Kris Kristofferson

Last updated

Kris Kristofferson
Kris Kristofferson 1999.jpg
Kristofferson in 1999
Born
Kristoffer Kristofferson

(1936-06-22) June 22, 1936 (age 82)
ResidenceLos Flores Canyon, Malibu, California, U.S.
Hana, Maui, Hawaii, U.S.
Alma mater Pomona College (BA)
Merton College, Oxford (B.Phil)
OccupationActor, singer, songwriter
Years active1965 – present
Spouse(s)
Frances Beer
(m. 1960;div. 1969)

Rita Coolidge
(m. 1973;div. 1980)

Lisa Meyers
(m. 1983)
Children8
Musical career
Genres
Instruments
  • Vocals
  • guitar
  • harmonica
Labels Monument, Mercury, Warner Bros., New West, Columbia
Associated acts
Website www.kriskristofferson.com

Kristoffer Kristofferson (born June 22, 1936) is an American actor and singer-songwriter. Among his songwriting credits are the songs "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. Kristofferson composed his own songs and collaborated with Nashville songwriters such as Shel Silverstein. [1] In 1985, Kristofferson joined fellow country artists Waylon Jennings, Willie Nelson and Johnny Cash in forming the country music supergroup The Highwaymen, and formed a key creative force in the Outlaw country music movement that eschewed the Nashville music machine in favor of independent songwriting and producing. In 2004, Kristofferson was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame. He is also known for his starring roles in Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore , Heaven's Gate , Blade and A Star Is Born , the latter of which earned him a Golden Globe Award for Best Actor.

Me and Bobby McGee Song by Kris Kristofferson and Fred Foster

"Me and Bobby McGee" is a song written by American singer-songwriter Kris Kristofferson and songwriter Fred Foster, originally performed by Roger Miller. A posthumously-released version by Janis Joplin topped the U.S. singles chart in 1971, making the song the second posthumously released No. 1 single in U.S. chart history after "(Sittin' On) The Dock of the Bay" by Otis Redding. Billboard ranked Joplin's version as the No. 11 song for 1971.

"For the Good Times" is a song written by Kris Kristofferson, first recorded by singer Bill Nash in 1968 before appearing on Kristofferson's own debut album in April 1970. After a recording by Ray Price became a number-one hit single in June of that year, the song established Kristofferson as one of country and popular music's top songwriters while giving Price his first chart-topping country and western song in 11 years.

"Sunday Mornin' Comin' Down" is a song written by Kris Kristofferson that was recorded in 1969 by Ray Stevens before becoming a number one hit on the Billboard US Country charts for Johnny Cash.

Contents

Early life

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). [2] His paternal grandparents emigrated from Sweden, while his mother had English, Scots-Irish, German, Swiss-German, and Dutch ancestry. Kristofferson's paternal grandfather was an officer in the Swedish Army. When Kristofferson was a child, his father pushed him towards a military career. [3]

Brownsville, Texas City in Texas, United States

Brownsville is a city in Cameron County in the U.S. state of Texas. It located on the western Gulf Coast in South Texas, adjacent to the border with Matamoros, Mexico. The city covers 81.528 square miles (211.157 km2) and has a population of 183,299 as of 2017. It is the 131st-largest city in the United States and 16th-largest in Texas. It is part of the Brownsville–Matamoros conurbation, with a population of 1,136,995 people. The city is known for its year-round subtropical climate, deep-water seaport and Hispanic culture.

Major general is a military rank used in many countries. It is derived from the older rank of sergeant major general. The disappearance of the "sergeant" in the title explains the apparently confusing phenomenon whereby a lieutenant general outranks a major general while a major outranks a lieutenant.

Sweden constitutional monarchy in Northern Europe

Sweden, formal name: the Kingdom of Sweden, is a Scandinavian Nordic country in Northern Europe. It borders Norway to the west and north and Finland to the east, and is connected to Denmark in the southwest by a bridge-tunnel across the Öresund, a strait at the Swedish-Danish border. At 450,295 square kilometres (173,860 sq mi), Sweden is the largest country in Northern Europe, the third-largest country in the European Union and the fifth largest country in Europe by area. Sweden has a total population of 10.2 million of which 2.5 million have a foreign background. It has a low population density of 22 inhabitants per square kilometre (57/sq mi). The highest concentration is in the southern half of the country.

