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Why Me (Kris Kristofferson song) – Wikipedia

“Why Me”
SinglebyKris Kristofferson
from the albumJesus Was a Capricorn
B-side ” Help Me “
Released April 1973
Recorded July 8, 1972
Genre Country gospel
Length 3: 26
Label Monument Records31909
Songwriter(s) Kris Kristofferson
Producer(s) Fred Foster
Kris Kristoffersonsingles chronology
“Jesse Younger”(1972) ” Why Me “(1973) “A Song I’d Like to Sing”(1973)

” Why Me ” is a song written and recorded by American country music singer and composer Kris Kristofferson. It is a combination of country and gospel music.

Song history

In the early 1970s, Kristofferson had established himself as the toast of Nashville, thanks to the tremendous popularity of compositions such as ” For the Good Times “, ” Me and Bobby McGee “, ” Sunday Morning Coming Down “, and ” Help Me Make It Through the Night “, among many others. In addition to that, he had a success of his own with the song ” Lovin’ Her Was Easier (Than Anything I’ll Ever Do Again “. “Why Me” was written and sung by Kristofferson in 1972, with backing vocals provided by his soon-to-be wifeRita Coolidge and up-and-coming singer-songwriterLarry Gatlin, who later became his wife.

According to country music historian Bill Malone, Kristofferson composed the song after attending a church service performed by the Rev.

Malone penned the following: “”‘Why Me, Lord,'” as the song is frequently referred to, “may appear to be completely out of character for Kristofferson, yet it may be taken as his own theological rephrasing of ‘Sunday Morning Coming Down.'” His ‘coming down’ in this case is not from drugs, but rather from the hedonistic exhilaration of the 1960s in its whole.” According to Malone, Kristofferson’s gruff vocal styling was “great” for the song, since it “sounds like a man who has experienced a lot but is now humbling himself before God.” Kristofferson’s harsh vocal approach was characterized as “excellent” for the song by Malone.

  • Kristofferson stated that he attended the church service with friends and was inspired by the song ” Help Me (Lord) ” by Larry Gatlin.
  • When the pastor asked the crowd whether anyone was feeling “lost,” the response was overwhelmingly positive.
  • After that, the Pastor said, “Are you prepared to accept Christ as your Savior?
  • It was a sense of relief.
  • I had a strange experience that I can’t quite put my finger on and describe.” In 1972, Kristofferson visited June Carter Cash and Johnny Cash in a hotel room and sang two songs for them that he had composed.
  • The tale that Larry Gatlin performed ” Help Me ” at the Evangel Temple, which inspired Kris Kristofferson to create the song, was retold in Johnny Cash’s memoirMan in Black, which is available online.

In addition, Kristofferson performed for Cash the song “Burden of Freedom,” which was used in the film The Gospel Road.

Recognition and awards

When it was released in July 1973, “Why Me” became Kristofferson’s lone significant country hit as a solo recording artist, debuting at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot Country Singles list. The song only reached No. 16 on the Billboard Hot 100, but it had one of the longest stints (19 weeks) in the top 40 and the most chart reversals (6) in a single run on the Hot 100 at the time of its release in 1989. In all, the song spent 38 weeks continuously on the Hot 100 list, coming close to matching the record established by Johnny Mathis’ song ” Wonderful!

The song came in sixth on the year-end Hot 100 singles chart for 1973, according to Billboard.

Chart performance

Chart (1973) Peak position
CanadianRPMAdult Contemporary Tracks 23
CanadianRPMCountry Tracks 1
CanadianRPMTop Singles 19
Dutch Top 40 31
South Africa (Springbok Radio) 1
U.S.BillboardHot 100 16
U.S.BillboardEasy Listening 28
U.S.BillboardHot Country Singles 1
USCash BoxTop 100 57

