Kris Kristofferson - vocals, guitar; "Billy" Swan - guitar, bass, vocals; Tommy McClure - bass; Slammin' Sammy K - drums; Donnie Fritz - keyboards; Glen Clark - guitar, keyboards, harmonica; Stephen Bruton - lead guitar
Although his raspy, limited vocal range probably kept him from becoming a huge country and pop music star in his own right, Kris Kristofferson has become an entertainment icon nonetheless. His career in music is not unlike that of his friend and contemporary, Bob Dylan. His distinct and non-radio friendly voice made his chart performance less than spectacular, but his songs have endured, topping the country and pop charts.
His success as a songwriter and an early friendship with filmmaker/actor Dennis Hopper, eventually led to a successful and ongoing film career as an actor. It was his acting career (especially his leading role opposite Barbara Streisand in 1976's A Star Is Born), that secured his position as a bona fide entertainment celebrity.
This show, recorded at the Lap-area Resada Club in 1982, featured nearly everything he had written of any consequence, and all the biggest hits, including "Me And Bobby McGee" (a top hit for both Janis Joplin and Roger Miller); "Darby's Castle" (also a country hit for Miller); "Help Me Make It Through The Night" (a country and pop hit for Sammi Smith and an R&B hit for Gladys Knight & the Pips); "For The Good Times" (a #1 country and pop hit for Ray Price); and "Sunday Morning Comin' Down" (which, essentially, help revive the career of Johnny Cash in the early 1970s). In all, Kristofferson's songs have been recorded by over 450 artists, and the importance of his legacy is huge.
The son of a military officer, who would later run a large U.S. corporation based in Saudi Arabia, Kristofferson grew up in different military bases before settling with his family in Southern California when it came time to attend high school. He graduated both high school and college with honors, and was awarded a prestigious Rhodes scholarship to attend Oxford University in England, where he received a Masters Degree in English literature.
While in England, he renewed an interest in country music and songwriting, but upon his graduation, he joined the military where he became a helicopter pilot and officer. While he was on military leave, he vacationed in Nashville, where he hooked up with a music publisher. After an honorable discharge from the army, he moved his family to Nashville and renewed his relationships there. That led to a publishing deal, and eventually a recording contract with Epic Records, and later, Monument Records, a division of CBS Nashville.
It was at this time, during the mid-1960s, that county and pop star Roger Miller began recording some of his songs, and by the turn of the decade he was one of Nashville's most in-demand writers. Through the decades he has had his own solo career; a long standing project with friends Johnny Cash, Waylon Jennings and Willie Nelson called The Highwaymen; and a duo with his wife, pop star Rita Coolidge, during the 1970s. This show was captured during a concentrated effort to renew his own solo career after his divorce from Coolidge.
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