At the age of 17, Kristofferson took a summer job with a dredging contractor on Wake Island. He called it "the hardest job I ever had." [4]

Dredging excavation of sediment, usually under water

Dredging is the operation of removing material from one part of the water environment and relocating it to another. In all but a few situations the excavation is undertaken by a specialist floating plant, known as a dredger. Dredging is carried out in many different locations and for many different purposes, but the main objectives are usually to recover material that has some value or use, or to create a greater depth of water.

Wake Island United States Minor Outlying Islands

Wake Island is a coral atoll in the western Pacific Ocean in the northeastern area of the Micronesia subregion, 1,501 miles east of Guam, 2,298 miles west of Honolulu, 1,991 miles southeast of Tokyo, and 898 miles north of Majuro. The island is an unorganized, unincorporated territory of the United States that is also claimed by the Republic of the Marshall Islands. Wake Island is one of the most isolated islands in the world and the nearest inhabited island is Utirik Atoll in the Marshall Islands, 592 miles to the southeast.

Education

Like most "military brats", Kristofferson moved around frequently as a youth, finally settling down in San Mateo, California, where he graduated from San Mateo High School in 1954. An aspiring writer, Kristofferson enrolled in Pomona College that same year. He experienced his first dose of fame when he appeared in Sports Illustrated's "Faces in the Crowd" for his achievements in collegiate rugby union, American football, and track and field. He and his classmates revived the Claremont Colleges Rugby Club in 1958, which has remained a southern California rugby institution. Kristofferson graduated in 1958 with a Bachelor of Arts degree, summa cum laude , in literature. He was 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. [5]

San Mateo, California City in California, United States

San Mateo is a city in San Mateo County, California, approximately 20 miles (32 km) south of San Francisco, and 31 miles (50 km) northwest of San Jose. San Mateo had an estimated 2017 population of 104,748.

San Mateo High School

San Mateo High School is a National Blue Ribbon comprehensive four-year public high school in San Mateo, California, United States. It serves grades 9–12 and is part of the San Mateo Union High School District.

Pomona College private liberal arts college in Claremont, California, USA

Pomona College is a private liberal arts college in Claremont, California, often referred to as the premier liberal arts college on the West Coast. It was founded in 1887 by a group of Congregationalists who wanted to recreate a "college of the New England type" in Southern California, and in the 1920s, it became the founding member of the Claremont Colleges consortium.

Kristofferson earned a Rhodes Scholarship to Oxford University, where he studied at Merton College. [6] While at Oxford, he was awarded his Blue for boxing, [6] played rugby for his college, and began writing songs. At Oxford, he was also 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. Parnes was working to sell Kristofferson as "a Yank at Oxford" to the British public; Kristofferson was willing to accept that promotional approach if it helped his singing career, which he hoped would enable him to progress towards his goal of becoming a novelist. [7] This early phase of his music career was unsuccessful. [8]

Rhodes Scholarship an international postgraduate award for students to study at the University of Oxford

The Rhodes Scholarship is an international postgraduate award for students to study at the University of Oxford. It was established in 1902, making it the first large-scale programme of international scholarship. The Rhodes Scholarship was founded by English businessman and politician Cecil John Rhodes, to promote unity between English-speaking nations and instill a sense of civic-minded leadership and moral fortitude in future leaders irrespective of their chosen career paths. Although initially restricted to male applicants from countries which are today within the Commonwealth, as well as Germany and the United States, today the Scholarship is open to applicants from all backgrounds and from across the globe. Since its creation, controversy has surrounded both its former exclusion of women, and Rhodes' Anglo-supremacist beliefs and legacy of colonialism.

Merton College, Oxford college of the University of Oxford

Merton College is one of the constituent colleges of the University of Oxford in England. Its foundation can be traced back to the 1260s when Walter de Merton, chancellor to Henry III and later to Edward I, first drew up statutes for an independent academic community and established endowments to support it. An important feature of Walter's foundation was that this "college" was to be self-governing and the endowments were directly vested in the Warden and Fellows.

