Sammi Smith

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If you were to put me on the spot and demand that I choose one all-time favourite song, I suppose my default answer would be “Sunday Mornin’ Comin’ Down”, the Kris Kristofferson version. One may argue about whether it would feature in a ...
If you were to put me on the spot and demand that I choose one all-time favourite song, I suppose my default answer would be “Sunday Mornin’ Comin’ Down”, the Kris Kristofferson version. One may argue about whether it would feature in a shortlist of best song ever; still it resonates with me on many levels, including as a soundtrack in a particular time in my life. And it is, of course, a great song which ought to feature in a shortlist of best song ever. Like many early Kristofferson songs, it was first recorded not by the composer but by others, because early in his career KK didn’t regard himself primarily as a singer. In fact, he thought he was a terrible singer. In the event, his limitations are also his strength, with that whisky-soaked, soulful voice giving his lyrics a sense of having been lived. But KK knew he had good tunes and that he wanted to write songs for a living. It might have been different. The son of an army officer, Kristofferson was earmarked for a military career, and served a stint as a helicopter pilot for Uncle Sam. Before that he was a Rhodes scholar, graduating from Oxford with a degree in philosophy. He was offered a job lecturing at the military academy at West Point. Instead, he left the army, and, having been inspired by a meeting with Johnny Cash after a concert, Kristofferson moved with his family to Nashville to try his hand at the music business. Things did not start promisingly: in 1966 he landed a job at Columbia Records — as a janitor.  But in between sweeping floors and polishing door handles, he gave Cash some of his songs, thereby violating strict company policy. Cash was encouraging but didn’t use any of the songs — in fact, according to Kristofferson, Cash said that he threw them into a lake. Still, it was the genesis of a profound friendship. A year later, Kristofferson flew helicopters again, for an oil company. He also began a tentative recording career with Epic Records, and finally his songs were started to be recorded by other artists. One day, Kristofferson decided to try and impress Cash again, so he flew a helicopter to Cash’s house to give him some tapes. Cash wasn’t home, though that didn’t stop him from telling a great tale about Kristofferson exiting the chopper with a demo in one hand and a beer in the other. Still, Cash started to create a buzz around KK, referring to him repeatedly on his TV show. Cash’s introduction of Kristofferson at the Newport Folk Festival especially helped kickstart KK’s recording career. Cash, of course, recorded “Sunday Morning Coming Down” (as he corrected the title) in 1970, and won a Grammy for it. Cash resisted pressure to change the line “wishing, Lord, that I was stoned” to “…I was home” in deference to the song’s writer; he however had the kid “playing with”, not “cussing at”, the can that he was kicking. The song was originally recorded the previous year by Ray Stevens, who had a minor hit with it. Following Cash’s hit and KK’s version, several artists tried their hand at the song, with varying degrees of accomplishment. Some are featured here, and many tend to play loose with the lyrics. Alas, the one version I’d really like to hear I don’t have, that by Hank Ballard. So, here are 36 versions of Sunday Mornin’ Comin’ Down, some of them live recordings. Ray Stevens (1969) • Johnny Cash (live • 1970) • Johnny Cash (1970) • Kris Kristofferson (1970) • Roy Clark (1970) • Freddy Weller (1970) • Lynn Anderson (1970) • Mark Lindsay (1970) • Sammi Smith (1970) • Janis Joplin (1970) • Tom Jones • Glen Campbell & Nancy Sinatra (1970) • R. Dean Taylor (1971) • Waylon Jennings (1971) • Hank Snow (1971) • Margie Brandon (1971) • Ernie Smith (1971) • John Mogensen (as Søndag morgen 1971) • Kristofferson & Friends (1973) • Pavel Bobek (as Ned?lní ráno • 1973) • Frankie Laine (1978) • Johnny Cash & Kris Kristofferson (live • 1980) • Johnny Paycheck (1980) • Louis Neefs (as Zondagmiddag • 1980) • David Allan Coe (1998) • Shawn Mullins (1998) • Alvin
about 3 hours ago
Thank you, Phil Weisman, for sharing your great photo collection with us other fans.
Thank you, Phil Weisman, for sharing your great photo collection with us other fans.
