Mandy Barnett loves to reinterpret the classics, and she’s lending her expressive vocal style to a new version of the award-winning country standard, “Help Me Make It Through the Night.” Barnett released the song, which will be included on her forthcoming album A Nashville Songbook, on May 8th. The album is slated to arrive later this year.
“Help Me Make It Through the Night” was written by Kris Kristofferson and is featured on his 1970 album, Kristofferson. The most famous version of the song was recorded by Sammi Smith and released as a single in late 1970. Apparently, Kristofferson had intended it for Dottie West, but she deemed the lyrics as “too suggestive” for her and turned it down. West did record it later, though well after Smith had made it a No. 1 country single in 1971. West often stated that not recording the song when originally offered to her marked one of the greatest regrets of her career.
The song became the biggest hit for Smith in terms of both chart success and industry accolades. It copped Grammy awards for Best Country Song and Best Country Vocal Performance Female, and won the 1971 CMA Award for Single of the Year.
“Sometimes you just sing a song and it seems to fit like a glove,” Barnett noted in a release. “With songs like this, it’s important to capture it in its entirety, recording it in one take – not splicing lines together. The performance as a whole is what really matters, not perfection. It’s capturing that emotion in that moment.”
You can hear Barnett’s emotional performance here. Her new album A Nashville Songbook, is coming soon.