A blue is an award earned by athletes at a university and some schools for competition at the highest level. The awarding of blues began at Oxford and Cambridge universities in England. It is awarded at British, and some Canadian, Australian and New Zealand universities.

In 1960, Kristofferson graduated with a B.Phil. degree in English literature. [6] [9] [10] The following year he married his long-time girlfriend, Frances Mavia Beer. [6]

See also: British literature

Career

Military service

Kristofferson, under pressure from his family, ultimately joined the U.S. Army, was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant and attained the rank of captain. He became a helicopter pilot after receiving flight training at Fort Rucker, Alabama. He also completed Ranger School. During the early 1960s, he was stationed in West Germany as a member of the 8th Infantry Division. [11] During this time, he resumed his music career and formed a band. In 1965, when his tour of duty ended, Kristofferson was given an assignment to teach English literature at West Point. [12] 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 or not they reconciled. [13] [14] [15] They saw it as a rejection of everything they stood for, in spite of the fact that Kristofferson has said he is proud of his time in the military, and received the Veteran of the Year Award at the 2003 American Veterans Awards ceremony. [16] [17]

Music

After leaving the army in 1965, Kristofferson moved to Nashville. He worked at a variety of odd jobs while struggling for success in music, burdened with medical expenses resulting from his son's defective esophagus. He and his wife soon divorced.

He got a job sweeping floors at Columbia Recording Studios in Nashville. He met June Carter there and asked her to give Johnny Cash a tape of his. She did, but Johnny put it in a large pile with others. He also worked as a commercial helicopter pilot for a south Louisiana firm called 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]." [18]

Weeks after giving June his tapes, Kristofferson landed a helicopter in Cash's front yard, gaining his full attention. [19] [Note: In a later interview, Kristofferson maintained Cash was not at home when he landed the helicopter. The story about Kristofferson having a beer in one hand and some songs in the other is a fable.] Cash decided to record "Sunday Mornin' Comin' Down" and that year Kristofferson won Songwriter of the Year at the Country Music Awards.

Kristofferson with Rita Coolidge at the 1972 Dripping Springs Reunion Kris Kristofferson Rita Coolidge.jpg
Kristofferson with Rita Coolidge at the 1972 Dripping Springs Reunion

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, performed by Roy Drusky ("Jody and the Kid"); Billy Walker & the Tennessee Walkers ("From the Bottle to the Bottom"); Ray Stevens ("Sunday Mornin' Comin' Down"); Jerry Lee Lewis ("Once More with Feeling"); Faron Young ("Your Time's Comin'"); and Roger Miller ("Me and Bobby McGee", "Best of all Possible Worlds", and "Darby's Castle"). He achieved some success as a performer himself, following Johnny Cash's introduction of him at the Newport Folk Festival.

Kristofferson signed to Monument Records as a recording artist. In addition to running that label, Fred Foster also served as manager of Combine Music, Kristofferson's songwriting label. His debut album for Monument in 1970 was 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 when it was re-released under the title Me & Bobby McGee. Kristofferson's compositions were still in high demand. Ray Price ("For the Good Times"), Gladys Knight & The Pips ("Help Me Make It Through The Night"), Waylon Jennings ("The Taker"), Bobby Bare ("Come Sundown"), Johnny Cash ("Sunday Morning Coming Down"), and Sammi Smith ("Help Me Make It Through the Night") all recorded successful versions of his songs in the early 1970s. "For the Good Times" (Ray Price) won "Song of the Year" in 1970 from the Academy of Country Music, while "Sunday Morning Coming Down" (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.

In 1971, Janis Joplin, who dated Kristofferson for some time until her death, had a number one hit with "Me and Bobby McGee" from her posthumous album Pearl . When released, it stayed on the number-one spot on the charts for weeks. More hits followed from others: Ray Price ("I'd Rather Be Sorry"); Joe Simon ("Help Me Make It Through the Night"); Bobby Bare ("Please Don't Tell Me How the Story Ends"); O.C. Smith ("Help Me Make It Through the Night"); Jerry Lee Lewis ("Me and Bobby McGee"); Patti Page ("I'd Rather Be Sorry"); and Peggy Little ("I've Got to Have You"). The country music performer Kenny Rogers has also 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.

