Wednesday, 24 May 2023

Sammi And Southport

Some classy countrypolitan sounds for you today courtesy of the late Sammi Smith. There is a touch of Bobbie Gentry about both songs which adds to their appeal. 

Sammi is best known for recording the first hit version of "Help Me Make It Through The Night", which was a top ten US smash in 1971, but she had a string of country hits throughout the 1970s and continued to make the occasional appearance at the Grand Ol' Opry until her early death in 2005 at the age of just 61. 

Sammi was well in with country royalty too. Johnny Cash helped her get her first record deal after his bass player Marshall Grant saw her singing in a club in Oklahoma, and she hung out with Willie, Waylon and the rest of the Outlaws (her second husband being Willie's long-time guitar player Jody Payne).

Sammi and Jody's son Waylon Payne is also a musician, and played Jerry Lee Lewis in the Johnny & June biopic "Walk The Line". Sammi's son by her first husband is also a musician who now goes by the name Zenith Apollo Star and appears to be a bit of a character.  

This is my last post of the week as tomorrow I am off to sunny Southport to visit some old pals. The many famous folks born in Southport include Marc Almond, Lee Mack, most of the members of Gomez, most of the members of Timebox, historian A.J.P. Taylor and randy window-cleaner Robin Askwith. Now there's an end of the pier show well worth walking to the end of England's second-longest pier for.

"Saunders Ferry Lane" - Sammi Smith

"Birmingham Mistake" - Sammi Smith


  1. Enjoy Southport Ernie.
    I believe I went there on holiday as a very young kid, not that I can remember anything about it.

  2. AJP Taylor obviously hadn't met Boris Johnston!

  3. Can you see if there is still an old arcade on the pier that uses pre-decimal coinage?

    1. It was still there in 2021 when I last visited