Living and doing business in Austin, TX from the mid-1960’s until the early 1980’s…..when Central Texas was experiencing a country music revolution from the old traditional sound founded squarely in Nashville, Tennessee to the outlaw country music sound, which was founded squarely in Austin, TX…..when Willie Nelson, Waylon Jennings, Johnny Cash, Kris Kristofferson, Billy Joe Shavers, Jerry Jeff Walker, David Allen Coe, Johnny Paycheck, et al…..and most of these pathfinders in country music lived and performed in and around Austin…..as well as all over Central Texas…..with Lukenbach, TX being a popular venue for The Outlaw Gang of country musicians. The attitude of this Outlaw Country Music generation of musicians was evidenced by the highly successful group of Willie Nelson, Waylon Jennings, Johnny Cash and Kris Kristofferson…..who were better known as The Highwaymen. For those of us who were weened on country music while growing up in West Texas on such “country music crooners” as Hank Williams, Ray Price, Eddie Arnold, Bob Wills, Webb Pierce, Glen Campbell, Roy Acuff, Buck Owens, Dolly Parton, George Jones, Tammye Wynette, Ernest Tubbs, Roy Clark, Patsy Kline et al…..this evolution to Outlaw Country Music was a welcome change…..cuz it added the “Wild West” to traditional country music…..which reminded me of the “cowboy country” of West Texas where I was born and raised…..so, it was wildly received by ole boys like me.
Music – 2008 – A Bio HD Presentation By Steve Earle Special – “For The Good Times: The Kris Kristofferson Story” – Part 1
Kristoffer Kristofferson (born June 22, 1936) is an American retired country singer, songwriter, and actor. Among his songwriting credits are “Me and Bobby McGee”, “For the Good Times”, “Sunday Mornin’ Comin’ Down”, and “Help Me Make It Through the Night”, all of which were hits for other artists.
Music – 2008 – A Bio HD Presentation By Steve Earle Special – “For The Good Times: The Kris Kristofferson Story” – Part 2
In 1985, Kristofferson joined fellow country artists Waylon Jennings, Willie Nelson and Johnny Cash in the country music supergroup The Highwaymen …..which was a key creative force in the outlaw country music movement that eschewed the traditional Nashville country music machine in favor of independent songwriting and producing.
Music – 2008 – A Bio HD Presentation By Steve Earle Special – “For The Good Times: The Kris Kristofferson Story” – Part 3
As an actor, Kristofferson is known for his roles in Pat Garrett & Billy the Kid in 1973, Blume in Love in 1973, Alice Doesn’t Live Here Anymore in 1974, A Star Is Born in 1976…..which earned him a Golden Globe Award for Best Actor, Convoy in 1978, Heaven’s Gate in 1980, Lone Star in 1996, Stagecoach in 1986 and the Blade film trilogy from 1998–2004. In 2004, Kristofferson was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame.
Music – 2008 – A Bio HD Presentation By Steve Earle Special – “For The Good Times: The Kris Kristofferson Story” – Part 4
Kristoffer Kristofferson was born in Brownsville, Texas, to Mary Ann (née Ashbrook) and Lars Henry Kristofferson, a U.S. Army Air Corps officer (later a U.S. Air Force major general). His paternal grandparents emigrated from Sweden….. while his mother had English, Scots-Irish, German, Swiss-German, and Dutch ancestry…..as Kristofferson’s paternal grandfather was an officer in the Swedish Army…..and while Kristofferson was a child, his father pushed him toward a military career.
Music – 1970’s – KCET Vault Special – “Artbound Presents Studio A: Kris Kristofferson in Concert”
Kristofferson moved around frequently as a youth because of his father’s military service…..and they settled in San Mateo, California…..where he graduated from San Mateo High School in 1954. An aspiring writer, Kristofferson immediately enrolled in Pomona College…..when his early writing included prize-winning essays…..along with “The Rock” and “Gone Are the Days” were published in The Atlantic Monthly…..as these early stories reveal the roots of Kristofferson’s passions and concerns. “The Rock” is about a geographical feature resembling the form of a woman…..while the latter was about a racial incident.
Music – 1974 – The Grammy Awards – With Presenters Kris Kristofferson and Moms Mabley – Truly Wonderful!!
At the age of 17, Kristofferson took a summer job with a dredging contractor on Wake Island in the western Pacific Ocean. He called it “the hardest job I ever had”. Kristofferson attended Pomona College and experienced his 1st national exposure in 1958…..while appearing in Sports Illustrated‘s “Faces in the Crowd” on March 31 for his achievements in the collegiate rugby union, American football, and track and field. He and his classmates revived the Claremont Colleges Rugby Club in 1958…..and it remains a Southern California rugby institution. Kristofferson graduated in 1958 with a Bachelor of Arts degree, summa cum laude, in literature…..while being elected to Phi Beta Kappa his junior year. In a 2004 interview with Pomona College Magazine, Kristofferson mentioned philosophy professor Frederick Sontag as an important influence in his life.
Music – 1970 – From the Album Kristofferson – Kris Kristofferson – “To Beat The Devil”
Music – 1970 – From the Album Kristofferson – Kris Kristofferson – “The Law Is For The Protection Of The People”
In 1958 Kristofferson won a Rhodes Scholarship to Oxford University…..while studying at Merton College. While at Oxford, he was awarded a Blue for boxing, played rugby for his college and began writing songs. At Oxford, he became acquainted with fellow Rhodes scholar, art critic, and poet Michael Fried. With the help of his manager, Larry Parnes, Kristofferson recorded for Top Rank Records under the name Kris Carson…..as Parnes was working to sell Kristofferson as “a Yank at Oxford” to the British public…..while he was willing to accept that promotional approach if it helped his singing career….. which he hoped would enable him to progress toward his goal of becoming a novelist…..as this early phase of his music career was unsuccessful. In 1960, Kristofferson graduated with a B.Phil. degree in English literature. In 1961, he married his longtime girlfriend, Frances Mavia Beer.