Kristofferson released his second album, The Silver Tongued Devil and I in 1971; including "Lovin' Her Was Easier (Than Anything I'll Ever Do Again)". It was a success and established Kristofferson's career as a recording artist in his own right. Soon after, Kristofferson made his acting debut in The Last Movie (directed by Dennis Hopper) and appeared at the Isle of Wight Festival. 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 third album, Border Lord . 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 fourth album, Jesus Was a Capricorn , initially had slow sales, but the third single, "Why Me," was a success and significantly increased album sales. It sold over one million copies, and was awarded a gold disc by the RIAA on November 8, 1973. [20] 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".

Film

For the next few years, Kristofferson focused on acting. He appeared in Blume in Love (directed by Paul Mazursky) and Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid , Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Garcia and Convoy (all directed by Sam Peckinpah). He continued acting, in Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore , Vigilante Force , a film based on the Yukio Mishima novel The Sailor Who Fell from Grace with the Sea , A Star Is Born (with Barbra Streisand), for which he received a Golden Globe Award for Best Actor, and Flashpoint in 1984 (directed by William Tannen). At the peak of his box-office power, Kristofferson turned down William Friedkin's Sorcerer (1977) and the romantic war film Hanover Street . 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. In Kristofferson's next film he was cast in the lead role as the enigmatic Sheriff James Averill in Michael Cimino's bleak and sprawling 1980 anti-Western Heaven's Gate . Despite being a scandalous studio-bankrupting and industry-changing failure at the time (it permanently cost Kristofferson his Hollywood A-lister status), the film gained critical recognition in subsequent years. In 1986, he starred in The Last Days of Frank and Jesse James with Johnny Cash. 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 1998, he took a role in the film Blade , alongside Wesley Snipes, as Blade's mentor Abraham Whistler. He reprised the role in Blade II (2002) and again in Blade: Trinity (2004). In 1998 he starred in Dance with Me (film) along with Vanessa Williams and Chayanne. In 1999, he co-starred with Mel Gibson in Payback . He was in the 2001 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. In 2013, Kristofferson co-starred in The Motel Life , as well as Angels Sing with Willie Nelson and Lyle Lovett. In 2006 Mr. Kristofferson starred with Geneviève Bujold in an interesting film Disappearances about whiskey running from Quebec to the States during the Great Depression.

Mid-career

After his singing success in the early 1970s, Kristofferson met singer Rita Coolidge. They married in 1973 and released an album titled Full Moon , another success buoyed by numerous hit singles and Grammy nominations. However, his fifth album, Spooky Lady's Sideshow , released in 1974, was a commercial failure, setting the 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 much 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.

In 1979, Kris Kristofferson traveled to Havana, Cuba, to participate in the historic Havana Jam festival that took place between 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. His performance is captured on Ernesto Juan Castellanos's documentary Havana Jam '79 .

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, Coolidge sang "We're All Alone" with forest animals, and the pair sang "Song I'd Like to Sing" with the Muppet monsters.

Later work

In 1982, Kristofferson participated (with Willie Nelson, Dolly Parton, 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-1960s; the album reached the top-ten on the U.S. country album charts. He married again, to Lisa Meyers, and concentrated on films for a time, appearing in The Lost Honor of Kathryn Beck , Flashpoint , and Songwriter , the last of which also starred Willie Nelson. Kristofferson was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Original Song Score. Music from Songwriter (an album of duets between Nelson and Kristofferson) was a massive country success.

Nelson and Kristofferson continued their partnership, and added Waylon Jennings and Johnny Cash to form the supergroup The Highwaymen. Their first album, Highwayman, was a huge success, and the supergroup continued working together for a time. The single from the album, also entitled "Highwayman, and especially written for them by tunesmith Jimmy Webb," was awarded the ACM's single of the year in 1985. [21] 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, including Martin Luther King, Jr., Jesus, and Mahatma Gandhi. Kristofferson also appeared in Amerika at about the same time, a miniseries that attempted to depict life in America under Soviet control.

Kristofferson at the 2006 South by Southwest Festival Kris Kristofferson SXSW 2006 crop.jpg
Kristofferson at the 2006 South by Southwest Festival

In spite of the success of Highwayman 2 in 1990, Kristofferson's solo recording career slipped significantly in the early 1990s, though he continued to record successfully with the Highwaymen. Lone Star (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 .

