Kris Kristofferson
American country music songwriter, singer and actor.
Kris Kristofferson
Kristoffer "Kris" Kristofferson is an American musician, actor, and writer. He is known for such hits as "Me and Bobby McGee", "For the Good Times", "Sunday Mornin' Comin' Down", and "Help Me Make It Through the Night". Kristofferson is the sole writer of most of his songs, and he has collaborated with various other figures of the Nashville scene such as Shel Silverstein.
Biography
Kris Kristofferson's personal information overview.
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News
News abour Kris Kristofferson from around the web
Grammy Nominations 2017 Include Beyoncé And Adele
Huffington Post - 3 months
Awards season is about to begin and music’s biggest night will be here before you know it. On Tuesday morning, the Recording Academy announced the nominees for the 59th annual Grammy Awards.  Last year’s Best New Artist, Meghan Trainor, got things rolling by revealing the general field awards on “CBS This Morning,” and more nominations were announced throughout the day.  Beyoncé leads with nine nominations, while Drake and Rihanna follow close behind with eight each. Meanwhile, Chance the Rapper is nominated for seven awards and Adele earned herself five noms.  Head over to Grammy.com for a full list of all the nominations for 2017: Album Of The Year: 25 — Adele Lemonade — Beyoncé Purpose — Justin Bieber Views — Drake A Sailor’s Guide To Earth — Sturgill Simpson   Song Of The Year: “Formation”— Khalif Brown, Asheton Hogan, Beyoncé Knowles, Michael L. Williams II, songwriters (Beyoncé) “Hello” — Adele Adkins & Greg Kurstin, songwriters (Adele) “I Took A Pill In I ...
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Huffington Post article
Merle Haggard, Kris Kristofferson show songwriting at its best
LATimes - about 1 year
One of the more moving sentiments that circulated around the Internet shortly after David Bowie died last month read, “If you are sad, just remember that the Earth is more than 4 billion years old, and you managed to exist at the same time as David Bowie.” The same feeling was in the air Thursday...
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LATimes article
Kris Kristofferson to receive Nashville tribute concert
Fox News - about 1 year
The life and music of Kris Kristofferson will be celebrated in Nashville with a concert featuring some of country music's biggest stars.
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Fox News article
As the First David Bowie Tributes Roll In, Here's To 10 Other Artists Whose Deaths Inspired Music
Huffington Post - about 1 year
In an age where the whole world is a vidcam, it took only hours for the first breathtaking David Bowie musical tribute to go viral. Chris Nickol, organist at the Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum in Glasgow, marked his sadness over the passing of the much-loved Bowie by sitting down at the organ and playing the artist's "Life On Mars." Soon it was echoing far beyond Scotland, and it goes like this: With Bowie as with most artists whose unexpected deaths leave us somewhere between shocked and numb, the first musical responses have tended to be renditions of his own music. But tribute songs are already beginning to surface. A Bowie fan band in Ohio, Modern Electric, is performing one this weekend, and Youtube is starting accumulate a few originals. That's a popular music tradition of its own, and a heartening one. Music is the language musicians speak, and song feels like the natural medium for a singer's sendoff. So even as we anticipate more songs about David Bo ...
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Huffington Post article
Big River -- What Novelists Can Learn From Songwriters
Huffington Post - about 1 year
Johnny Cash was a brilliant musician, singer, performer and masterful songwriter. Johnny Cash condensed high concept ideas into short, resonating stories -- ripping people's hearts in four or five stanzas -- that stayed in millions of ears and memories. Big River was his best-told story. And he played it when inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. A writer friend recently ranted about working with a Grammar Nazi. Wait. How the hell does that relate to the man in black? And why are these opening paragraphs so disjointed? Stick with me. "Jesus Christ! My editor's gagging my friggin' voice." Frustration in her email zinged through me. "Know it." I keyed back. "Who says we can't start a sentence with 'And'?" She pounded. "We're crime-thriller writers, for God's sakes. Not tryin' for a Pulitzer Prize in English Lit." I nodded. "Remember what King says -- 'Grammar don't wear no coat 'n tie." (Stephen King's advice in On Writing). 'Yep. Holding m'ground." She breathe ...
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Huffington Post article
Boys In/Songs From The Trees: Carly Simon Shares Secrets, Plus Chapell, Cameron Dezen Hammon, Daiana Solange Segovia, Nick Urb and Marcus King Exclusives
Huffington Post - about 1 year
CARLY SIMON RELEASES AUTOBIOGRAPHY & COMPANION ANTHOLOGY On the title track of her classic album No Secrets, Carly Simon sings, “Sometimes I wish that I never knew some of those secrets of yours.” With the release of her autobiography Boys In The Trees: A Memoir, Simon surrenders so many secrets that one might find him or herself reiterating that same sentiment. But most everyone will be enthralled by the frankness and often salacious recollections shared in Boys In The Trees with its reams of prose and cons. For those still not satiated, there is also a musical companion piece, the double-disc Songs From The Trees anthology, that offers two previously unreleased songs, making this a particularly memorable season of giving from Carly Simon to her fans and beyond. Simon's 384-pager Boys In The Trees—as in “let the boys grow in the trees,” lyric and title taken from her 7th solo album—overflows with information and never slows down. Early on, it introduces us to parents Richa ...