Music – 1971 – From the Album Silver Tongued Devil and I– Kris Kristofferson – “The Taker”
Music – 1971 – From the Album Silver Tongued Devil and I– Kris Kristofferson – “The Silver Tongued Devil and I”
Kristofferson, under pressure from his family, joined the U.S. Army and was commissioned as a 2nd lieutenant…..and eventually attained the rank of captain. He became a helicopter pilot after receiving flight training at Fort Rucker, Alabama…..plus, he also completed Ranger School. During the early 1960’s, he was stationed in West Germany as a member of the 8th Infantry Division…..when during this time, he resumed his music career and formed a band. In 1965, after his tour in Germany ended, Kristofferson was given an assignment to teach English literature at West Point…..but instead, he decided to leave the Army and pursue songwriting. His family disowned him because of his career decision…..and sources are unclear on whether they reconciled…..as they saw it as a rejection of everything they stood for….albeit Kristofferson says he is proud of his time in the military…..and subsequently received the Veteran of the Year Award at the 2003 American Veterans Awards ceremony.
Music – 1987 – Live at The Island Def Jam Music Group Festival – Kris Kristofferson – “Love Is The Way”
After leaving the army in 1965, Kristofferson moved to Nashville…..where he worked odd jobs while struggling for success in music…..while burdened with medical expenses resulting from his son’s defective esophagus…..when he and his wife soon divorced.
Music – 1976 – From the Album Surreal Thing – Kris Kristofferson – “I Got A Life Of My Own”
He got a job sweeping floors at Columbia Recording Studios in Nashville….. where he met June Carter and asked her to give Johnny Cash a tape of his. She did, but Cash put it on a large pile with others. He also worked as a commercial helicopter pilot for south Louisiana firm Petroleum Helicopters International (PHI), based in Lafayette, Louisiana. Kristofferson recalled of his days as a pilot, “That was about the last three years before I started performing, before people started cutting my songs. I would work a week down here [in south Louisiana] for PHI, sitting on an oil platform and flying helicopters. Then I’d go back to Nashville at the end of the week and spend a week up there trying to pitch the songs, then come back down and write songs for another week. I can remember “Help Me Make It Through the Night” I wrote sitting on top of an oil platform. I wrote “Bobby McGee” down here, and a lot of them [in south Louisiana].”
Music – 1987 – Live at The Island Def Jam Music Group Festival – Kris Kristofferson – “They Killed Him”
Weeks after giving Carter his tapes, Kristofferson landed a helicopter in Cash’s front yard, gaining his full attention. A story about Kristofferson having a beer in one hand and some songs in the other upon arrival was reputed…..but has been disproven, with Kristofferson saying, “It was still kind of an invasion of privacy that I wouldn’t recommend. To be honest, I don’t think he was there. John had a pretty creative memory.” But upon hearing “Sunday Mornin’ Comin’ Down”, Cash decided to record it…..and in 1970 Kristofferson won Songwriter of the Year for the song at the Country Music Association Awards.
Music – 1987 – Live at Austin City Limits – Johnny Cash – “Sunday Morning Coming Down”
Music – 2014 – Excerpt from the Film The Road To Austin” – Live on Stage – Kris Kristofferson with Stephen Bruton and Tosca Strings – “Sunday Morning Coming Down”
In 1966, Dave Dudley released a successful Kristofferson single, “Viet Nam Blues.” In 1967, Kristofferson signed to Epic Records and released a single, “Golden Idol/Killing Time,”…..but the song was not successful. Within the next few years, more Kristofferson originals hit the charts…..which were performed by Roy Drusky on “Jody and the Kid”….. Billy Walker & the Tennessee Walkers on “From the Bottle to the Bottom”….. Ray Stevens on “Sunday Mornin’ Comin’ Down”…..Jerry Lee Lewis on “Once More with Feeling”…..Faron Young on “Your Time’s Comin'”…..and Roger Miller on “Me and Bobby McGee”, “Best of all Possible Worlds” and “Darby’s Castle”). He was successful as a performer following Johnny Cash’s introduction of him at the Newport Folk Festival.
Music – 1968 – Dave Dudley – “Viet Nam Blues” – Written by Kris Kristofferson
Music – 1993 – Excerpt from TV Special – “Kris Kristofferson – His Life and Work” – With Kris Talking About Vietnam Blues and His Attitude to Vietnam
Music – 1976 – From the Album Kris Kristofferson: Surreal Thing – Kris Kristofferson – “The Golden Idol”
Music – 1976 – From the Album Kris Kristofferson: Surreal Thing – Kris Kristofferson – “Killing Time”
Music – 1968 – From PBS Ken Burns Music Biography Special – Kris Kristofferson Sings “Jody and the Kid”
Music – Video – 1971 – Kris Kristofferson – “From The Bottom To The Bottle”
Music – 2006 – Live on Stage – Jerry Lee Lewis & Kris Kristofferson – “Once More With Feeling”
Music – 1994 – Kris Kristofferson – “The Best Of All Possible Worlds” – Performed at Farm Aid in New Orleans
Music – 1970 – From the Album Kristofferson – Kris Kristofferson – “Darby’s Castle”
Kristofferson signed with Monument Records as a recording artist…..when in addition to running that label, Fred Foster also served as manager of Combine Music…..which was Kristofferson’s songwriting label. His debut album for Monument in 1970 was titled Kristofferson…..which included a few new songs as well as many of his previous hits. Sales were poor, although this debut album would become a success the following year after it was re-released under the title Me & Bobby McGee. Kristofferson’s compositions were still in demand…..with Ray Price on “For the Good Times”…..Gladys Knight & The Pips on “Help Me Make It Through The Night”…..Waylon Jennings on “The Taker”…..Bobby Bare on “Come Sundown”…..Johnny Cash on “Sunday Morning Coming Down”…..and Sammi Smith on “Help Me Make It Through the Night”…..which were all recorded successful versions of his songs in the early-1970’s……when “For the Good Times” by Ray Price won “Song of the Year” in 1970 from the Academy of Country Music…..while “Sunday Morning Coming Down” by Johnny Cash won the same award from the academy’s rival, the Country Music Association, in the same year. This is the only time an individual received the same award from these two organizations in the same year for different songs.
