Tuesday, April 16, 2024

Kris Kristofferson’s “Help Me Make it Through the Night” Turns 50 and Stars in Matt Damon’s New “Stillwater”

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Get ready for a Sammie Smith Renaissance.

The late country singer’s biggest hit, “Help Me Make It Through the Night,” ruled the charts in 1971. It was written by Kris Kristofferson, who won a Grammy Award in 1972, as did the record. “Help Me” put Kris on the map, along with his “Me and Bobby McGee” for Janis Joplin.

Smith had a smash all year and it established her a female country superstar.

Now “Help Me Make it Through the Night” could make a comeback. It’s featured big time in “Stillwater,” the new Matt Damon movie opening July 30th. Radio programmers would be smart right now to take it out and dust it off. There are going to be requests like crazy.

Smith died in 2005 at age 61 of emphysema. But Kristofferson just turned 85, and he knows what a stir that song caused 50 years ago. Director Tom McCarthy picked a good one here. He understood that Damon’s Bill Blake was core country to his roots and boots. If you want to get romantic countrywise, “Help Me Make It Through the Night” can light a lot of fires.

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedmanhttps://www.showbiz411.com
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.
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