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Kris Kristofferson


Kris Kristofferson

Kris Kristofferson

(courtesy Planet Bluegrass)




Kris Kristofferson is often considered a songwriter's songwriter and, as such, can easily be compared to folks like Bob Dylan, Paul Simon, Cat Stevens, and Tom Paxton.

Trivia Fact:

While studying at Oxford on a Rhodes scholarship, Kris recorded his first album under the pseudonym Kris Carson.

Starter CDs:

Biography of Kris Kristofferson:

Kris Kristofferson was born in June, 1936, in Brownsville, Texas. The son of an Air Force pilot, Kris moved around often during his childhood, finally settling for a while in San Mateo, California.

After beginning college at Pomona College, Kris received a Rhodes Sholarship to Oxford University, where he began writing songs.

After graduating with his Masters Degree in English Literature in 1960, he married and joined the U.S. Army, eventually becoming a Captain and helicopter pilot.

Toward the middle of the 1960s, Kris was stationed in West Germany, where he formed a band and began playing music once again. After resigning from the military in 1965 and moved to Nashville to pursue a songwriting career.

The next year, Dave Dudley released a version of Kristofferson's "Viet Nam Blues," and a year later, Kris was signed to Epic Records. He released his first single, "Golden Idol/Killing Time," to minimal success. Throughout the rest of the 60s and the early 70s, several other artists recorded Kris' songs with more success than Kristofferson had singing them himself.

Then, in 1971, Janis Joplin recorded a version of "Me and Bobby McGhee," which went to number one on the pop charts. The same year, Kristofferson released The Silver-Tongued Devil, which was considerably successful, and finally solidified his place as a singer/songwriter.

He also began acting, and appeared in several films, including Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore and A Star is Born with Barbra Streisand.

Since the 70s, Kris has gone on to record 16 solo albums and eight with his band The Highwaymen. He's appeared in 64 films, was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1985, and was accepted into the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1977.

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