicago DJ, from WJJD Radio, 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 lost all hope in the late ‘60s, 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 their attempts to get Lane’s career off the ground. The reaction from established label executives ranged from indifference to sexual come-ons for Lane, compelling Stoller to form his own label, LS Records, 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 with "Let Me Down Easy," followed by a second Top 20 release called "Shake Me, I Rattle." 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 Cristy sang her top 10 hit “Simple Little Words”.. In late 1979, Lane was signed to United Artists Records and had more hits. Her first gold record "One Day at a Time," was from the country of New Zealand
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-year-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," another Top Ten hit.
In 1981, the TV Marketing of Cristy’s albums would rein her sales status as one of the top selling artists of all time on Television, another first for Cristy.
In 1984, as spotlighted by EMI without any promotion or advertising Cristy Lane surfaced as their top selling artist in the Country of India. She surpassed sales of such artists as David Bowie, Tina Turner, Sheena Easton and the Rolling Stones to name a few. Per V.T. Ravi, Assistant Manager International Music Division, "the younger generation was looking for something new and Cristy Lane was just right." "Cristy Lane was a blockbuster!" said Ravi.
In 1985 Stoller and Chaney would pen her biography. After Stoller exhausted all avenues of publishers throughout the world, with the same response "biographies just don’t sell." He took it upon himself to publish the biography. He bypassed the conventional way and took it straight to the public. The public spoke very loudly "they loved it." The story would become a #1 million selling biography. The rest is history.
By 1986 Lane and Stoller had put together a strong pair of linked materials: a "One Day at a Time" album and a Lane biography of the same name. Marketed through television advertising and later on the internet, these items sold well for years and continue to do so, keeping Lane’s name before the public. As Branson began to emerge as a major entertainment destination in the late '80s and early '90s, Lane and Stoller emerged on the forefront. Their Cristy Lane Theatre became a major Branson attraction, hosting not only Lane’s own performances but also early appearances by Branson stars such as Ray Price and Ray Stevens. After nine years of performances at her theatre Lane and Stoller leased her Branson theater in the mid '90s. Lane remained a #1 selling artist on television. She recorded several albums of gospel and sentimental standards for marketing through her website and that continue to sell worldwide.
In 2000 Lane would receive an award for being the #1 selling artist, on television and in print ads.
In 2002 Lane appeared on Fox Cable News after the release of her Christmas Album “The Man From Galilee” another million selling album released through retail and TV marketing.
In 2003 Lane would receive the Veterans of Foreign Wars — Hall of Fame Award. This award was given in special recognition of her lifetime of supporting our Country’s soldiers through uniquely positive musical performances. Beginning in 1969 with one hundred twenty shows in Vietnam, and continuing with performances throughout Midwestern military bases, Cristy has brought joy, a positive message and comfort from home to hundreds of thousands of Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Marines. Moreover, her recordings and biography have provided inspiration to millions of our citizens around the world with integrity, talent and honesty, "One day at a Time." Cristy, overwhelmed by the Honor would respond saying, "Being inducted into the Veterans of Foreign Wars Hall of Fame was the greatest honor in my lifetime."
In 2005 following the disastrous affects of the December 2004 Sri Lanka Tsunami; Cristy Lane released an album through EMI marketing of which all proceeds would go to the Tsunami Victims Fund.
In 2008 Cristy Lane’s "19 Classic Hymns" was released in mainland China, of which a portion of the proceeds have been donated to the Earthquake Victims Fund.
In 2012 Cristy Lane’s new TV album and video “I’m with you tonight” is released through retail, TV and the internet, and can be viewed at www.cristylane.com.
Read Cristy Lane’s biography "One Day at a Time" which is truly one of the best and most read biographies throughout the world. Next the movie . . . you don’t want to miss this as it is sure to be one of the BEST ever made! Due to the demand and success of the biography plans are underway for the movie "One Day at a Time!"