Kris Kristofferson (Brownsville (Texas), 22 June 1936) is an American countrysinger ,songwriterand actor. He is best known for songs like "Me and Bobby McGee", "Sunday Mornin' Comin' Down" and "Help me Make it Through the Night", numbers that are frequently coveredby other artists, including Janis JoplinJohnny CashJerry Lee Lewis andWillie Nelson. In 1977, he was inducted into the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame.


[hide]*1 Biography


Kris Kristofferson was born in BrownsvilleTexas. As a child he often moved, until eventually his parents continued to live in San MateoCalifornia. After arriving, he got as Pomona College writing talent, a Rhodes Scholarship to the University of Oxford in England. Here he began to sing and write songs, after which he was discovered by the manager Larry Parnes. Under the name Kris Carson he took plates on for Top Rank Records. The plates were not successful.

In 1960 he graduated in English literature. He married an old school friend, Fran Beir, and joined the U.S. Army. Here he was a helicopter pilot. The army placed him in West-Germany. Here he formed a band of soldiers. A friend of Kristofferson advised him to send some of his texts to Marijohn Wilkin, a successful songwriter from Nashville.

In 1965 he moved to Nashville in order to be a professional writer of country music . However, the family was in trouble. The little son of Kristofferson and Fran Beir was born with a defective esophagus, with high medical bills as a result. Eventually divorced Kristofferson and Beir from each other.

His first success scored Kristofferson with "Viet Nam Blues", a song that was recorded by Dave Dudley and in implementing high stood in the American Country Top 20 april 1966. The following year, he signed a contract with Epic Records, where he recorded a single, "Golden Idol"/"Killing Time". The song was not a success. Between 1967 and 1969 scored several musicians with songs that were written by Kristofferson large countryhits, Roy Drusky ("Jody and the Kid"), Billy Walker & the Tennessee Walkers ("From the Bottle to the Bottom"), Ray Stevens ("Sunday Mornin' Comin' Down"), Faron Young ("Your time's Comin'") and Jerry Lee Lewis ("Once More with Feeling").

As a songwriter he was at that time connected with Columbine Music by Fred FosterRoger Miller decided to take him on three songs: "Me and Bobby McGee", "Best of All Possible Worlds" and "Darby's Castle". "Me and Bobby McGee" was a large countryhit in this implementation. As an artist he also received the necessary attention thanks to Johnny Cash, who introduced him at the Newport Folk Festival.


With Foster, he signed a recording contract with the independent label Monument Records. In april 1970 , he released his debut album, on which Kristofferson except some old songs like "Me and Bobby McGee" and "Sunday Mornin' Comin' Down" also new songs as "Help Me Make It Through the Night" are. However, the album sold pretty bad.

Other artists, however, in 1970 scored hits with his compositions. Johnny Cash scored a big hit with "Sunday Morning Coming Down" (with ' g 's), Ray Price with "For the Good Times" and Sammi Smith with "Help Me Make It Through the Night". Interestingly was "Sunday Morning Coming Down" by Cash voted as best song of the year by the Country Music Association, while "For the Good Times" by Ray Price was declared as the best song of the year by the rival Academy of Country Music.

First got Kristofferson recognition outside the country music when Janis Joplin in a posthumous number-one 1971 hit "Me and Bobby McGee". That year also came Kristoffersons second album, The Silver Tongued Devil and I. This album was a great success and Kristofferson also recognition as a musician eventually got.

In 1971, Kris Kristofferson by Dennis Hopper asked to write the soundtrack of his film The Last Movie. In this film, he made his acting debut in a small film role. Also he performed at the Isle of Wight Festival. In 1972he had a larger film role in Cisco Pike, opposite Gene Hackman.

His third album, Border Lordthat only contains new material, was not a great commercial success. Kristofferson was itself, however, successful at the presentation of the Grammy Awards that year. Several of his songs were nominated for best Song and best Country Song of the year 1971. "Help Me Make It Through the Night" was finally the best County Song of the year. That same year that song was covered by Gladys Knight & the Pips.

In november 1972 brought Kristofferson his fourth album, Jesus Was a Capricorn. The sale of the album came when slow to start, but when the third single, "Why Me", was a big hit, sales increased considerably.

From 1973 he went more focus on the acting. He played in Blume in Love by Paul Mazursky, but fell mainly on as Billy the Kid in Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid by Sam Peckinpah.