Music – 1979 – Live in Concert – Kris Kristofferson – “Me and Bobby McGee”
Music – 1970 – Kris Kristofferson – “For The Good Times”
Music – 1970 – A JB Corner Presentation Special – Kris Kristofferson – “Help Me Make It Through The Night”
Music – 1971 – From the Album The Silver Tongued Devil and I – Kris Kristofferson – “The Taker”
Music – 1979 – From the Album Shake Hands With The Devil – Kris Kristofferson – “Come Sundown”
Music – 1970 – From the Album Kristofferson – Kris Kristofferson – “Sunday Morning Coming Down”
In 1971, Janis Joplin, who had dated Kristofferson, had a # 1 hit with “Me and Bobby McGee” from her posthumous album Pearl…..which stayed on the # 1 spot on the charts for weeks…..plus, more hits followed from other artists with Ray Price recording “I’d Rather Be Sorry”…..as well as Joe Simon covering “Help Me Make It Through the Night”…..and Bobby Bare’s “Please Don’t Tell Me How the Story Ends”…..plus O.C. Smith’s “Help Me Make It Through the Night”…..Jerry Lee Lewis recording of “Me and Bobby McGee”…. Patti Page’s “I’d Rather Be Sorry”…..and Peggy Little’s “I’ve Got to Have You”. Country music performer Kenny Rogers recorded some of Kristofferson’s compositions, including a version of “Me and Bobby McGee” in 1969 with The First Edition for the Ruby, Don’t Take Your Love To Town album.
Music – 1969 – From the Album Pearl – Janis Joplin – “Me and Bobby McGee”
Music – 1974 – Kris Kristofferson & Rita Coolidge – I’d Rather Be Sorry
Music – 1974 -From the Album Breakaway Kris Kristofferson & Rita Coolidge – I’ve Got To Have You
Music – 1982 – Filmed Live at the Tennessee Performing Arts Center Special – Jerry Lee & Kris Kristofferson – Sing 4 of Kris’ Songs Killer Had Big Hits With: “For The Good Times + Once More With Feeling + Me And Bobby McGee + Help Me Make It Through The Night”
Kristofferson released his 2nd album The Silver Tongued Devil and I in 1971. It included “Lovin’ Her Was Easier (Than Anything I’ll Ever Do Again)”…..and the success of this album established Kristofferson’s career as a recording artist. Soon after, Kristofferson made his acting debut in The Last Movie (directed by Dennis Hopper)…..and appeared at the Isle of Wight Festival….. where a portion of his Isle of Wight performance is featured on the three disc compilation, The First Great Rock Festivals of the Seventies. In 1971, he acted in Cisco Pike…..and released his 3rd album, Border Lord…..as the album was all-new material…..and sales were sluggish. He also swept the Grammy Awards that year with numerous songs nominated, winning country song of the year for “Help Me Make It Through the Night”. Kristofferson’s 1972 4th album, Jesus Was a Capricorn, initially had slow sales…..but the 3rd single, “Why Me”, was a success and significantly increased album sales…..as it sold over one million copies, and was awarded a gold disc by the RIAA on November 8, 1973.
Music – 1972 – Live on British Broadcast Communications (BBC) – Kris Kristofferson – “Loving Her Was Easier (Than Anything I’ll Ever Do Again”
Music – 1970 – Live at the Isle of Wight Festival – Kris Kristofferson – “Blame It On The Stones”
Movie & Music – Official Movie Trailer – 1972 – Cisco Pike – Starring Kris Kristofferson + Karen Black + Gene Hackman
Movie & Music – 1972 – From the Album Borderlord – Kris Kristofferson – “Kiss The World Goodbye” – With Scenes from the Movie Convoy
Movie & Music – 1970 – From the Album Original Album Classics – Kris Kristofferson – “The Junkie And The Juicehead, Minus Me” – With Scenes from the Movies Cisco Pike & Blume In Love
Music – 2010 – From the Album Twistable, Turnable Man: A Musical Tribute to the Songs of Shel Silverstein – Kris Kristofferson – “The Winner”
Music & Interview – 2009 – From the DVD Ralf Emery’s Legends Vol. 2 – Kris Kristofferson – “Why Me Lord” – Story of the Song Told and Sung By Kris Kristofferson – Featuring Willie Nelson + Janie Frickie + Gaither Group Band Members
In 1972, Kristofferson appeared with Rita Coolidge on British TV on BBC’s The Old Grey Whistle Test, performing a physically intimate version of “Help Me Make It Through the Night”. Also in 1972, Al Green released his version of “For the Good Times” on the album I’m Still in Love with You.
Music – 1972 – Live on The Old Grey Whistle Test – Kris Kristofferson & Rita Coolidge – “Help Me Make It Through The Night”
For the next several years, Kristofferson focused on acting…..when he appeared in Cisco Pike in 1972 with Gene Hackman…..Blume in Love in 1973, directed by Paul Mazursky…..and three Sam Peckinpah films including Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid in 1973…..Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Garcia in 1974…..and Convoy in 1978…..along with Michael Ritchie’s Semi-Tough in 1977 with Burt Reynolds…..while he continued acting in Martin Scorsese’s Alice Doesn’t Live Here Anymore in 1974…..Vigilante Force in 1976…..The Sailor Who Fell from Grace with the Sea in 1976…..and the romantic drama A Star Is Born in 1976 with Barbra Streisand….. for which he received a Golden Globe Award for Best Actor soon followed. At the peak of his box office power, Kristofferson turned down William Friedkin’s Sorcerer in 1977….. and the romantic war film Hanover Street in 1979. Despite his success with Streisand, Kristofferson’s solo musical career headed downward with his non-charting ninth album, Shake Hands with the Devil. His next film, the two-part 1979 NBC-TV movie Freedom Road, did not get good ratings.