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Huffington Post article
The Day I Met Johnny Cash (and Sold Him a Nirvana Record)
Huffington Post - about 3 years
Watching Willie Nelson and Kris Kristofferson perform "The Highwayman" during the Grammys last week, signature song of their country supergroup, The Highwaymen, conjured up the one lone memory I have of the band when I met fellow Highwayman, Johnny Cash, and sold him a Nirvana record. I was working at Music World at The Eaton Centre in Toronto back in 1995. The Highwaymen were in town supporting their "The Road Goes On Forever" album, if memory serves me correctly. Admittedly, I have never been a country music fan although I can say I do own more than a few Willie Nelson and Johnny Cash records. They, above anyone else in country music, seemed to embrace a bit of the ole Rock & Roll spirit that made it easier for me to relate. So, imagine my surprise when I saw Johnny Cash casually stroll by the store with his wife, June Carter, as I stood at my post as retail zombie greeter. I tore out of the record store like either someone had stolen a barrel of merchandise or that I had fina ...
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Huffington Post article
Nelson, Kristofferson and Haggard Resurrect the Highwaymen at Grammys
Rolling Stone - about 3 years
"One of the best parts of my life has been the guys who are my real heroes are my closest friends" Kris Kristofferson told the AP before the Grammys Kristofferson joined his buddies Willie Nelson and Merle Haggard and young(er) chart-topper Blake Shelton onstage for a medley including "Highwayman" the...
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Rolling Stone article
Kris Kristofferson, Willie Nelson And Merle Haggard Reunite Before Grammy Awards
Huffington Post - about 3 years
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Kris Kristofferson is being given a lifetime achievement award during the Grammy Awards celebration, but he doesn't think that will be the highlight of the weekend. Kristofferson will be joined by Willie Nelson, Merle Haggard and Blake Shelton for a performance during Sunday's Grammy Awards telecast, and any excuse the 77-year-old singer-songwriter and actor can find to get together with his lifelong friends is a good one. "It's so much of a pleasure to be with these guys," Kristofferson said Friday afternoon following Grammy rehearsals at the Staples Center in Los Angeles. "One of the best parts of my life has been the guys who are my real heroes are my closest friends. Willie is the closest friend I have. And Merle, the first time I met him in Nashville, people told me to stay away from him because I had a beard and the hair. I was supposed to be one of them long-haired hippies, and we were friends from the moment that we met." While Haggard says the recognition ...
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Huffington Post article
Timeline
Learn about memorable moments in the evolution of Kris Kristofferson
    LATE_ADULTHOOD
  • 2016
    Age 79
    Rolling Stone reported in 2016 that Kristofferson is dealing with Lyme disease.
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  • 2015
    Age 78
    Kris Kristofferson mentioned that he has a new album coming out. In an interview for Las Vegas Magazine Q&A by BY MATT KELEMEN on 23 October 2015, he informs that the new album, The Cedar Creek Sessions, recorded in Austin, includes some old and some new songs.
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  • 2013
    Age 76
    In early 2013, Kristofferson released a new album of original songs called Feeling Mortal.
    More Details Hide Details A live album titled An Evening With Kris Kristoffrson" will be available in September 2014. Kris Kristofferson voiced the character Chief Hanlon of the NCR Rangers in the hit 2010 video game Fallout: New Vegas.
  • 2011
    Age 74
    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.
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  • 2010
    Age 73
    On May 11, 2010, Light in the Attic Records released demos that were recorded during Kristofferson's janitorial stint at Columbia.
    More Details Hide Details 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."
  • 2009
    Age 72
    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.
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    On November 10, 2009, Kristofferson was honored as a BMI Icon at the 57th annual BMI Country Awards.
    More Details Hide Details Throughout his career, Kristofferson's songwriting has garnered 48 BMI Country and Pop Awards. 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." Kristofferson had always denied having a good voice, and as he aged, what quality it might once have had commenced to decay.
    Kristofferson released a new album of original songs entitled Closer to the Bone on September 29, 2009.
    More Details Hide Details It is produced by Don Was on the New West label. Previous 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."
  • 2008
    Age 71
    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.
    More Details Hide Details Each performer played 5 songs. Kristofferson's 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.
  • 2007
    Age 70
    In July 2007, Kristofferson was featured on CMT's "Studio 330 Sessions" where he played many of his hits.
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    On April 21, 2007, Kristofferson won CMT's Johnny Cash Visionary Award.
    More Details Hide Details 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."
  • 2006
    Age 69
    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.
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  • 2004
    Age 67
    In 2004, he was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame.
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  • FIFTIES
  • 1996
    Age 59
    In 1996, he earned a supporting role as Charlie Wade, a corrupt South Texas sheriff in John Sayles' Lone Star, a film nominated for an Oscar for Best Screenplay.
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  • FORTIES
  • 1985
    Age 48
    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.
    More Details Hide Details In 2003, Broken Freedom Song was released, a live album recorded in San Francisco.
    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.