The Songwriters Hall of Fame inducted Kristofferson in 1985, as had the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame earlier, in 1977. 1999 saw the release of The Austin Sessions , an album on which Kristofferson reworked some of his favorite songs with the help of befriended artists such as Mark Knopfler, Steve Earle, and Jackson Browne. In 2003, Broken Freedom Song was released, a live album recorded in San Francisco.

In 2003, he received the "Spirit of Americana" free speech award from The Americana Music Association. [22] 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 first album full of new material in 11 years; This Old Road . On April 21, 2007, Kristofferson won CMT's Johnny Cash Visionary Award. Rosanne Cash, Cash's daughter, presented the honor during the April 16 awards show in Nashville. 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." [23]

In July 2007, Kristofferson was featured on CMT's "Studio 330 Sessions" where he played many of his hits.

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 to be aired in December. Each performer played 5 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". Taping was done in Nashville.

Kristofferson released a new album of original songs entitled Closer to the Bone on September 29, 2009. It is produced by Don Was on the New West label. 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." [24]

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. [25] 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." [26] Kristofferson had always denied having a good voice, and has said that as he's aged, what quality it might once have had commenced to decay. [27]

Kristofferson speaking at the 2014 PEN New England Song Lyrics Award ceremony held in Boston's John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum Kris Kristofferson, 2014.jpg
Kristofferson speaking at the 2014 PEN New England Song Lyrics Award ceremony held in Boston's John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum

In December 2009, it was announced that Kristofferson would be portraying Joe in the upcoming album Ghost Brothers of Darkland County , a collaboration between rock singer John Mellencamp and novelist Stephen King. [28]

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 first 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".

On June 4, 2011, Kristofferson performed a solo acoustic show at the Maui Arts and Cultural Center, showcasing both some of his original hits made famous by other artists, and newer songs.

In early 2013, Kristofferson released a new album of original songs called Feeling Mortal. A live album titled An Evening With Kris Kristofferson was released in September 2014.

Kris Kristofferson voiced the character Chief Hanlon of the NCR Rangers in the hit 2010 video game Fallout: New Vegas .

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. [29] In December 2016, the album was nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Americana Album. [30]

Kristofferson covered Brandi Carlile's "Turpentine" on the 2017 album Cover Stories. [31]

Kristofferson performed, with assistance from Brandi Carlile, the 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 Joni Mitchell. [32]

Personal life

Kristofferson married Lisa Meyers in 1983. They own a home in Los Flores Canyon in Malibu, California, [33] and maintain a residence in Hana on the island of Maui.

Kristofferson has encountered a few serious medical issues in the past few decades. He had successful bypass surgery in 1999, but from 2004 to 2015 suffered from what was finally diagnosed as Lyme Disease, although it was initially and incorrectly thought to be early onset 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 remote woods of Vermont in 2002. Kris's wife credits Kristofferson's successful diagnosis and recovery to getting second opinions when dealing with auto-immune and Alzheimer-type diagnoses. Kristofferson is currently being treated by a specialist in California "who added antibiotic intramuscular injections to Kris's protocol and is continuing to treat Kris," his wife reported. [33] [34]

Kristofferson has eight children from three marriages: daughter Tracy (b. 1962) and son Kris (b. 1968) from his first marriage to Fran Beer; daughter Casey (b. 1974) from his second marriage, to Rita Coolidge; and Jesse (b. 1983), Jody (b. 1985), Johnny (b. 1988), Kelly Marie (b. 1990), and Blake (b. 1994) from his marriage to his current wife Lisa (Meyers) Kristofferson. [35]

Kristofferson has said that he would like the first three lines of Leonard Cohen's "Bird on the Wire" on his tombstone: [36]

Like a bird on the wire
Like a drunk in a midnight choir
I have tried in my way to be free

Awards and nominations

YearNominated workAwardResult
1973 Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid BAFTA Award for Best Newcomer Nominated
1976 A Star Is Born Golden Globe Award for Best Actor - Motion Picture Musical or Comedy Won
1980 Heaven's Gate Golden Raspberry Award for Worst Actor Nominated
1981 Rollover Golden Raspberry Award for Worst Actor Nominated
1984 Songwriter Academy Award for Original Music Score Nominated