Movie & Music – 1971 – From the Movie Cisco Pike – Kris Kristofferson Sings “The Pilgrim” in Scenes from the Movie Cisco Pike
Movie & Music – 1973 – From the Movie Blume In Love – Starring Kris Kristofferson + Susan Aspach + George Segal in Scenes from the Movie Blume In Love – Singing “Chester The Goat”
Movie & Music – 1973 – From the Movie Pat Garrett and Billy The Kid – Starring Kris Kristofferson + Bob Dylan + James Coburn in the Corral Scene from the Movie Pat Garrett and Billy The Kid
Movie & Music – Official Trailer – 1974 – From the Movie Bring Me The Head of Alfredo Garcia – Starring Warren Oates + Kris Kristofferson in This Sam Peckinpah Movie
Movie & Music – 1978 – From the Movie Convoy – Starring Ernest Borgnine + Kris Kristofferson + Ali MacGraw – In the Scene Where The Convoy Attacks The Town and Jailhouse
Movie & Music – 1977 – From the Movie Semi-Tough – Starring Bert Reynolds + Kris Kristofferson + Jill Clayburgh + Robert Preston – In the Limosine Scene“The Jocks of the Mind”
Movie & Music – Official Trailer – 1974 – From the Movie Alice Doesn’t Live Here Anymore – Starring Ellen Burnstyn + Kris Kristofferson
Movie & Music – Official Trailer – 1976 – From the Movie Vigilante Force – Starring Jan Michael Vincent + Victoria Principal + Kris Kristofferson + Bernadette Peters
Movie & Music – 1976 – From the Movie A Star Is Born – Starring Barbara Streisand + Kris Kristofferson – In Live Concert Scene With Kristofferson Singing “Watch Closer Now”
Kristofferson was next cast in the lead role as the enigmatic Sheriff James Averill in Michael Cimino’s bleak and sprawling 1980 anti-Western Heaven’s Gate…..and despite being a scandalous studio-bankrupting and industry-changing failure at the time…..when it cost Kristofferson his Hollywood A-list status…..albeit the film gained critical recognition in subsequent years. In 1981, he co-starred with Jane Fonda in Rollover…..which was directed by Alan J. Pakula. In 1986, he starred in The Last Days of Frank and Jesse James with Johnny Cash…..and Flashpoint in 1984, directed by William Tannen…..which was followed in 1985 by the neo-noir thriller Trouble In Mind co-starring Keith Carradine and Lori Singer. In 1987, Kristofferson starred in the 7 episode TV series Amerika with Robert Urich and Christine Lahti. In 1989, he was the male lead in the film Millennium with Cheryl Ladd. In 1996, he earned a supporting role as Charlie Wade, a corrupt South Texas sheriff in John Sayles’s Lone Star, a film nominated for an Oscar for Best Screenplay. In 1997, he co-starred in the film Fire Down Below with Steven Seagal.
Movie & Music – Official Trailer – 1980 – From the Movie Heaven’s Gate – Starring Christopher Walken + Isabelle Huppert + Kris Kristofferson + John Hurt
Movie & Music – Official Trailer – 1981 – From the Movie Rollover – Starring Jane Fonda + Kris Kristofferson
Movie & Music – 1986 – From the Movie The Last Days Of Frank and Jesse James – Starring Johnny Cash + Kris Kristofferson + David Allan Coe + Marcia Cross – In Shooting Contest and Love Scene
Movie – 1984 – Entire HBO Movie – “Flashpoint” – Starring Kris Kristofferson + Trent Williams + Rip Torn + Jean Smart + Kurtwood Smith + Tess Harper
Movie & Music – Official DVD Trailer – 1985 – From the Movie Trouble In Mind – Starring Lori Singer + Kris Kristofferson + Keith Carradine + Joe Morton + Genevieve Bujold
Movie & Music – Official Trailer – 1989 – From the Movie Millennium – Starring Cheryl Ladd + Kris Kristofferson + Daniel J. Travanti + Robert Joy
Movie & Music – Official Trailer – 1986 – From the Movie Lone Star – Starring Chris Cooper + Kris Kristofferson + Matthew McConaughey + Elizabeth Pena
Movie & Music – 1987 – From the Movie Fire Down Below – Starring Steven Seagal + Kris Kristofferson + Marg Helgenberger – In Final Fight Scene at the Casino
In 1998, he took a role in the film Blade, alongside Wesley Snipes, as Blade’s mentor Abraham Whistler…..when he reprised the role in Blade II in 2002….. and again in Blade: Trinity in 2004. In 1998 he also starred in Dance with Me along with Vanessa Williams and Chayanne. Then in 1999, he co-starred with Mel Gibson in Payback…..and was then in the 2001 Tim Burton version of Planet of the Apes. He has also played the title character “Yohan” as an old man in the Norwegian film Yohan—the Children Wanderer. He co-starred in the 2011 film Dolphin Tale…..and its 2014 sequel, Dolphin Tale 2. In 2012, Kristofferson was in Joyful Noise with longtime friend Dolly Parton on Broadway. In 2013, Kristofferson co-starred in The Motel Life, as well as Angels Sing with Willie Nelson and Lyle Lovett. In 2006, Kristofferson starred with Geneviève Bujold in the film Disappearances about whiskey running from Quebec to the US during the Great Depression.
