Jewel Fay Smith, we know her as Sammi Smith, was one of the leading female singers of the 1970's and one of the few women performers to have been associated with the outlaw phenomenon that peaked near the mid seventies.

Sammi was born in Southern California but reared throughout the southwest. She began performing in nightclubs at age eleven. She moved to Nashville in 1967 and signed with Columbia Records.

She became friends with songwriter Kris Kristofferson who would provide her with her biggest hit.  Released in early 1971, "Help Me make It Through the Night" became a number one Country single and a top ten hit on the pop charts. For that song she won a 1971 Grammy for Best Country Vocal Performance.

Sammi Smith was born in 1943. She dropped out of school at age eleven. She was fifteen when she married and had four children. In 1967 she moved to Nashville, soon after her divorce. On February 12, 2005 at age 61 she died at her home in Oklahoma City. Her cause of death was never confirmed. She was known to be a heavy smoker. Sammi Smith's son Waylon Payne, an actor portrayed Jerry Lee Lewis in the movie "Walk the Line."

Sunday December 2nd, hear the music and life of Sammi Smith on the Country Classic Spotlight at 11 a.m.  Join me at 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. for the Country Classic show at 98.1 FM 98 Country.