Year-end charts

Chart (1973) Rank
CanadaRPMTop Singles 82
South Africa 1
USBillboardHot 100 6

Cover versions

  • Elvis Presley used the song, which he retitled “Why Me Lord,” in his live performances beginning in January 1974 and continuing until the end of his last concert tour. Elvis Recorded Live On Stage In Memphis was released in June 1974 and was the first time the song was heard. The recording was made at a concert in Memphis, Tennessee, on March 20, 1974. He frequently introduced the song by stating that it was “one of his favorite tunes,” which J.D. Sumner would then perform. While Sumner was delivering the lyrics, Elvis was joining in on the chorus with the help of a group of backup singers. Elvis Presley also recorded the “B” side of the song, “Help Me,” which was written by Larry Gatlin, in December 1973, and it was included in his live performances for the rest of his career. Connie Smith recorded a rendition of “Why Me” for her 1973 albumGod Is Abundant, which was released in 1973. Melba Montgomery recorded the song “Why Me” for her album “Why Me” in 1973. A version of “Why Me, Lord” was recorded by Melba Montgomery and Tanya Tucker for their 1974 albumWould You Lay with Me (In a Field of Stone)
  • George Jones also recorded a version for his 1974 albumIn a Gospel Way
  • And David Allan Coincluded “Why Me, Lord” on his 1977 albumWould You Lay with Me (In a Field of Stone). A rendition of “Why Me” was sung by British singer Cliff Richard for his 1978 albumSmall Corners
  • Willie Nelson featured a version of “Why Me” along with numerous other adaptations of songs penned by Kris Kristofferson on his appropriately named 1979 album ‘Why Me Lord,’ sings Kristofferson
  • Merle Haggard recorded a version, which was released on his 1981 albumWhat a Friend We Have in Jesus
  • Bell Gardens released a version of “Why Me Lord” on their 2014 album “Slow Dawns For Lost Conclusions”
  • Sloveniana cappellagroup New Swing Quartet recorded a version, which was released on the 1985 album Oh, Happy Day, titled “Why Me Lord”
  • Carlene Davis recorded a version, which was released On his 1975 album, Linda on My Mind, Conway Twitty included a short version, which was followed by a lengthier version on his 1994 box set, The Conway Twitty Collection, which was published in 1994. An early version of this song was recorded by Chicago punk band TheSmoking Popes on their 2001 albumThe Party’s Over
  • A powerful version of the song was played by the Gaither Vocal Band during their 2006 Homecomingperformance in Toronto. A version of the song, titled “Why Me Lord,” was recorded by Wolfgang Hildebrandt for his 2018 albumCountry Love Songs
  • Josh Turner recorded a duet with Kristofferson for his 2020 albumCountry State of Mind (album)
  • And CeCe Winans recorded a version for her 2017 albumLet Them Fall In Love.


  1. In addition to Whitburn’s “The Billboard Book of Top 40 Hits,” which is in its 8th edition and published by Billboard Books and Watson-Guptill Publications in New York, Bill Malone’s “Classic Country Music: A Smithsonian Collection” is also worth mentioning (booklet included withClassic Country Music: A Smithsonian Collection4-disc set). Smithsonian Institution, 1990, pp. 66-67
  2. McClintock, Jack, ed., Smithsonian Institution, 1990. (March 1975). I’m just a regular ol’ Rhodes Scholar trying to make it through the night with Kris Kristofferson.” Playboy.18(9): 171–75
  3. Playboy. Joel Whitburn is a writer who lives in the United Kingdom (2004). It is the second edition of The Billboard Book Of Top 40 Country Hits: 1944-2006. p. 193
  4. P. 193
  5. Archived from the original on June 8, 2007 at the Wayback Machine
  6. Joseph Murrells was born in the town of Murrells in the town of Murrells (1978). The Book of Golden Discs is a collection of discs that have a golden sheen to them (2nd ed.). Barrie and Jenkins Ltd., London, p.330, ISBN 0-214-20512-6
  7. “Item Display – RPM – Library and Archives Canada,” “Item Display – RPM – Library and Archives Canada,” “Item Display – RPM – Library and Archives Canada,” “Item Display – RPM – Library and Archives Canada.” Collectionscanada.gc.ca. “Kris Kristofferson – Why Me | Top 40”, which was retrieved on 2015-08-26. Top40.nl, 2013-06-18, retrieved 2015-08-26
  8. “SA Charts 1965–March 1989,” Top40.nl, 2013-06-18, retrieved 2015-08-26
  9. Whitburn, Joel (September 5, 2018)
  10. Retrieved on September 5, 2018. (2002). Top Adult Contemporary Artists from 1961 to 2001. Canadian Library and Archives (p. 139)
  11. Canada, Library and Archives Canada (July 8, 2017). “Image courtesy of RPM Weekly”
  12. “Top 20 Hit Singles of 1974”
  13. “Image courtesy of RPM Weekly” Musicoutfitters.com
  14. Elvis: A Life In Musicby Ernst Jorgensen
  15. Heller, JasonPitchfork reviews Slow Dawns For Lost Conclusions,pitchfork.com.com,Retrieved 1 Nov 2020
  16. “New Swing Quartet – Oh, Happy Day (1985, Vinyl)”
  17. “New Swing Quartet – Oh,

