Kris Kristofferson: More Than Just a Famed Musician!

Entertainment | October 1, 2018

Kris Kristofferson On Stage American musician and actor Kris Kristofferson plays guitar as he performs onstage, Chicago, Illinois, July 29, 1987. (Photo by Paul Natkin/Getty Images)

There was, unarguably, no shortage of exceptionally talented musicians in the '60s and '70s. The groovy era is definitely known for one of the most defining decades in American music history. Many different genres of music groups, as well as soloists, were popping up all the time and we just couldn’t get enough! Kris Kristofferson is one, in particular, that caught the attention of American music fans.

In addition to being an American, country music singer, Kris Kristofferson was also a songwriter who wrote songs covered by many other icons including Janis Joplin.

Kris Kristofferson is an accomplished singer and songwriter who has had a very impressive career. Some of the most notable songs he composed include, “Me and Bobby McGee,” Help Me Make it Through the Night,” “For the Good Times” and “Sunday Mornin’ Comin' Down.” Kristofferson started out as a well-known country music artist and songwriter and soon gained epic notoriety with a lot of big named artists. 

Kris Kristofferson, Willie Nelson, Johnny Cash and Waylon Jennings were the driving force behind the “outlaw country” music genre when they formed the hit group, The Highwaymen.

The Highwaymen were Nashville country music icons but decided not to conform just for the sake of conforming. They decided that the best course of action was to pursue an independent songwriting and production path. Kristofferson first met Johnny Cash after landing a helicopter in his yard. He had met June Carter Cash, prior, and couldn’t let the opportunity slip away. The rest is now music history.

Prior to his music career, Kris Kristofferson was an athlete, featured in Sports Illustrated and was also a member of the United States Army.

Kristofferson attended college at Pomona College and Oxford University. He wanted to pursue a literary career and dreamed of being a novelist. Kristofferson was a college athlete who dabbled in the sport of boxing, played football and rugby as well as running track and field. Kris Kristofferson’s father was a career Army officer. After pressure from his family, Kristofferson joined the United States Army. His father had always dreamed that his son would follow in his footsteps and pursue a military career. During the '60s he was associated with the 8th Infantry Division and was stationed in West Germany. Kristofferson had undergone training as a helicopter pilot during his time in the Army. That, however, was short-lived but not before he formed a band with some of his comrades.

After establishing his career as a musician, Kris Kristofferson also joined the ranks of Hollywood actors, acting opposite of many other acting greats.

In addition to being a country music superstar, Kris Kristofferson was also an accomplished Hollywood actor. He is well known for starring in classic movies including “Alice Doesn’t Live Here Anymore," "Heaven’s Gate" and "A Star is Born."

Kris Kristofferson earned himself a Golden Globe Award for Best Actor in the movie “A Star is Born” with Barbara Streisand.

In addition to earning a Golden Globe Award, Kris Kristofferson also earned other prestigious awards including the American Veterans Award, and Song of the Year Award for one of his songs and Songwriter of the year, both for the Country Music Awards.

Over the years, Kristofferson has been associated with other historically, epic country music talent including Faron Young as well as Gladys Night and the Pips, among others. In 1966, his single, “Viet Nam Blues” was released.

In addition to his sports, military, music and acting connections, Kris Kristofferson has also been known for his high-profile personal relationships.  

Kristofferson was married to Rita Coolidge from 1973 to 1980.

Kris Kristofferson married his first love, Frances Mavia Beer. That relationship would be followed by others including Janis Joplin, whom he had been dating at the time of her untimely death; and Rita Coolidge with whom he was married from 1973 to 1980. Kristofferson and Coolidge have reportedly remained close friends to this day, despite their breakup. Kris Kristofferson has been married to his current wife, Lisa since 1983. Kristofferson is now 82 years old and still goes on tour occasionally… not too shabby!

Tags: Kris Kristofferson | Rare Facts And Stories About History | The 1960s | Music In The 1960s

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Rebeka Knott


Rebeka grew up in the 1960’s & 1970’s and has always subscribed to the theory that a positive attitude will take you far! She is a wife and mother of 3 with a fun-loving spirit, believing that family and relationships are invaluable.