Movie – Official Trailer – 1998 – For the Movie Blade – Starring Wesley Snipes + Kris Kristofferson + Stephen Dorff
Movie – Official Trailer – 2002 – For the Movie Blade 2 – Starring Wesley Snipes + Kris Kristofferson + Ron Periman + Leonor Varela
Movie – Official Trailer – 2004 – For the Movie Blade Trinity – Starring Wesley Snipes + Kris Kristofferson + Ryan Reynolds + Jessica Ball
Movie & Music – Movie Clip – 1998 – From the Movie Dance With Me – Starring Kris Kristofferson + Vanessa Williams + Chayanne – In Clip Where Rafael (Chayanne) Meets His Father (Kristofferson) For The 1st Time
Movie – Official Trailer – 1999 – For the Movie Payback – Starring Mel Gibson + Gregg Henry + Maria Bello + Kris Kristofferson + Lucy Lui + William Devane
Movie – Official Trailer – 2011 – For the Movie Dolphin Tale – Starring Harry Connick Jr. + Ashley Judd + Nathan Gamble + Kris Kristofferson + Cozi Zuehlsdorff + Morgan Freeman
Movie – Official Trailer – 2014 – For the Movie Dolphin Tale 2 – Starring Harry Connick Jr. + Ashley Judd + Nathan Gamble + Kris Kristofferson + Cozi Zuehlsdorff + Morgan Freeman
Music & Broadway – 2012 – From the Broadway Musical and Movie Soundtrack – Joyful Noise – Dolly Parton & Kris Kristofferson + Jeremy Jordan – “From Here To The Moon And Back”
Movie – Official Trailer – 2013 – For the Movie The Motel Life – Starring Dakota Fanning + Emile Hirsch + Stephen Dorff + Kris Kristofferson + Joshua Leonard
Movie – Official Trailer – 2013 – For the Movie Angels Sing – Starring Harry Connick Jr. + Bonnie Britton + Willie Nelson + Kris Kristofferson + Lyle Lovett et al
Movie & Music – Movie Ad – 2013 – Kris Kristofferson Invites You to Watch This Heartwarming Christmas Classic – As A Proud Supporter of Ronald McDonald House Charities
Movie – Official Trailer – 2006 – For the Movie Disappearances – Starring Genevieve Bujold + Charlie McDermott + Gary Farmer + Kris Kristofferson + William Sanderson
After his singing success in the early 1970’s, Kristofferson met singer Rita Coolidge…..and they got married in 1973…..then released an album titled Full Moon…..which was another success buoyed by numerous hit singles and Grammy nominations. Albeit his 5th album, Spooky Lady’s Sideshow, released in 1974, was a commercial failure…..which set a trend for most of the rest of his musical career. Artists such as Ronnie Milsap and Johnny Duncan continued to record Kristofferson’s material with success…..but his distinctively rough voice and anti-pop sound kept his own audience to a minimum. Meanwhile, more artists took his songs to the top of the charts, including Willie Nelson, whose 1979 LP release of (Willie Nelson) Sings Kristofferson reached # 5 on the U.S. Country Music chart and certified Platinum in the U.S.
Music – 1973 – From the Album Kris & Rita Full Moon – Kris Kristofferson & Rita Coolidge Duet – “A Song I’d Like To Sing”
Music – 1973 – From the Album Kris & Rita Full Moon – Kris Kristofferson & Rita Coolidge Duet – “Loving Arms”
Music – 2009 – From the Album Closer To The Bone – Kris Kristofferson – “Hall Of The Angels”
Music – 1974 – Originally From the Album Spooky Lady’s Sideshow – Kris Kristofferson – “Late Again (Gettin’ Over You)” – Recorded Live in 1972 at the Philharmonic Hall in New York City
Music – 1974 – From the Album Spooky Lady’s Sideshow – Kris Kristofferson – “Rescue Mission”
In 1979, Kristofferson traveled to Havana, Cuba to participate in the historic Havana Jam festival that took place on March 2–4, alongside Rita Coolidge, Stephen Stills, the CBS Jazz All-Stars, the Trio of Doom, Fania All-Stars, Billy Swan, Bonnie Bramlett, Mike Finnegan, Weather Report and Billy Joel…..plus an array of Cuban artists such as Irakere, Pacho Alonso, Tata Güines, and Orquesta Aragón…..when his performance is captured on Ernesto Juan Castellanos’s documentary Havana Jam ’79.
Music & Interview – 1986 – Recorded Live on Rock Influence – Kris Kristofferson – Part 1
Music & Interview – 1986 – Recorded Live on Rock Influence – Kris Kristofferson – Part 2
Music & Interview – 1986 – Recorded Live on Rock Influence – Kris Kristofferson – Part 3
On November 18, 1979, Kristofferson and Coolidge appeared on The Muppet Show…..where Kristofferson sang “Help Me Make It Through the Night” with Miss Piggy…..while Coolidge sang “We’re All Alone” with forest animals….. and the pair sang “Song I’d Like to Sing” with the Muppet monsters. Kris Kristofferson and Rita Coolidge divorced in 1980.
Music & Comedy – 1979 – The Muppet Show Presents – Kris Kristofferson & Miss Piggy – “Help Me Make It Through The Night”
Music & Comedy – 1979 – The Muppet Show Presents – Kris Kristofferson & Rita Coolidge – “Song I Like To Sing”
In 1982, Kristofferson joined Willie Nelson, Dolly Parton Johnny Cash and Brenda Lee on The Winning Hand, a double album consisting of remastered and updated performances of recordings the four artists had made for the Monument label during the mid-1960’s…..when the album reached the top ten on the U.S. country album charts. Kristofferson married again, to Lisa Meyers…..and then concentrated on films for a time…..while appearing in the 1984 releases The Lost Honor of Kathryn Beck, Flashpoint and Songwriter. Nelson and Kristofferson both appeared in Songwriter, and Kristofferson was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Original Song Score. The album Music from Songwriter, featuring Nelson-Kristofferson duets, was a massive country success.
Music – 1982 – From the Double Album The Winning Hand” – Kris Kristofferson + Willie Nelson + Brenda Lee + Johnny Cash + Dolly Parton – “Don’t Let Your Left Hand Know What Your Right Hand Does”
Music – 1982 – From the Double Album The Winning Hand – Kris Kristofferson + Brenda Lee Duet – “Born To Love Me”
Music – 1982 – From the Double Album The Winning Hand – Kris Kristofferson – “The Bigger the Fool, The Harder the Fall”
Music – 1982 – From the Double Album The Winning Hand – Kris Kristofferson – “Here Comes That Rainbow Again”
Music & Movies – 1984 – Clips From the Movie Songwriter – Kris Kristofferson Medley – “Let’s Make This A Night To Remember” + “If You Don’t Like The Deal, You Don’t Need To Buy It”
Nelson and Kristofferson continued their partnership, and added Waylon Jennings and Johnny Cash to form the supergroup The Highwaymen…..and their 1st album, Highwayman, was a huge success…..so, the supergroup continued working together for a time. The single from the album, also entitled “Highwayman”, written and originally recorded by by Jimmy Webb in 1977, was awarded the ACM’s single of the year in 1985. In 1985, Kristofferson starred in Trouble in Mind …..and released Repossessed, a politically aware album that was a country success, particularly “They Killed Him” (also performed by Bob Dylan), a tribute to his heroes…..which included Martin Luther King Jr., Jesus and Mahatma Gandhi. Kristofferson also appeared in Amerika at about the same time…..which was a miniseries that attempted to depict life in America under Soviet control.