Why Me, Lord? – 1972

Lord, why are you looking at me?1972 Kris Kristofferson was the first to write and record this song, but it has since been covered by a slew of other artists. It was released as a single on Kristofferson’s album, Jesus Was a Capricorn, in 1997. With the huge popularity of the songs he’d written in the early 1970s, Kristofferson had become the toast of Nashville in the early 1970s. The song “Why Me” was recorded by Kristofferson in 1972, and it featured backing vocals from his soon-to-be wife, Rita Coolidge, as well as up-and-coming singer-songwriter, Larry Gatlin, among others.

According to country music historian Bill Malone, Kristofferson penned the song during a period of his life when he was experiencing emotional lows.

Jimmie Rogers Snow “‘Why Me, Lord,'” as the song is frequently referred called, “may appear to be a departure from Kristofferson’s usual style, yet it may be regarded as his own particular theological rephrasing of ‘Sunday Morning Coming Down.'” ‘Coming down’ in this context does not refer to the effects of drugs, but to the hedonistic exhilaration of the 1960s as a whole.” “He sounds like a guy who has experienced a lot, but is now humbling himself before God,” Malone said of Kristofferson’s gruff vocal styling for the song.

  • “He sounds like a man who has lived a lot, but is now humbling himself before God,” Malone said of Kristofferson’s harsh voice manner.
  • He said that he had never considered the possibility of need assistance, but he was at a low moment in his life.
  • “Up goes my hand,” Kristofferson declares emphatically.
  • “Get down on your knees right there.” As Kristofferson continues, “I’m down on my knees there, and I’m carrying a heavy burden of shame around with me.
  • It was a sense of relief.
  • the type of prayer that you might expect a new Christian to make when they first come to Christ.
  • Acts 15:11, Ephesians 2:8,9, and Titus 2:11 are all references to the Bible.
  • What have I ever done to earn even one.
  • I’d like to know, Lord, what have I ever done that was worthy of Your love.
  • CHORUS I’ve wasted so much time, Lord, please assist me, Jesus.
  • Now that I’ve realized how much I’ve depended on You, please assist me, Jesus; my soul is in Your capable hands.

I’m wondering if You can tell me if there’s any way I can try to make up for everything that I’ve stolen from You. It is possible for me, Lord, to demonstrate to someone else what I have gone through myself. on my path back to You. (CHORUS)

George Jones Poured His Heart And Soul Into This Rendition Of “Why Me Lord”

When George Jones asked “Why Me, Lord?” it was a simple inquiry that reduced many people to tears. In 1974, the great singer recorded his rendition of this wonderful song as a single from his album In a Gospel Way, which was published the same year. Jones’ sixth collection of spiritual music – his interest in gospel music dates back to his boyhood, when he learnt to play the guitar in the church where his mother played the piano. Jones’ fondness for gospel music can be traced back to his youth.

A Gospel-Tinged Song From Someone Who Had An Epiphany

Kris Kristofferson wrote and recorded the song “Why Me Lord” in 1972, and it was released as a single. It was released as the lead single from the album Jesus Was a Capricorn, and it went on to become his biggest success to date. In addition to including backup vocals from his former wife, Rita Coolidge, the song peaked at No. 1 on Billboard’s U.S. Hot Country Singles and No. 16 on the Billboard Hot 100 charts. When Kris Kristofferson sings this song, he had an insight and asks Jesus why he has blessed him so much.

Kristofferson was inspired to write the song after attending a church session in which Larry Gatlin’s “Help Me, Lord” was played.

Moreover, throughout the session, I experienced a tremendous religious experience, which was something that had never happened to me before.

“Jimmie said something to me like, ‘Are you ready to take Jesus Christ into your life?'” he said.

