Singer, songwriter Kris Kristofferson
Singer ~ Songwriter ~ Actor
birth name: Kristoffer Kristofferson

Kris Kristofferson

June 22, 1936, Brownsville, TX

Kris Kristofferson's success in movies and on television tends to obscure his considerable accomplishments as a songwriter and vocal performer. In fact, the lanky Texas native established his career by writing and singing country music; his mournful lyrics and deceptively simple melodies helped to define the ‘progressive’ Nashville sound in the late 1960s. Esquire contributor Tom Burke notes that Kristofferson is “one of the most respected, and his work among the most often performed, of contemporary songwriters. He is highly paid not only for the writing of songs but for the singing of them.” In Best of the Music Makers, George T. Simon calls Kristofferson “a balladeer of the dispossessed, the troubadour of losing and losers,” who has brought “a gentle intensity to his portraits of frustration, defeat, and lost romance.” ~ Allmusic: Kris Kristofferson ~ retrieved July 2, 2013 © Allmusic

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June 22, 1996 ~ Billboard Hot 100 ~ #3 (3) Tracy Chapman, Give Me One Reason ~ #2 (4) Toni Braxton, You're Makin' Me High/Let It Flow ~ #1 (1) Bone Thugs-N-Harmony, Tha Crossroads


Kris Kristofferson ~ Inducted in the 2004 Country Music Hall of Fame ~ Considering his family background and his education, he seemed destined to become a military officer or a college professor. Born in 1936 in Brownsville, Texas, he was the son of an air force major general, and served as an army captain during his own stint in the service. As a Rhodes Scholar, he studied literature at Oxford University after finishing his undergraduate degree at Pomona College in California. Two weeks before Kristofferson was to begin teaching English literature at West Point, however, he resigned his army commission and headed for Nashville, where he pursued his dream of becoming a professional songwriter. Early on, he found encouragement from publisher Marijohn Wilkin at Buckhorn Music, and later from Fred Foster and Bob Beckham at Combine. Like most Nashville tunesmiths, he paid his dues working part-time jobs, including that of janitor for Columbia Studios. While Bob Dylan was recording his famous Blonde on Blonde album there, a then-unknown Kristofferson was sweeping floors and emptying ashtrays. ~ 2004 © Country Music Hall Of Fame

As a Writer or co-writer

Ray Price ~ For The Good Times (Kristofferson) ~ Ranked #18 Rolling Stone 40 Saddest Country Songs Of All Time in 2014 ~ Price was immediately taken by [the] lyrics, but Columbia initially released his take on them as a B side for the honky-tonk “Grazin' in Greener Pastures.” Nevertheless, by the end of 1970 “For the Good Times” had become the biggest country song of the year, and in the years following it would become a pop standard covered by artists like Elvis Presley, Frank Sinatra, Johnny Cash and Michael Jackson, who sang it for his mother at her 50th birthday party. ~ 2014 © Rolling Stone


Before rock & roll gave listeners the Traveling Wilburys, country music spawned the Highwaymen, a supergroup of mythic proportions that featured living legends Johnny Cash, Willie Nelson, Waylon Jennings, and Kris Kristofferson. ~ Allmusic: Highwaymen ~ retrieved April 24, 2014 © Allmusic

The Highwaymen ~ The Road Goes On Forever (1995) ~ #480 #DLW500 Dylan's 500 Greatest Albums Of All Time

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