Songs with Earlier Histories Than the Hit Version

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Help Me Make It Through the Night

Written and first recorded by Kris Kristofferson (1970).
Hit versions by Sammi Smith (US #8/C&W #1 1971), Joe Simon (US #69/R&B #13 1971), Gladys Knight & The Pips (US #33/R&B #13/UK #11 1972).
Also recorded by Elvis Presley (1971), Joan Baez (1971), Jerry Lee Lewis (1971), Dottie West (1971), Bryan Ferry (1974).

From the wiki: “Kris Kristofferson wrote ‘Help Me Make It’ while sweeping floors and emptying ashtrays at Columbia Records studios in Nashville, and 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.’

“When Kristofferson first offered Dottie West the song, she originally claimed it was ‘too suggestive’ for her. (Yes, adultery was allowed as a topic in Country songs … but not without guilt.) Even though West would eventually record ‘Help Me Make It …’ (in late 1971 for the Careless Hands album) , other performers recorded and released ‘Help Me Make It …’ before her and the song quickly became a Country and R&B standard. Later on, West said that not recording Kristoferrson’s song when it was originally offered to her by him was one of her greatest career regrets.

“‘Help Me Make It Through the Night’ was recorded in 1971 by Elvis Presley. Other versions recorded the same year were recorded by Joan Baez, for her album, Blessed Are… (July 1971); Joe Simon, and Jerry Lee Lewis who did a bluesy version for his 1971 album ‘Touching Home. But, it was Sammi Smith’s recording (completed in 1970 but released January 1971) that became the most commercially successful and most well-known version.”

Sammi Smith, “Help Me Make It Through the Night” (1971):

Joe Simon, “Help Me Make It Through the Night” (1971):

Elvis Presley, “Help Me Make It Through the Night” (1971):

Joan Baez, “Help Me Make It Through the Night” (1971):

Jerry Lee Lewis, “Help Me Make It Through the Night” (1971):

Dottie West, “Help Me Make It Through the Night” (1971):

Gladys Knight & The Pips, “Help Me Make It Through the Night” (1972):

Bryan Ferry, “Help Me Make It Through the Night” (1974):

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