Music – 1985 – From the Album Highwaymen – Waylon Jennings + Johnny Cash + Willie Nelson + Kris Kristofferson – “Highwaymen”
Music – 1985 – From the Album Highwaymen – Waylon Jennings + Johnny Cash + Willie Nelson + Kris Kristofferson – “The Last Cowboy”
Music – 1985 – From the Album Highwaymen – Waylon Jennings + Johnny Cash + Willie Nelson + Kris Kristofferson – “Desperados Waiting For A Train”
Music – 1985 – From the Album Highwaymen – Waylon Jennings + Johnny Cash + Willie Nelson + Kris Kristofferson – “Against The Wind”
Music – 1990 – From the Album Highwaymen 2 – Waylon Jennings + Johnny Cash + Willie Nelson + Kris Kristofferson – “They Killed Him” – Live at the Nassau Coliseum
Music & Movie – 1985 – Trailer for Movie Trouble In Mind – Starring Keith Carridine + Lori Singer + Genevieve Bujold + Kris Kristofferson
In spite of the success of Highwayman 2 in 1990, Kristofferson’s solo recording career slipped significantly in the early 1990’s…..albeit he continued to record successfully with the Highwaymen. Lone Star. a 1996 film by John Sayles reinvigorated Kristofferson’s acting career…..and he soon appeared in Blade, Blade II, Blade: Trinity, A Soldier’s Daughter Never Cries, Fire Down Below, Tim Burton’s remake of Planet of the Apes, Chelsea Walls, Payback, The Jacket…..and Fast Food Nation.
Music – 1990 – From the Album Highwaymen 2 – Waylon Jennings + Johnny Cash + Willie Nelson + Kris Kristofferson – “Silver Stallion”
Music – 1990 – From the Album Highwaymen 2 – Waylon Jennings + Johnny Cash + Willie Nelson + Kris Kristofferson – “Born and Raised in Black and White”
Movie – Official Trailer – 1998 – For the Movie A Soldier’s Daughter Never Cries – Starring Barbara Hershey + Kris Kristofferson + Leelee Sobieski + Jane Bilkin
Movie – Official Trailer – 1997 – For the Movie Fire Down Below – Starring Stephen Seagal + Kris Kristofferson + Marg Heigenberger + Harry Dean Stanton + Uma Thurman
Movie – Official Trailer – 1997 – For the Movie Chelsea Walls – Starring Rosario Dawson + Kris Kristofferson + Natasha Richardson + Vincent D’Onofrio
Movie – Official Trailer – 2005 – For the Movie The Jacket – Starring Keira Knightley + Kris Kristofferson + Jennifer Jackson Leigh + Adrien Brody
Movie – Official Trailer – 2005 – For the Movie Fast Food Nation – Starring Patricia Arquette + Kris Kristofferson + Bobby Cannavale + Paul Dano + Ethan Hawke
The Songwriters Hall of Fame inducted Kristofferson in 1985…..as had the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame earlier, in 1977. In 1999, The Austin Sessions, was released, an album on which Kristofferson reworked some of his favorite songs with the help of artists such as Mark Knopfler, Steve Earle, and Jackson Browne. In 2003, Broken Freedom Song was released, a live album recorded in San Francisco.
Music & Awards – Hall of Fame – 1985 – An AP Archive Special – “Kris Kristofferson Entering Venue on Night He Was Inducted Into the Songwriters Hall of Fame”
Music – 1979 – From the Album Shake Hands With The Devil – Kris Kristofferson – “Come Sundown”
Music – 1979 – From the Album Spooky Lady’s Sideshow – Kris Kristofferson – “Broken Freedom Song”
In 2003, he received the “Spirit of Americana” free speech award from The Americana Music Association. In 2004, he was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame. In 2006, he received the Johnny Mercer Award from the Songwriters Hall of Fame…..and released his 1st album full of new material in 11 years; This Old Road. On April 21, 2007, Kristofferson won CMT’s Johnny Cash Visionary Award…..when Rosanne Cash, Cash’s daughter, presented the honor during the April 16 awards show in Nashville…..as previous recipients include Cash, Hank Williams, Jr., Loretta Lynn, Reba McEntire and the Dixie Chicks. “John was my hero before he was my friend, and anything with his name on it is really an honor in my eyes,” Kristofferson said during a phone interview. “I was thinking back to when I first met him, and if I ever thought that I’d be getting an award with his name on it, it would have carried me through a lot of hard times.”
Music & Interview – 2003 – Speaking Freely Special – A Ken Paulson Interview With Kris Kristofferson – Where He Sings “I Wonder What My Daddy Would Have Done” – Part 1 of a Great and Introspective Interview
Music & Interview – 2003 – Speaking Freely Special – A Ken Paulson Interview With Kris Kristofferson – Where He Sings “Vietnam Blues” – Part 2 of a Great and Introspective Interview
Music & Interview – 2003 – Speaking Freely Special – A Ken Paulson Interview With Kris Kristofferson – Where He Sings “Vietnam Blues” – Part 3 of a Great and Introspective Interview
Music – Video – 2006 – From the Album This Old Road – Kris Kristofferson – “This Old Raod”
Music – Video – 2006 – From the Album This Old Road – Kris Kristofferson – “In The News”
Music – 2006 – From the Album This Old Road – Kris Kristofferson – “Chase The Feeling”
Music – 2006 – From the Album This Old Road – Kris Kristofferson – “Holy Creation”
Music – 2006 – From the Album This Old Road – Kris Kristofferson – “Thank You For A Life”
Music – 2006 – From the Album This Old Road – Kris Kristofferson – “Final Attraction”
If there were ever a line in a song that shows what’s inside this incredible word merchant called Kris Kristofferson it is the final line in “Final Attraction” above…..“So pick up that guitar…..and go break a heart.” In July 2007, Kristofferson was featured on CMT’s Studio 330 Sessions where he played many of his hits.