And he pushed me to the ground and shouted, ‘Kneel down here.’ The words he spoke were so liberating for me that I found myself sobbing in public, and I experienced forgiveness that I hadn’t realized I needed.” “I can’t even remember what he was saying, but whatever it was, it was such a release for me that I found myself weeping in public.” An outstanding performance stood out the most at a celebration of the great Kris Kristofferson in 2016, which we must say was one of the most remarkable gatherings in the history of country music.

The event was held in honor of the great Kris Kristofferson.

A list of the performers that performed in this poignant homage included Hank Williams Jr., Jack Ingram, Alison Krauss, Lady Antebellum, Larry Gatlin, Reba McEntire, Rosanne Cash, Willie Nelson, Martin McBride, and Darius Rucker, to name a few.

The Song Has Since Been Covered By Many Artists

A wide range of singers, including Elvis Presley, David Allan Coe (of the band The Allman Brothers), Willie Nelson (of the band Conway Twitty), and Merle Haggard, among others, have recorded this gospel-tinged song.

Watch George Jones’ rendition of the age-old classic country gospel hymn “Why Me Lord” in the video embedded below. Given the way Jones has put his heart and emotions into this performance, it is unquestionably one of the most powerful performances you will ever witness!

Country Artists Who Once Asked the Question, “WHY ME LORD?”

Kris Kristofferson is an American singer-songwriter (charlie-p-2ac84d7056ca7f9d.s3.amazonaws.com) Please, God, help me. I’m well aware that I’m not perfect, and that there are occasions when I forget to pray. I understand that I have had doubts about my religion and that I have lost my anger at times, but thank you for loving me unconditionally and for giving me another day to start over again. Amen. While writing the lyrics and melody for the song “Why Me Lord,” Kris Kristofferson was most likely thinking about and praying in his heart about something similar to this, which he then sang out loud.

In the early 1970s, Kristofferson had become the toast of Nashville, with to the tremendous popularity of compositions such as For the Good Times, Me and Bobby McGee, Sunday Morning Coming Down, Help Me Make It Through the Night, andLoving Her is Easier Than Anything I’ll Ever Do Again, among others.

Having just returned from a religious service, he composed “Why Me Lord.”

Why Me Lord

Jefferson’s only significant country hit as a solo recording artist was “Why Me Lord,” which peaked at No. 1 on the charts in July 1973 and was his only Top 10 song overall. The song had one of the longest stints in the top 40 (nineteen weeks), as well as a prolonged run on the Hot 100 chart. It received gold certification after selling one million units. And, perhaps most significantly, it restored faith in Jesus Christ in the heart and spirit of Kris Kristofferson. Surprisingly, the song seems to have influenced a large number of country music performers.

Some of the most notable Why Me Lord covers may be found in the following section.

What have I ever done.to be deserving of even one of the benefits I’ve been given in life?

  1. In the song “WHY ME LORD,” KRISTOFFERSON is joined by other country artists in leading the singing. To read the article, please click here.

Which cover of “Why Me Lord” struck you the most? Please share your ideas with us. For those interested in reading more stories on our favorite country stars, you can visit the Country Thang Dailywebsite or follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Kris Kristofferson – Why Me Lyrics

Why me, Lord, what have I ever done to earn even one of the delights I’ve experienced? Tell me, Lord, what have I ever done that was worthy of your love or the compassion you’ve shown me. Assist me, Jesus, I’ve done a lot of editing, so please help me. Jesus, I understand who I am now that I understand that I’ve come to rely on you. Please help me, Jesus, my soul is in your hands. Tell me, Lord, if you believe there is a way for me to try to make up for what I’ve stolen from you. Perhaps, Lord, I can demonstrate to someone else what I’ve gone through myself on my road back to you.

Please, Lord, assist me. Help me, Jesus, I’ve made a mess of things. Jesus, I understand who I am now that I understand that I’ve come to rely on you. Please help me, Jesus, my soul is in your hands.

The easy, fastfun way to learn how to sing: 30DaySinger.com

Kris Kristofferson contributed to the writing. Lyrics courtesy of Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLCLyrics used with permission. LyricFind has made this possible.


Kris Kristofferson contributed to this article. Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLCLyrics Licensed by Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC LyricFind has made this available to you.