On August 19, 1973, he married singer Rita Coolidge and together they released an album, Full Moon. From the album came multiple hits and it supplied some Grammy nominations on. the single "From the Bottle to the Bottom" won the Grammy Award for best Country Vocal Performance by a Duo or group. His fifth solo album, Spooky Lady's SideShow , however, was a big flop and all subsequent albums were no big sales successes.

His film career fared better, including roles in Bring me the Head of Alfredo Garcia of Sam Peckinpah and Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore by Martin Scorsese. With Coolidge, he released a second album,Breakaway. The album it with a Grammy award-winning "Lover Please".

In 1976 , he played in the big hit film A Star Is Born opposite Barbra Streisand. The film was one of the biggest successes of the year, and Kristofferson loved there a Golden Globe for best actor to about. His record company took advantage of the success by a best of-album due for release in 1977, titled Songs of Kristofferson.

In 1978 , he played Martin Penwalh or Penwald, aka ' Rubber Duck ' in the legendary Convoy road movie , directed by Sam Peckinpah. Against players include Ali McGraw, Burt Young and Ernest Borgnine. The script is based on a song by C.W. McCall. The story describes the emergence of a convoy trucks in response to the arbitrariness of the local police. The truckers remain connected by ' shells '. After this film was the 27 MC-transmitter, ' bakkie ', popular in Netherlands.

1980s and beyond[Edit]Edit

In the late 1970s, early 1980s it went worse with Kristofferson. In december 1979 , he divorced Rita Coolidge, his albums not to pick up the album lists and knew the movie Freedom Road was not released in the US market. Heaven's Gate, an expensive and long film he made in 1980 with Michael Cimino (The Deer Hunter), got very bad reviews and became one of the most notorious flops of all time.

Willie Nelson , however, had a great success with Willie Nelson Sings Kris Kristofferson from 1979. Along with Willie Nelson, Dolly Parton and Brenda Lee , he took in the 1982 album The Winning Hand on. He resigned in 1983 for the third time in the marriage, this time with Lisa Meyers, with whom he had five children.

In 1984 , he played again in movies, which was the most successful Songwriter . This film, with the next to Kristofferson also Willie Nelson, was a reasonable success. For the film got Nelson and Kristofferson a Oscar nomination for best original film score. The album Music from Songwriter, with duets-songs by Nelson and Kristofferson.

Nelson and Kristofferson worked together again in 1985 in the supergroup The Highwaymen, a Quartet that also consisted of Johnny Cash and Waylon Jennings. The first album by The Highwaymen, Highwayman, sold very well in America.

In 1987 he released the politically engaged Repossessed from, with the controversial song "They Killed Him". He introduces a tribute to his great heroes, JesusMartin Luther King and Mahatma Gandhi. The song was later covered by Bob Dylan. Around the same time he was seen in the equally controversial miniseries America.

Hiwghwayman 2 from 1990 and other albums by The Highwaymen were selling well, but his solo albums were hardly bought. His acting career came however gained momentum in 1996 when John Sayles asked him for the role of corrupt Texan sheriff in the film Lone Star. Kris Kristofferson proved to be a versatile actor with the role, and he was asked for several films, including BladePayback and Tim Burton's remake of Planet of the Apes .



  • Kristofferson (1970)
  • The Silver Tongued Devil and I (1971)
  • Me and Bobby McGee (re-release of Kristofferson, 1971)
  • Border Lord (1972)
  • Jesus was a Capricorn (1972)
  • Spooky Lady's SideShow (1974)
  • Who's to Bless and who's to Blame (1975)
  • Surreal Thing (1976)
  • Easter Island (1978)
  • Shake Hands With the Devil (1979)
  • To the Bone (1981)
  • Repossessed (1986)
  • Third World Warrior (1990)
  • A Moment of Forever (1995)
  • The Austin Sessions (1999)
  • This Old Road (2006)
  • Closer To The Bone (2009)
  • Feeling Mortal (2013)


  • Songs of Kristofferson (1977)
  • Singer/Songwriter (1991)
  • The Very Best of Kris Kristofferson (1994)
  • The Legendary Years (1995)
  • Super Hits (1999)
  • All Time Greatest Hits (2001)
  • The Essential Kris Kristofferson (2004)


  • Live at the Philharmonic (1992)
  • Broken Freedom Song: Live from San Francisco (2003)
  • Live from Austin, Tx (2006)

With Rita Coolidge[Edit]Edit

  • Full Moon (1973)
  • Breakaway (1974)
  • Natural Act (1979)

With The Highwaymen[Edit]Edit

  • Highwayman (1985)
  • Highwayman 2 (1990)
  • The Road Goes on Forever (1995)

With Willie Nelson[Edit]Edit


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