Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Rockin' Resume: Kris Kristofferson

So despite the corny title, I'm hoping that this becomes a regular installment on The Weight. The idea is to shed light on some of the lesser-known or underrated names in rock history -- you know, the guys and gals whose songs you hum, but can't quite remember who wrote them. I thought Kris Kristofferson would be a good place to start.

1936 - Kristofferson is born in Brownsville, Texas.

1954 - Kristofferson enrolls at Pomona College where he graduates Phi Beta Kappa with a degree in Literature. He is an active member of the rugby, football and track & field teams.

1960 - Kristofferson obtains an MA in English Literature from Oxford University where he is a Rhodes Scholar. He is a distinguished boxer during his time at Oxford.

Date unknown - Kristofferson follows in the footsteps of his father and joins the Army. He becomes a helicopter pilot, completes Army Ranger School and earns the rank of Captain.

1965 - Kristofferson is offered a teaching position at West Point but ultimately turns it down to pursue a career in music. Kristofferson moves to Nashville, TN where he works odd jobs, including one as a janitor at Columbia Studios. It is here, he meets Johnny Cash.

1966 - Kristofferson watches Bob Dylan record portions of Blonde on Blonde at Columbia Studios. Kristofferson's song "Viet Nam Blues" becomes a hit with Dave Dudley.

1967 - Kristofferson signs with Epic Records. He pens a number of hits, including "Me and Bobby McGee."

1970 - Kristofferson signs with Monument Records. Johnny Cash, Waylon Jennings, Ray Price and others all score hits with several of Kristofferson's songs.

1971 - Janis Joplin posthumously releases Pearl. "Me and Bobby McGee" reaches #1 on the charts.

1973 - Kristofferson marries singer Rita Coolidge and they have one child together. They later divorce.

1974 - Kristofferson plays the cool and free-spirited rancher David, in Scorsese's Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore. Ellen Burstyn wins the Academy Award for Best Actress for her role in the film.

1979 - Willie Nelson releases Wille Nelson Sings Kris Kristofferson. The album is a huge success.

1983 - Kristofferson marries Lisa Meyers. One of their five children is named Johnny Cash Kristofferson.

1985 - Kristofferson forms The Highwayman, a country supergroup featuring, Kristofferson, Willie Nelson, Johnny Cash, and Waylon Jennings. Kristofferson is inducted into the Songwriter's Hall of Fame that same year.

2004 - Kristofferson is inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame.

2008 - Kristofferson continues to write songs, particularly those advocating peace and an end to the war.

Hats off to Kris Kristofferson

"Me and Bobby McGee"
Isle of Wight, 1970

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

great post. long over due. pick up a best of kristofferson album, there are a few...great great stuff.

next for jimmy cliff, with a post of the live "many rivers to cross" clip off of youtube.