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Kris Kristofferson – Why Me Lyrics

“Why Me”Why am I here? Tell me, Lord, what have I ever done to earn even one of the joys I’ve knownTell me, Lord, what have I ever done that was worth loving you or the kindness you’ve shownLord help me, Jesus, I’ve squandered it all soHelp me, Jesus, I’ve wasted it all soHelp me, Jesus, I’ve wasted it all so Jesus, I understand who I am, but now that I understand that I’ve needed you, please help me; my soul is in your hands.

  1. Try me, Lord, if you believe there’s a way for me to return what I’ve received from you.
  2. Help me, Jesus, since I’ve spent my time going through everything I’ve gone through myself on my road back to you.
  3. Assist me, Jesus, I’ve squandered my time, so please help me.
  4. My souls are in your hands, Jesus.
  5. Kris Kristofferson is the author(s) of this work.
  6. This classic country gospel ballad became his biggest success, making him a household name.
  7. Jimmie Rogers Snow, Kris Kristofferson was moved to create a song about his experiences in Vietnam.

Why Me story behind the Kris Kristofferson hit song

The origins of the Why Me tale may be traced back to the early 1970s. Because of the song’s popularity, it was certified gold by the Recording Industry Association of America in 1972 after selling more than a million copies in the United States. It was released as a single from the album Jesus Was a Capricorn. The image of Kris and Rita Coolidge that appears on the album cover was taken by Kris.

A Personal Note

Over the years, this song has grown to hold a particular place in the hearts of many people.

  • Kris’ music was introduced to us by Cathy Alonzo’s mother, according to Cathy Alonzo. She expresses herself as follows:

“We used to sit on our back porch and listen to his records over and over again. ” She (her mother) was suffering from Alzheimer’s disease and would have loved to simply hear him speak again and again. I found myself wishing for the same thing. My mother was a well-known musician in the community.” Cathy’s favorite song is Why Me by the band Def Leppard.


At first, it appeared a bit out of place on the record; after all, the rest of Kris’s debut album, which was raw and rebellious and obviously not Christian in any way, looked to me to be a little out of place on the album.

Kris, my Dad’s friend and Me

I frequently read the posts of Francois, a friend of my late father’s, on Facebook these days, and because he is a man of God, they are frequently of a Christian character. Several years ago, when I was a youngster, I recall him strumming his guitar and singing, and it was inevitable that some of Kristofferson’s songs made their way into the mix. He could have had a role in my appreciation for Kris’ work, both then and now, and he may have contributed to it.

The Why Me Story – Kris Kristofferson Talks Spiritual

In response to a post, he inquired as to whether or not I had ever seen the interview in which Kris tells the story of Why Me. I hadn’t realized it until now, and I’ve included a link to it below. After all, the most compelling stories are often told by the guy who lived and wrote about them in the first place. Kris Kristofferson tells and sings the story of “Why Me Lord” in this song.

Pastor James Collins

A poignant obituary for Pastor James Collins, the senior pastor of First Southern Baptist Church, was written about this song, and Sharon was the first to discover it. We are living in an unpredictable period. Churches have remained shuttered in several nations as part of the international effort to limit a pandemic that is devastating our globe today. Families grieve the deaths of loved ones, while others battle with their fears in solitude. We’re forwarding this post in the hopes that it may bring consolation to someone, somewhere.


Help Me, a song written by Larry Gatlin, has been covered by a number of well-known artists, none more renowned than Elvis Presley. Kris’ journey, which began at the church and culminated in the now-famous hit track, was recently discussed in a recent piece, which included Larry Gatlin’s perspective. You can read the whole article by clicking here. (This page has been seen 1,390 times, with 1 visit today)

Behind the Song: Why Me Lord? ⋆ Diana Leagh Matthews

When difficulties arise in our life, it is natural to get disillusioned with the situation and to wonder, “Why Me, Lord?” Kris Krisofferson wrote the famous country gospel hymn, Why Me, Lord?, which is still in use today. “Help Me Lord,” a song by Larry Gatlin, served as inspiration for the composition. Kris Kristofferson is an American singer-songwriter. Kristofferson was in attendance during a church service during which Gatlin’s song was performed. “ “Is anybody feeling lost?” the pastor said, according to Kristofferson’s explanation.