13 days ago
http://artandseek.net by:  Stephen Becker When you picture Willie Nelson in your mind’s eye, what do you see? A white beard, certainly. Braids, likely. Maybe a red, white and blue guitar strap? Those visuals have become Willie trademarks...
http://artandseek.net by:  Stephen Becker When you picture Willie Nelson in your mind’s eye, what do you see? A white beard, certainly. Braids, likely. Maybe a red, white and blue guitar strap? Those visuals have become Willie trademarks, but it wasn’t always that way. How do I know? I’ll tell ya how – I just got finished watching a concert that he performed here at KERA that aired on Channel 13 in 1974. That Willie is mostly clean-shaven – just a hint of 5 o’clock shadow. And his dark hair is just over the collar. And yet … So many of the things we’ve come to associate with Willie were already firmly entrenched nearly 40 years ago. Trigger, his trusty guitar, already has that second hole in it. (Trigger is a classical guitar, which don’t typically come with pick guards since classical players don’t use picks. Willie does, hence, the hole.) And that voice is the same as it ever was. I challenge anyone to listen to him sing “Whiskey River” today and listen to the opener to the 1974 show and correctly pick out which is which without guessing. You’ll probably hear him sing it on Monday at his 4th of July picnic. The reason for this look back is KERA Classics, a series the station has put together to celebrate its 50th birthday. Kicking off the series is a rebroadcast of a show that used to air on the station called Opry House, an Austin City Limits-type show that actually predates ACL. Country music performers would come by, we’d invite a studio audience and broadcast the whole thing. (When I say “we,” I mean those people who worked here before I was born.) Future episodes that will be rebroadcast in July and August include Waylon Jennings, Kris Kristofferson and Rita Coolidge, David Allan Coe and Michael Murphey. KERA was definitely country before country was cool. Willie’s performance is first up, airing this Sunday at 6 p.m. In addition to “Whiskey River,” he runs through “Bloody Mary Morning,” “Hello Walls” and a power-packed medley of “Funny How Time Slips Away,” “Crazy” and “Night Life.” That last one will make you wonder why he’s not more widely regarded as a first-rate guitar player. He also takes requests, which is actually pretty surprising to see during a live television show. Audience members shout out “Sad Songs and Waltzes!” and “Pick Up the Tempo!” and Willie and the band hardly blink before launching right into them. About half way through the show, Sammi Smith joins the band on stage for a quick duet. Willie tells her to not go too far – she’ll be coming back to to sing her hit “Help Me Make it Through the Night.” But unfortunately, that footage has been lost to history. How can that be, you ask? I wondered the same thing. So I tracked down Bill Young, who’s in charge of television programming around here. He tells me that the Willie Nelson episode of Opry House was a 90-minute show. Back in those days, you would sometimes film on a 65-minute tape and then a 30 minute tape and marry the two together where the overlap occurs. In preparing to put the series together for KERA’s 50th, Bill says he and his staff turned the building over searching for that second tape to no avail. So Smith’s performance, plus a special appearance by Jerry Jeff Walker to sing “Up Against the Wall Red Neck Mother,” are lost to history. Gone to that great television in the sky. Luckily we hung on to the first hour of this program. Tune in Sunday night, and you’ll be glad we did. Check out a related story about this program on dallasnews.com.
26 days ago
www.savingcountrymusic.com James L. Payne, aka Jody Payne, electric guitarist for Willie Nelson for 35 years, has passed away. He died this morning (8-10) in Stapleton, AL due to cardiac arrest according to his wife Vicki. Payne had been...
www.savingcountrymusic.com James L. Payne, aka Jody Payne, electric guitarist for Willie Nelson for 35 years, has passed away. He died this morning (8-10) in Stapleton, AL due to cardiac arrest according to his wife Vicki. Payne had been suffering from heart problems for years prior. Payne was part of Willie Nelson’s legendary “Family Band” for over 3 decades until he decided to retire from the road and began teaching guitar. He was born in in Garrard County, Kentucky where he began singing at six years old. Jody first played professionally with Charlie Monroe in 1951, and then was drafted into the army in 1958. After two years of service, he settled in Detroit where he initially met Willie Nelson in 1962, but did not start playing with him until years later. Throughout the 60?s Payne played bass for Ray Price, and also played with Merle Haggard among others before eventually joining Willie in 1973. Payne was married to country singer Sammi Smith. The couple eventually divorced. They had a son Waylon Payne who is also a musician, performer, and actor. He is also survived by another son Austin Payne, and his wife Vicki who he married in 1980. Willie Nelson’s Facebook page has posted, “Our friend will be missed.”
about 1 month ago
Birthdays 1930 - Damita Jo (born Damita Jo DeBlanc) (d. 1998) 1934 - Vern Gosdin (d. 2009) 1940 - Bobby Braddock (73) 1941 - Airto Moreira (Weather Report) (72) 1942 - Rick Huxley (Dave Clark Five) (71) 1943 - Sammi Smith (d....
