“Help Me Make It Through The Night” is a country music ballad written and composed by Kris Kristofferson and released on his 1970 album Kristofferson. It was covered later in 1970 by Sammi Smith, on the album Help Me Make It Through the Night. Smith’s recording of the song remains the most commercially successful and most well-known version in the United States. Her recording ranks among the most successful country singles of all time in terms of sales, popularity, and radio airplay. It topped the country singles chart, and was also a crossover hit, reaching number eight on the U.S. pop singles chart. “Help Me Make It Through The Night” also became Smith’s signature song.
Inspired by Smith’s success with the song, numerous other artists covered it soon thereafter, including Loretta Lynn, Glen Campbell, Joan Baez, Jerry Lee Lewis, Elvis Presley, and Willie Nelson.
Other artists who have recorded charting versions of the song include Gladys Knight & the Pips, John Holt, and (in French) Claude Varade.
Kristofferson said that he got the inspiration for the song from an Esquire magazine interview with Frank Sinatra. When asked what he believed in, Frank replied, “Booze, broads, or a bible…whatever helps me make it through the night.”
During his time as a struggling songwriter, Kristofferson wrote the song while staying with Dottie West and her husband, Bill, at their home on Shy’s Hill Road in Nashville’s Green Hills neighborhood. When he offered Dottie the song, she originally claimed it was “too suggestive” for her. Eventually, she would record it before the year was out, and it is included on her album Careless Hands. However, by then, several others had recorded and released versions of it, some garnering great success. Later on, West said that not recording it when it was originally offered to her was one of the greatest regrets of her career.
Bryan Adams had a concert at Bush Hall, London, England on July 28, 2014, and he performed the song as a cover, which I think a very impressive cover.
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