Halfass actor, playing himself most of the time, and one wonderful songwriter. If you've never heard Ray Price's version of For the Good Times, you must not know where real emo music came from. I don't know how many drugs or drinks Mr. K has had in his life, but I know faces. And that face has had some serious shit slammed into it over the years. Listen to Sunday Mornin' Comin' Down. Johnny Cash turned that into a Number One for the ol' boy, but Mr. K's version was better.
The sad thing about the boy is that he's most well-known as the songwriter for that toss-away tune Janis Joplin turned into a hit when everyone in the world was so stoned they didn't notice she sang like a crow being eaten by a cow. Me and Bobby McGee was not a bad song, but it couldn't have been sung more off key than by that now-deceased dame of the absurd.
Sammi Smith's version of Help Me Make It Through the Night was a hit on both the country and pop charts in 1971. That was the same year he had his biggest role in a film: The role with Babs in A Star Is Born. When you're billed alongside that Hollywood Cash Cow, you're bound to get some notice. I couldn't help but think I was watching Kris Kristofferson act like Kris Kristofferson as I made my way through that sad effort. Hey, I'll charge you good money to come over and watch dannye be dannye for 2 hours, if you like. Offers? I thought not.
In 1973, the year he and Rita Coolidge married, two of his albums, The Silver Tongued Devil and I and Jesus Was a Capricorn went gold.
He was born in Brownsville, Texas, and is said to have learned to speak Spanish before he learned English. Since his dad was Major General in the US Air Force, I find this hard to swallow, but legends must be made of something. This is a start. And, like another famous baby boomer, he was a Rhodes Scholar. Instead of studying station wagon pre-OBGYN techniques, Mr. K. studied William Blake. (Yeah, so did I. Not at Oxford. But I did get a degree. Does anyone from America actually ever graduate when they go to this Oxford place?)
In the mid-1980s Kristofferson teamed up with pals Johnny Cash, Waylon Jennings, and Willie Nelson under the name the Highwaymen. Why do they do it? You know why. There's no shame among thieves.