Discography

Filmography

See also

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"Help Me Make It Through The Night" is a country music ballad written and composed by Kris Kristofferson and released on his 1970 album Kristofferson. It was covered later in 1970 by Sammi Smith, on the album Help Me Make It Through the Night. Smith's recording of the song remains the most commercially successful and most well-known version in the United States. Her recording ranks among the most successful country singles of all time in terms of sales, popularity, and radio airplay. It topped the country singles chart, and was also a crossover hit, reaching number eight on the U.S. pop singles chart. "Help Me Make It Through The Night" also became Smith's signature song. In 1975 the title appeared in the lyrics of Paul Anka's "I Don't Like to Sleep Alone".

<i>Spooky Ladys Sideshow</i> 1974 studio album by Kris Kristofferson

Spooky Lady's Sideshow is the fifth solo album by Kris Kristofferson, released in 1974 on Monument Records. It was preceded and followed by duet albums with his wife, Rita Coolidge. It was recorded shortly after Kristofferson's appearance in the movie Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid. The album mostly consists of songs about decline due to alcohol and drug abuse. That theme of decline proved to be (unintentionally) prophetic as this was Kristofferson's first album that failed to see commercial success on a large scale.

Johnny Cash American singer-songwriter and actor

Johnny Cash was an American singer-songwriter, guitarist, actor, and author. He is one of the best-selling music artists of all time, having sold more than 90 million records worldwide. Although primarily remembered as a country music icon, his genre-spanning songs and sound embraced rock and roll, rockabilly, blues, folk, and gospel. This crossover appeal won Cash the rare honor of being inducted into the Country Music, Rock and Roll, and Gospel Music Halls of Fame.

Why Me (Kris Kristofferson song) Kris Kristofferson song

"Why Me" is an American country and gospel song written and recorded by American country music singer and songwriter Kris Kristofferson.

Bob Beckham American country singers

Bob Beckham, born Robert Joseph Beckham was an American country music publisher based in Nashville, who mentored generations of songwriters as head of Combine Music Publishing from 1964 to 1989. He played a pivotal role in the career of Kris Kristofferson and guided other artists including Dolly Parton, Larry Gatlin, Tony Joe White and Billy Swan.

<i>The Willie Way</i> 1972 studio album by Willie Nelson

The Willie Way is the fifteenth studio album by country singer Willie Nelson. This was also the last album of new material released by RCA Records before Nelson's departure for Atlantic Records and move to Austin, Texas.

Donnie Fritts is an American session musician and songwriter. A recording artist in his own right, he has been Kris Kristofferson's keyboardist for over forty years as of 2013. In 2008, he was inducted into the Alabama Music Hall of Fame. He began playing drums in local bands such as The Satellites and Hollis Dixon & the Keynotes at age 15, and later developed into a session keyboard player.

Brett Beavers, is an American country music songwriter and producer and the co-author of the book Something Worth Leaving Behind.

<i>Would You Take Another Chance on Me?</i> 1971 studio album by Jerry Lee Lewis

Would You Take Another Chance on Me? is an album by Jerry Lee Lewis that was released on Mercury Records in 1971.

"Loving Arms" is a song written by Tom Jans and first recorded and released by Kris Kristofferson and Rita Coolidge as a duet in 1973.

References

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  26. 'I never doubted once', country icon says. CNN. November 11, 2009. Retrieved November 12, 2009.
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  30. "2017 Grammy Awards: Complete list of nominees". Los Angeles Times . December 6, 2016. Retrieved December 6, 2016.
  31. Cover Stories: Brandi Carlile Celebrates 10 Years of the Story (An Album to Benefit War Child) by Various Artists , retrieved January 15, 2019
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  34. Dana Parish (July 6, 2016). ""A Slow Slipping Away"- Kris Kristofferson's Long-Undiagnosed Battle with Lyme Disease | HuffPost". Huffingtonpost.com. Retrieved February 10, 2019.
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Further reading

Awards
Preceded by
Johnny Cash
First Amendment Center/AMA "Spirit of Americana" Free Speech Award
2003
Succeeded by
Steve Earle