  • Following that, the pastor inquired as to whether Kristofferson was prepared to take Christ into his life.
  • I was weeping uncontrollably, and it was embarrassing.
  • “It was a huge wake-up call for me.” “It was a tremendous religious experience,” Kristofferson said of the entire event.
  • The song was included on his 1973 albumJesus Was a Capricorn, which was published in 1973.
  • The song peaked at No.
  • There have been several country performers who have recorded the song, including Connie Smith, Merle Haggard, Willie Nelson, George Jones, David Allan Coe, Johnny Cash and Conway Twitty.

The Gaither Vocal Band and Elvis Presley have each performed the song on their respective albums. ” alt=””>” alt=””>” alt=””>

Kris Kristofferson

Kris Kristofferson is a singer, songwriter, and actor who first gained fame with country songs such as “Me and Bobby McGee” before embarking on a cinematic career.

Who Is Kris Kristofferson?

Kris Kristofferson’s career as a singer and performer got off to a sluggish start, but it picked up steam when singers such as Johnny Cash and Jerry Lee Lewis began to record his tunes. A cover version of his song “Me and Bobby McGee” by Janis Joplin achieved No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1971, marking his first major commercial success. Around the same period, Kristofferson began a successful acting career in television and cinema, appearing in films such as Alice Doesn’t Live Here Anymore, A Star Is Born, Lone Star, and the Blade series, among others.

He has won several Grammy Awards, been inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame and the Songwriters Hall of Fame, and has had his songs reach the top of the charts for much of his career.

Early Life

As the first of three children born into a traditional military family in Brownsville, Texas, on June 22, 1936, Kristofferson was raised by his mother and father. While Kristofferson was a child, his family traveled about a lot, but they ultimately landed in San Mateo, California, when he was in his junior high school years. After graduating from high school in 1954, Kristofferson went on to study creative writing at Pomona College in Southern California, where he specialized on William Blake’s poetry and creative writing.

  • He also competed in boxing for the Golden Gloves and for the school’s football team.
  • Later that year, he travelled to England to complete his master’s degree in literature at the University of Cambridge.
  • His attempts to obtain prominence were ultimately unsuccessful, leading him to return home after completing his studies at a minor label in Los Angeles.
  • With his life now at a fork in the road, Kristofferson made the decision to shift course and join the military, instead of continuing his academic ambitions, as his father had done.
  • During his military duty, though, he maintained his interest in writing and music, eventually forming a soldiers’ band that played at various events around the country.

After visiting the country music metropolis of Nashville in June, he made the decision to alter the direction of his life once more, rejecting his job offer, resigning from the military, and embarking on a journey to become a composer for country music.

Career Breakthrough

However, Kristofferson’s chosen route was not without its difficulties. His parents were so distraught by his decision that their relationship with him became seriously strained; he did not talk to his mother for more than 20 years after making the decision to leave. Indeed, even after signing a recording contract with the publisher Bighorn Music immediately after bringing his family to Nashville in 1962, Kristofferson was forced to take a variety of odd jobs in order to supplement his poor earnings for the next few years.

As a result of other musicians covering his songs, such as “Vietnam Blues” and”Jody and the Kid,” Kristofferson made some headway on the country music scene during this time period.

Kristofferson’s financial woes were even more severe in 1968, when his second child, Kris, was born with health issues that resulted in astronomical medical expenditures.

A number of his tunes caught the notice of Johnny Cash, to whom Kristofferson personally delivered one by helicopter in Cash’s back yard.

Coming Down, Going Up

He released his self-titled first album in 1970 and toured extensively in promotion of it, performing important gigs at venues such as the Troubadour in Los Angeles, the Isle of Wight Festival in England, and the Bitter End in New York City. Despite the album’s critical and commercial failure, cover versions of Kristofferson’s songs began to appear on country music radio stations, such as Waylon Jennings’ rendition of “The Taker”—one of several songs co-written by Kristofferson and author Shel Silverstein—Jerry Lee Lewis’ rendition of “Once More with Feeling,” and Sammi Smith’s rendition of “Help Me Make It Through the Night.” In December, Ray Price’s version of his “For the Good Times” and Johnny Cash’s rendition of “Sunday Morning Coming Down” had both reached No.

1, had crossed over into the pop Top 20, and had both been nominated for Song of the Year awards by the Academy of Country Music and the Country Music Association.

