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Jewel Fay "Sammi" Smith
Aug 5, 1943 - Feb 12, 2005

Information written by Jo Aguirre

Born Jewel Faye Smith on August 5, 1943 and died on Feb 12, 2005 in Oklahoma City of emphysema. Her remains are buried in Guymon Oklahoma which she claimed as her home town.

Her first husband was Hank Thompson's Brazos Valley steel guitarist Bob White. They had 2 sons and a daughter and divorced soon after the birth of the third child. Sammi later had a third son with Willie Nelson's guitarist, Jody Payne, named Waylon ( whose godfather is country legend Waylon Jennings). She later adopted two Apache sons.  

  "Help Me Make It Through the Night" was Sammi Smith's career hit and the one that made her famous. In 1972, Sammi Smith won a Grammy Award Best Female Country Vocal Performance that year, and Kristofferson took songwriting awards. The song made Smith and Kristofferson household names in the music business.  After the success of her hit, Smith continued to have more success on the country charts. In 1973, Sammi moved to Dallas, Texas, with Waylon Jennings and Willie Nelson to become a country "outlaw". Smith would continue to have an ongoing friendship with Jennings and Nelson for the rest of her life.
After 1979, little was heard from Sammi Smith. She  moved to Arizona and became involved in Native American causes, working for Apaches. She started her own band called Apache Spirit which was made up of Native Americans. In the mid-1980s she married her final husband Johnny Johnson and together they ran a Cattle Ranch in Bristow, Oklahoma. She did appearances on the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville and toured Japan. She would often bring her son Waylon Payne to guest star at the Opry. She also had a line of pottery, bath salts, and hand painted ceramic tiles for the bathroom. 

In 1995 a compilation album was released called The Best of Sammi Smith which consisted of her big hit and many other various countrypolitan songs. She had a total of 18 LPs during her career. 
Although her last hit recording was in 1986, Smith continued to perform up until February 5, 2005

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