Music & Movie – Movie Clip – 1984 – From the Movie Songwriter – Kris Kristofferson & Willie Nelson Singing “The Show Goes On”
Music & Movie – Movie Clip – 1984 – From the Movie Songwriter – Kris Kristofferson – “Under The Gun”
Music & Movie – Movie Clip – 1984 – From the Movie Songwriter – Kris Kristofferson – “Down To Her Socks”
Music – 1979 – From the Album Shake Hands With The Devil – Kris Kristofferson – “Michoacan”
Music – 1979 – From the Album Shake Hands With The Devil – Kris Kristofferson – “Fallen Angels”
On June 13, 2008, Kristofferson performed an acoustic in-the-round set with Patty Griffin and Randy Owen (Alabama) for a special taping of a PBS songwriters series aired in December. Each performer played five songs. Kristofferson’s set included “The Best of All Possible Worlds”, “Darby’s Castle”, “Casey’s Last Ride”, “Me and Bobby McGee” and “Here Comes that Rainbow Again”…..as the taping was done in Nashville.
Music – 2008 – PBS Songwriters Series Acoustic Special – Live on Stage – Kris Kristofferson – “Best of All Possible Worlds”
Music – 2008 – PBS Songwriters Series Acoustic Special – Live on Stage – Kris Kristofferson – “Casey’s Last Ride”
Kristofferson released a new album of original songs entitled Closer to the Bone on September 29, 2009…..which was produced by Don Was on the New West label…..when prior to the release, Kristofferson remarked “I like the intimacy of the new album. It has a general mood of reflecting on where we all are at this time of life.”
Music – 2009 – From the Album To The Bone – Kris Kristofferrson – “Daddy’s Song”
Music – 2009 – From the Album To The Bone – Kris Kristofferrson – “The Last Time”
Music – 2009 – From the Album To The Bone – Kris Kristofferrson – “Nobody Loves Anybody Anymore”
On November 10, 2009, Kristofferson was honored as a BMI Icon at the 57th annual BMI Country Awards. Throughout his career, Kristofferson’s songwriting has garnered 48 BMI Country and Pop Awards. He later remarked, “The great thing about being a songwriter is you can hear your baby interpreted by so many people that have creative talents vocally that I don’t have.” Kristofferson had always denied having a good voice, and has said that as he has aged, what quality it might once have had had begun to decay. In December 2009, it was announced that Kristofferson would be portraying Joe on the upcoming album Ghost Brothers of Darkland County, a collaboration between rock singer John Mellencamp and novelist Stephen King.
Music – 2010 – From the Album Twistable, Turnable Man: A Musical Tribute to the Songs of Shel Silverstein – Kris Kristofferson – “The Winner”
On May 11, 2010, Light in the Attic Records released demos that were recorded during Kristofferson’s janitorial stint at Columbia. Please Don’t Tell Me How the Story Ends: The Publishing Demos is the 1st time these recordings have been released…..and includes material that would later be featured on other Kristofferson recordings……and on the recordings of other prominent artists, such as the original recording of “Me and Bobby McGee“. Kristofferson voiced the character Chief Hanlon of the NCR Rangers in the hit 2010 video game Fallout: New Vegas.
Music – Live Concert – 2010 – Live at the Plaza de la Trinidad – An Intimate Acoustic Performance With Kris Kristofferson
On June 4, 2011, Kristofferson performed a solo acoustic show at the Maui Arts and Cultural Center…..which showcased both some of his original hits made famous by other artists, and newer songs.
Music – 1994 – Live in Concert at Farm Aid in New Orleans – Kris Kristofferson
In early 2013, Kristofferson released a new album of original songs called Feeling Mortal…..then a live album titled An Evening With Kris Kristofferson was released in September 2014.
Music – Video – 2012 – From the Album Feeling Mortal and the Film Bloodworth – Kris Kristofferson – “You Don’t Tell Me What To Do”
Music – 2012 – From the Album Feeling Mortal – Kris Kristofferson – “Feeling Mortal”
Music – 2012 – From the Album An Evening With Kris Kristofferson – Kris Kristofferson – “From Here To Forever”
Music – 2012 – Live at the Theaterhaus In Stuttgart, Germany – Kris Kristofferson and Daughter Kelly – “The Pilgrim / The Wonder”
In an interview for Las Vegas magazine Q&A by Matt Kelemen on October 23, 2015, he revealed that a new album, The Cedar Creek Sessions, recorded in Austin, would include some old and some new songs. In December 2016, the album was nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Americana Album.
Music – 2006 – From the Album This Old Road – Kris Kristofferson – “Thank You For A Life”
Music – 1999 – From the Album The Austin Sessions – Kris Kristofferson – “Who’s To Bless And Who’s To Blame”
Kristofferson covered Brandi Carlile’s “Turpentine” on the 2017 album Cover Stories.
Music – 2017 – From the Album Cover Stories: Brandi Carlile Celebrates The Story – Kris Kristofferson – “Turpentine”
Kristofferson performed, with assistance from Carlile, the Joni Mitchell composition “A Case of You”, from the 1971 Mitchell album Blue, on November 7, 2018, at the Both Sides Now – Joni 75 A Birthday Celebration to celebrate the 75th birthday of Mitchell.
Music – 2019 – From the Album Joni 75: A Joni Mitchell Birthday Celebration – Kris Kristofferson & Brandi Carlile – “A Case of You”
In June 2019, Kristofferson was announced as being one of the supporting artists for a Barbra Streisand “exclusive European concert” on July 7 in London’s Hyde Park as part of the Barclay’s Summertime Concert series.