The song peaked at No.

Countless other performers have covered the song throughout the years, including Kenny Rogers, Chet Atkins, Olivia Newton-John, and Dolly Parton, among others.

By the end of 1971, Kristofferson had progressed from relative obscurity to songwriting success, with three of his albums nominated for many Grammy Awards in the process. “Help Me Make It Through the Night” by Kris Kristofferson was named the Best Country Song of the Year.

‘A Star Is Born’

At the same time that Kristofferson was creating a name for himself as a composer, he was also embarking on what would prove to be a long and fruitful acting career. As a result of his appearance in the Dennis Hopper–directed dramaThe Last Movie(1971), Kristofferson would appear on the big screen nearly as frequently as he issued albums, at times even outpacing his musical output with his film appearances, to which he frequently contributed songs. His early 1970s credits include a major role opposite Gene Hackman in Cisco Pike (1972), his depiction of Billy the Kid in Billy the Kid (1973), and his portrayal of Billy the Kid in Billy the Kid (1974).

  1. Alice doesn’t live here any more, according to Martin Scorsese’s film Alice Doesn’t Live Here Anymore (1974).
  2. However, his country hit “Why Me” peaked at No.
  3. As a result, Kristofferson’s personal life underwent a period of transformation during this time.
  4. Kristofferson and Coolidge had a daughter together (Casey, born in 1974), and they also made a run of popular duet albums during their time together.
  5. He also had cameo appearances in the movie Vigilante and The Sailor Who Fell from Grace with the Sea, among other films.
  6. Critics bemoaned the film, but the film still became a box-office success, and the album, which included songs by Kristofferson, topped the pop charts and went on to sell millions of copies.
  7. Because of this success, Kristofferson ended the decade by releasing two more studio albums, Easter Island and Shake Hands with the Devil, as well as Natural Act, which was the final album he would make with Coolidge before their divorce in late 1979.

In the meanwhile, cover versions of his songs continued to be popular, notably those performed by fellow country singerWillie Nelson, who would later work alongside Kristin to produce some of the singer’s best-known work during the next decade.

The Highwayman

The 1980s and 1990s would be a rollercoaster ride of highs and lows, as well as substantial upheavals in Kristofferson’s personal life, as had been the case during most of his career. He failed to hit with his albumsTo the Bone (1981), Third World Warrior (1990), and the Don Was–producedA Moment of Forever(1995), all of which were produced by Don Was. His cinematic acting career suffered as a result, with Kristofferson appearing solely in (sometimes mediocre) made-for-TV movies during the whole of the 1990s.

  • When he collaborated with Nelson and others on the 1983 album The Winning Hand (which featured Nelson, Parton, Brenda Lee, and others), it reached No.
  • This was the same year that Kristofferson was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame, and the next year, he toured with the Highwaymen, a group that included Nelson, Cash, and Jennings as well as others.
  • Highwayman 2 (1990) and The Road Goes on Forever (1995) would both be modestly successful albums for the band, as would their succeeding releases.
  • The couple has five children, all of whom were born between 1984 and 1994: Jesse, Jody, Johnny, Kelly, and Blake.
  • They finally settled on the Hawaiian island of Maui, where they built a magnificent house.

‘Lone Star’

In 1996, Kristofferson enjoyed yet another rebirth in his career when he was cast as the sheriff Charlie Wade in the famous John Sayles filmLone Star, which also featuredMatthew McConaughey. Roles in additional famous films were shortly to follow, with Kristofferson playing in theBladevampire flicks, the family dramaA Soldier’s Daughter Never Cries, theMel GibsonvehiclePaybackandTim Burton ’sPlanet of the Apes(2001) (2001). Among numerous other film and television performances, his recent credits include the 2012 indie dramaThe Motel Lifeand the 2016 westernTraded.

In 2004, he was recognized with entry into the Country Music Hall of Fame and in 2014, he got a Lifetime Achievement Grammy Award.

However, a test for Lyme illness came back positive, so he switched his Alzheimer’s and depression medicine for three weeks of Lyme-disease therapy.

Though he still has some memory challenges, the shift has been tremendously favorable. Kristofferson continues to tour regularly and a box set of his first 11 albums,The Complete MonumentColumbia Album Collection, was published on June 10, 2016.

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