Birthdays 1930 - Damita Jo (born Damita Jo DeBlanc) (d. 1998) 1934 - Vern Gosdin (d. 2009) 1940 - Bobby Braddock (73) 1941 - Airto Moreira (Weather Report) (72) 1942 - Rick Huxley (Dave Clark Five) (71) 1943 - Sammi Smith (d. 2005) 1945 - Barry Tashian (Flying Burrito Brothers, Gram Parsons, Emmylou Harris' Hot Band) (68) 1947 - Rick Derringer (66) 1947 - Greg Leskiw (Guess Who) (66) 1951 - Samantha Sang (62) 1952 - Louis Walsh (manager) (61) 1955 - Eddie Ojeda (Twisted Sister) (58) 1959 - Pat Smear (Germs, Nirvana) (54) 1959 - Pete Burns (Dead or Alive) (54) 1960 - Mike Nocito (Johnny Hates Jazz) (53) 1960 - Seth Swirsky (53) 1960 - Stuart Croxford (Kajagoogoo) (53) 1964 - Adam Yauch (Beastie Boys) (d. 2012) 1965 - Jeff Coffin (Dave Matthews Band, Bela Fleck & the Flecktones) (48) 1966 - Jennifer Finch (L7) (47) 1968 - Terri Clark (45) 1971 - "Evil" Jared Hasselhoff (Bloodhound Gang) (42) 1972 - Christian Olde Wolbers (Fear Factory) (41) 1975 - Dan Hipgrave (Toploader) (38) 1981 - Travie McCoy (Gym Class Heroes) (32) 1983 - Dawn Richard (Dainty Kane) (30) Deaths 1968 - Luther Perkins (Tennessee Three) - House fire (40) 1978 - Pete Meaden (manager for the Who) - Suicide 1986 - Michael Rudetsky (Culture Club) - Heroin overdose (27) 1992 - Jeff Porcaro (Toto) - Heart attack (38) 1993 - Randy Hobbs (McCoys, Johnny Winter, Edgar Winter) - Heart failure (45) 2008 - Robert Hazard - Pancreatic cancer (59) On This Day 1957 - American Bandstand premiered nationally. 1965 - Jan Berry (Jan & Dean) broke his leg when he was knocked off a camera car. It was the first day of shooting on the film Easy Come, Easy Go. His injury, along with a number of others, caused the film to be cancelled. 1972 - Aerosmith signed to Columbia Records by Clive Davis. 1972 - Wizzard made their live debut in London on a bill with Chuck Berry, Bill Haley and Gary Glitter. 1975 - The band that would become the Runaways was formed by Kim Fowley. 1975 - Stevie Wonder signed a $13 million contract with Motown, the largest contract to date. 1979 - Def Leppard signed with Polygram in the U.K. 1980 - The Osmonds split up. 1981 - Olivia Newton-John received her star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. 1983 - David Crosby received a sentence of five years for cocaine and firearms possession. 1990 - Madonna's Blonde Ambition tour ends in Nice, France. The show would be an HBO special. 1992 - Michael Jackson collapsed three times during a show in Wales. 1994 - Billy Idol entered a Los Angeles hospital with a drug overdose. 1998 - George Strait set the record for most lifetime Country Music Association nominations with 47. 2000 - Gary Glitter was forced to call police to his London home after a crowd gathered shouting abuse. 2003 - Lynyrd Skynyrd were forced to cancel the balance of their tour after doctors for Gary Rossington told the guitarist to take it easy. He had open heart surgery the previous February. Recorded 1964 - When I Grow Up to Be a Man - Beach Boys Released 1966 - Revolver - Beatles (U.K. release) 1967 - The Piper at the Gates of Dawn - Pink Floyd (debut album) 1967 - Ode to Billie Joe - Bobbie Gentry (single) 1986 - Dancing on the Ceiling - Lionel Richie Broadcasts 1957 - American Bandstand - Billy Williams, Chordettes (debut of national show) 1958 - American Bandstand - Coasters (1st anniversary show) 1976 - The Beach Boys: It's O.K. (15th anniversary special) Number Ones – U.S. Singles 1944 - Swinging on a Star - Bing Crosby (9 weeks) 1978 - Miss You - Rolling Stones (1 week) 1989 - Batdance - Prince (1 week) Number Ones – U.S. Albums 1995 - Dreaming of You - Selena (1 week) 2000 - Now That's What I Call Music 4 - Various Artists (3 weeks) Number Ones – U.S. R&B Singles 1967 - I Was Made to Love Her - Stevie Wonder (3 weeks) 1972 - Where is the Love - Roberta Flack & Donnie
about 1 month ago
http://blog.al.com by: Jim Hannaford STAPLETON — It’s hard to leave any job you love, but after 35 years, Jody Payne knew it was time to settle down and do some other things. For Payne, retirement meant stepping down from a coveted and u...
