Music

Country Rewind: Tanya Tucker and Tom Jones Cover 'Help Me Make It Through the Night'

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NTfT_hmNPyQ

Tanya Tucker's been a great duet partner over time for a wide variety of artists, from Glen Campbell and Delbert McClinton to Brandi Carlile and Tom Jones.

That last pairing might stick out like a sore thumb, despite Jones' occasional moonlighting as a country singer and his success with Nashville standard "Green, Green Grass of Home." After all, he's more Engelbert Humperdinck than Ernest Tubb.

However, Tucker and Jones' small screen chemistry shone brightly when Tucker made a guest appearance at Jones' 1979 filming of his Live at Knott's Berry Farm television special. During the tapings, the pair lent its iconic voices and on-stage wit to a soulful (and briefly flirtatious) rendition of legendary vocalist and songwriter Kris Kristofferson's "Help Me Make It Through the Night."

Kristofferson wrote the song while living with Dottie West's family and based its title on a Frank Sinatra quote. It was cut in 1970 by both Kristofferson and Sammi Smith. 

In the years to come, country royalty (Tammy Wynette, Willie Nelson, Loretta Lynn) and superstars from other genres (Elvis Presley, Gladys Knight & the Pips) added to "Help Me Make It Through the Night's" infinite playlist. Each country legend or oldies staple solidified the song's place alongside Tucker's "Delta Dawn" as one of country music's greatest hits from the '70's.

Duets over time included an even odder couple, Dolly Parton and folk musician turned game show host Chuck Woolery.

Read More: A Crooner Goes Country as Dean 'Tex' Martin

Jones' relationship with country music was much like that of his pop predecessor Dean Martin. Both men's country output exists as more than a novelty, whether you're giving The Country Side of Tom Jones or Dean "Tex" Martin's series of albums a spin.

For more of Tucker and Jones' chemistry, Google their performance of "I'm Leaving It Up to You" (sometimes billed as "I'm Leaving It All Up to You"), followed by Tucker singing "Lord Knows We Tried," from a 1981 episode of The Tom Jones Show.

Now Watch: Remembering John Prine Songs Through the Years

recommended for you

Country Rewind: Tanya Tucker and Tom Jones Cover 'Help Me Make It Through the Night'