Music – 2019 – Live at The Hyde Park, London British Summer Time Festival – Kris Kristofferson & Barbara Streisand – “Lost Inside of You”
In January 2021, it was announced that Kristofferson had retired. His final performances were widely reported to be on the Outlaw Country Cruise in January 2020…..but this is inaccurate. Kris Kristofferson’s last full performance was at the Sunrise Theatre in Fort Pierce, Florida, on February 5, 2020…..and like the Outlaw Country Cruise, he was backed by the Strangers.
Music – 2020 – Live at the Sunrise Theatre in Fort Pierce, Florida – Kris Kristofferson & Scott Joss – “Sing Me Back Home”
Music – 2020 – Live on the Outlaw Cowboy Cruise # 5 – Kris Kristofferson & Scott Joss – “Please Don’t Tell Me How The Story Ends”
In 1961, he married his longtime girlfriend, Frances “Fran” Mavia Beer, eventually divorcing. Kristofferson briefly dated Janis Joplin before her death in October 1970. His second marriage was to singer Rita Coolidge in 1973, ending in divorce by 1980. Kristofferson married Lisa Meyers in 1983. Kristofferson and Lisa Meyers own a home in Los Flores Canyon in Malibu, California, and maintain a residence in Hana on the island of Maui…..albeit Kristofferson has encountered a few serious medical issues in the past few decades…..when he had successful bypass surgery in 1999…..but from 2004 to 2015 suffered from what was finally diagnosed as Lyme disease…..albeit was initially and incorrectly thought to be early-stage Alzheimer’s disease. It is unclear how Kristofferson contracted Lyme disease…..but it is suspected that he caught it while filming a movie in the woods of Vermont in 2002. His wife credits the successful diagnosis and recovery to getting 2nd opinions when dealing with auto-immune and Alzheimer-type diagnoses during the time. Kristofferson was treated by a specialist in California “who added antibiotic intramuscular injections to Kris’s protocol….and continued to treat Kris until his death”, his wife reported.
Music – Photo Gallery – 2023 – A One Life One Video Production Special – “Kris Kristofferson: From Baby To 82”
Kristofferson has eight children from his three marriages and one child from his time in Germany as a helicopter pilot…..when from his 1st marriage to Fran Beer, daughter Tracy (b. 1962) and son Kris (b. 1968)…..and from his 2nd marriage to Rita Coolidge, daughter Casey (b. 1974)…..and from his marriage to his wife until his death, Lisa (Meyers) Kristofferson, Jesse (b. 1983), Jody (b. 1985), Johnny (b. 1988), Kelly Marie (b. 1990), and Blake (b. 1994).
Music – 2021 – A Wide Open Country Special – Meet Kris Kristofferson’s 8 Children – Quite a Dad and Father
Music & Awards – 2020 – A When the Cowboy Sings Special – “A Tribute To Kris Kristofferson” – Featuring Waylon Jennings + Ray Price + Willie Nelson + Tammye Wynette et al
Kristofferson has said that he would like the first three lines of Leonard Cohen’s “Bird on the Wire” on his tombstone: Like a bird on a wire. Like a drunk in a midnight choir. I have tried in my way to be free.
Music – 2023 – Live at Willie Nelson’s 90th Birthday Celebration – Kris Kristofferson & Norah Jones – “Help Me Make It Through The Night”
It has been a real pleasure to present the video life history about the “a word merchant of the highest order”…..who could put enough of life’s meaning into a song to last a lifetime…..for here was a man of words that could bring tears of joy and tears of sorrow to life in the sounds in a song with consistency…..while continuing to create poetry in music for the better part of 60 years. What can I say? I just love this guy. He has such a fine tuned soul and such a great talent to have written so many beautiful songs with words from out of his heart. Kris magically compresses and delivers 300 years of American history into his voice and lyrics….while being very insightful…..and always speaking to the truth in relation to music and social conscience….for he was very much an under-appreciated artist. His music will always live on in our lives…..and what a legacy that is to leave the world. You know, even at the end of his life, Kristofferson showed a lot of what made me a fan of his some 60 years ago….while always being gracious, warm-hearted and totally appreciative of all song lovers…..evidenced by his love of watching him revere other musicians…..cuz he’s like us fans, only talented too. His raw spoken voice contrasted with his amazing singing voice…..which gets me every time…..when all the while with a long line of song’s that are pure poetry. I have always loved the line, “and you still can hear me singing to the people who wont listen to the things that I am saying….while praying someone is gonna care…..as lonesome is more than a state of mind.” The truth be known, Kris Kristofferson had such a way with words, he could make shivers crawl up your spine or wrap you with warmth and soulful affection when singing truth back at injustice…..for he was a brave, honest soul that painted the scenes, story lines, emotions and emotional content with words…..and tying it all together with wonderful charismatic music…..whether it be in his songs about the hippies, “strung out wino” or his wonderful prayer songs…..for it just didn’t matter when it came to the genius of his words and sounds what he was singing/writing about. In his lifetime, Kris Kristofferson was one of the world’s greatest poet \ singer / songwriters…..with so many of his gems having become part of the American ethos……which will remain classics long after he left us. It is my opinion that country music more Hemingway than Fitzgerald…..Albeit, can somebody award this guy with the coolest smartest singer ever prize? What I admire most about Kris Kristofferson is that he never sold his soul. He accepted his humble beginnings and never took success for granted…..and that is why God blessed in all stages of his life…..while allowing him to be extremely productive right up to the time of his passing. The truth be known, he was one of the few Renaissance men on the planet throughout his life…..as his humble personality and charm made him such a rarity…..and those of us who almost revere the most talented of “word merchants” simply say thank you for your truth in songwriting…..cuz “Like a bird on a wire…..Like a drunk in a midnight choir…..You indeed lived your life free”.
Music & Awards – 2016 – Austin City Limits Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony – Featuring 2016 Inductee Kris Kristofferson
Music – 2023 – Special – A Tribute To Kris Kristofferson: His Life and Career