http://blog.al.com by: Jim Hannaford STAPLETON — It’s hard to leave any job you love, but after 35 years, Jody Payne knew it was time to settle down and do some other things. For Payne, retirement meant stepping down from a coveted and unique musical role that he’d enjoyed for what amounts to more than half a lifetime — being a supporting but pivotal part of Willie Nelson’s iconic sound, on stage and in the studio for a staggering number of shows and songs. From 1973 until 2008, he was in fact Willie’s right-hand man, a stylishly shaggy, go-with-the-flow counterpart playing solid, nimble rhythm guitar and singing sweet harmonies. Along with the rest of the famed Family Band, he often spent most of the year on tour. These days, Payne has settled down a bit into a quieter and more routine life in Stapleton. At the age of 75, he’s playing occasional gigs and teaching guitar lessons and is able to take a breath and relax. “I always said that if I could live anywhere it would be in the middle of Baldwin County, and that’s just about where I am,” the easygoing Payne said with a chuckle. “I really like it here. It’s a small town with friendly people.” Payne’s ties to the area date to the 1960s, when he first played clubs in and around Mobile with the likes of saxophonist Dave Sandy and rockers The Dalton Boys before he joined up with Willie. Later he ran a bar, Jody Payne’s Crystal Palace, for a couple of years on the Causeway. His wife since 1980, the former Vicki Fisher, is a Mobile native, but Payne’s own roots are in Kentucky, where he and his family members were sharecroppers and musicians. He played bluegrass music growing up and first went on the road in the ’50s with Charlie Monroe, brother of bluegrass patriarch Bill. The young Payne played a variety of music, first with his father and sister in a “family band” and later with ’60s rock and R&B. He first met Nelson in 1962, but the two connected more deeply in the early 1970s when he was touring with Merle Haggard as well as his then-wife Sammi Smith, whose classic recording of “Help Me Make it Through the Night” topped the country charts and sold two million copies in 1971. They first played together on a show in Nelson’s hometown of Abbot, Texas. An ensuing three-and-a-half-decade association saw the Family Band make a shift from roughneck bars and backwoods honky tonks to swanky Las Vegas showrooms and stadiums and a string of movies and award-winning soundtracks. The laid-back, modest Payne considers himself fortunate to have been a part of the Willie phenomenon that made the Red-Headed Stranger one of the most popular performers ever. “We created musical history. It wasn’t me, it was us,” Payne said. “I was just a small part of something people wanted to hear, and we entertained them.” The Family Band did some 200 shows a year, maybe more, and later the schedule was trimmed down to about 150, he said. One of their buses was actually certified as having traveled a million miles, with the same driver and the same musicians aboard. With these numbers as a ballpark figure, this means that Payne played somewhere between 3,500 and 7,000 shows with Willie. “I miss the guys and I miss the sound, but I don’t miss the bus,” he said. “It got to where you knew what city you were in because of what the auditorium looked like, not what the city looked like.” Though he’s retired from the road, Payne said music will always be a part of his life. He hopes to do some recording soon and is enjoying playing with other area musicians, including his students at Picker’s Paradise, the music store in Stapleton where he is teaching guitar for the first time in his life. Alan Hartzell, general manager of the store, said Payne is a great addition.  “Jody’s always smiling, always level and, of course, he’s an amazing guitarist,” Hartzell said. “He’s great with kids, just as patient as he can be. He’s really humble for being who he is and for what’s he’s accomplished.”
2 months ago