    More Details Hide Details Kristofferson also appeared in Amerika at about the same time, a miniseries that attempted to depict life in America under Soviet control. 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.
  • 1983
    Age 46
    In 1983, he married Lisa Meyers and together they have five children—son Jesse Turner, son Jody Ray, son Johnny Robert, daughter Kelly Marie and son Blake Cameron.
    More Details Hide Details Kristofferson wrote a portion of the I'll Be Here in the Morning: The Songwriting Legacy of Townes Van Zandt book. Kristofferson has said that he would like the first three lines of Leonard Cohen's "Bird on the Wire" on his tombstone: Like a bird on the wire Like a drunk in a midnight choir I have tried in my way to be free
  • 1982
    Age 45
    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.
    More Details Hide Details 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 Highwayman, also titled "Highwayman," was awarded the ACM's single of the year in 1985.
  • 1979
    Age 42
    On November 18, 1979, Kristofferson and Coolidge appeared on the Muppet Show.
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    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.
    More Details Hide Details His performance is captured on Ernesto Juan Castellanos's documentary Havana Jam '79.
    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.
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  • THIRTIES
  • 1974
    Age 37
    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 career.
    More Details Hide Details 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.
  • 1973
    Age 36
    In 1973, he married singer Rita Coolidge and together they had one child, Casey Kristofferson. They divorced in 1980.
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    They married in 1973 and released an album titled Full Moon, another success buoyed by numerous hit singles and Grammy nominations.
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  • 1972
    Age 35
    In 1972, Kristofferson appeared with Rita Coolidge on British TV on BBC's "The Grey Whistle Test", performing a physically intimate version of "Help Me Make It Through The Night".
    More Details Hide Details 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 (directed by Sam Peckinpah). He continued acting, in Sam Peckinpah's Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Garcia, Convoy, (another Sam Peckinpah film which was released in 1978), 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, and 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), 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 Freedom Road did not earn a theatrical release in the U.S. Kristofferson's next film was Heaven's Gate. Despite being a phenomenal industry-changing failure at the time, 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 1989, he was the male lead in the film Millennium with Cheryl Ladd.
    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.
    More Details Hide Details It sold over one million copies, and was awarded a gold disc by the RIAA on November 8, 1973.
  • 1971
    Age 34
    In 1971, he acted in Cisco Pike and released his third album, Border Lord.
    More Details Hide Details 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 released his second album, The Silver Tongued Devil and I in 1971; including Lovin' Her Was Easier (Than Anything I'll Ever Do Again).
    More Details Hide Details 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, 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.
    More Details Hide Details 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 covered some of Kristofferson's material, 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.
  • 1970
    Age 33
    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.
    More Details Hide Details 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.
  • 1967
    Age 30
    In 1967, Kristofferson signed to Epic Records and released a single, "Golden Idol/Killing Time," but the song was not successful.
    More Details Hide Details 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.
  • TWENTIES
  • 1966
    Age 29
    In 1966, Dave Dudley released a successful Kristofferson single, "Viet Nam Blues."
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  • 1965
    Age 28
    After leaving the Army in 1965, Kristofferson moved to Nashville.
    More Details Hide Details 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. His wife and he 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. Weeks later Kristofferson landed a helicopter in Cash's front yard, gaining his full attention. 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.
    In 1965, when his tour of duty ended, Kristofferson was given an assignment to teach English literature at West Point.
    More Details Hide Details Instead, he decided to leave the Army and pursue songwriting. His family disowned him because of this decision and they never reconciled with him. 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 American Veterans Awards "Veteran of the Year Award" in 2003.
  • 1960
    Age 23
    Kristofferson has been married three times and has eight children. In 1960, Kristofferson married his high-school sweetheart Frances (Fran) Beer.
    More Details Hide Details They had two children, a daughter, Tracy, and a son, Kris, before divorcing in 1969. Afterwards, Kristofferson dated Janis Joplin, not long before her death, before dating Barbra Streisand.
    In 1960, Kristofferson graduated with a master's degree in English literature.
    More Details Hide Details The following year he married his long-time girlfriend, Frances Mavia Beer. Kristofferson, under pressure from his family, ultimately joined the U.S. Army 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. During this time, he resumed his music career and formed a band.
  • 1958
    Age 21
    Kristofferson became a member of Delta Kappa fraternity at Pomona College, graduating in 1958 with a BA, summa cum laude, in literature.
    More Details Hide Details 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. Kristofferson earned a Rhodes Scholarship to Oxford University, where he studied at Merton College. While at Oxford, he was awarded his Blue for boxing, 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. This early phase of his music career was unsuccessful.
    He and his classmates revived the Claremont Colleges Rugby Club in 1958, which has remained a Southern California rugby institution.
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  • TEENAGE
  • 1954
    Age 17
    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. An aspiring writer, Kristofferson enrolled in Pomona College in 1954.
    More Details Hide Details He experienced his first dose of fame when he appeared in Sports Illustrateds "Faces in the Crowd" for his achievements in collegiate rugby union, football, and track and field.
  • CHILDHOOD
  • 1936
    Born
    Born on June 22, 1936.
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