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.