a Rhodes scholar, a singing legend, a helicopter and a beer and you have one
of the most famous stories in the country history. In 1970, former Rhodes
scholar and helicopter pilot Kris Kristofferson was giving new meaning to
the term “struggling songwriter” He was paying his dues by working as a
janitor at CBS recording studio in Nashville
by night, while trying to write songs during the morning hours. Every time
Johnny Cash stepped into the studio, Kris would “press the flesh”
shoving a tape of his original songs into Johnny’s hand. But Johnny mostly
ignored Kris’s attempts. That is until on Sunday morning, when the Man In
Black looked out his window and saw a helicopter landing on his lawn. Out
from the cockpit stepped Kris, armed with a beer and a tape. Johnny had no
other course of action than to invite him inside. The tape in Kris’s hand
contained the song, “Sunday Morning Coming Down” which told the story of
a man in the midst of a moody hangover. Johnny liked it and recorded the
song July 10, 1970. Exactly four months later, on October 10, the single
made its way to the top of the charts. Also in 1970 “Sunday Morning Coming
Down” won the Country Music Association award for Song Of the Year. It was
the rare case of a hit song arriving via air mail
on 6/22/36 in Brownville, Texas. Attended Pomona College and earned Rhodes
Scholarship to Oxford University in England; attended from 1958-59. Wrote
"Me And Bobby McGee" "For The Good Times" -
"Help Me Make Through The Night". Moved to Nashville in 1965.
Married to Rita Coolidge from 1973-80. Has starred in many films since
Movie superstar and
sometimes singer Russell Crowe stands onstage, guitar in hand. The burly
actor praise his duet partner, who left the stage only moments ago.
“That man is a genuine warrior of the road, says Russell in his thick
Aussie accent “Still surviving, still looking good. At age 67 with
chiseled features and stylish gray hair, Kris Kristofferson is indeed
still looking good. As for surviving – that’s no problem. After acting
in well over 40 films – including the upcoming “The Big
Bounce” and recording over 25 albums, Kris still burns with creativity.
Kris is in Chicago today to
tape a segment for the PBS concert series Soundstage. Though he’s done
it for decades, singing onstage still makes him uneasy. “Songwirting
comes hust like breathing for me” he says. But performing does not.
It’s not so bad as it used to be. Now , I don’t have to get inebriated
and desensitized. You can hear Kris’s onstage confidence on Broken
Freedom Song Live From San Francisco, his first album in four years. It
documents a 2002 concertthat kris wife of 40 years, Lisa, encourages him
to release on CD.
But don’t expect to see a
full blown tour from Kris anytime soon. I don’t know whether it’s just
old age or the bypass that I had three years ago, but my family is more
important to me now, laughs Kris, who has eight children and two
grandchildren, my family is definitely the best part of my life. For about
30 years, the road was everthing that I wanted, and it was wonderful life.
But it’s hard to get out there now.
Newly Released CD Live From San
On September 12, Willie N
Shipwreck In The 80's
Broken Freedom Song
What About Me
Here Comes That Rainbow Again
Don't Let The Bastards Win
Road Warrior's Lament