Oklahoma Country singer Jewel Fay Smith dies at 61

Monday, February 14th 2005, 5:21 am
By: News On 6

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) -- Jewel Fay "Sammi" Smith, the singer of the country and pop hit "Help Me Make It Through the Night," has died. Smith was 61.

Smith, who had lived in Oklahoma City for the past few years, died yesterday after being transported to a local hospital. The cause of her death was not immediately known.

Smith won a Grammy award in 1971 for "Help Me Make It Through the Night", written by Kris Kristofferson.

The song helped establish Kristofferson as a leading Nashville songwriter, and was voted single of the year by the Country Music Association in 1971.

She said in a 1981 Associated Press interview, the song "definitely brought me prestige and no small amount of satisfaction. And it's paid for a few meals."

She had other hits with "Then You Walk In" in 1971 and "Today I Started Loving You Again" in 1975.

She performed in the mid-1970s with old friends Willie Nelson and Waylon Jennings.

Smith was born in Orange, Calif., on Aug. 5, 1943. Funeral services for Smith are set for Wednesday in Oklahoma City.