Date of Birth: June 22nd 1936
Born June 22, 1936, in Brownsville, Texas, Kristofferson began his music career in the mid-60s when he ended scholarly pursuits in favor of songwriting. The son of an Air Force general, he was a Rhodes scholar, a helicopter pilot and might have been an English Lit professor at West Point, but he gave it all up for a shot at selling some of his songs. Encouraged by a meeting with Johnny Cash, he moved to Nashville in 1965. He pitched songs while working as a night janitor at Columbia studios, emptying ashtrays and pushing a broom.
His turning point came in 1969. Nashville was still the bastion of conservative country music, but a new generation of renegade writers and performers (he and Willie Nelson among them) were bucking the establishment. Cash gave him his break by recording "Sunday Morning Coming Down," which won the Country Music Association's song of the year trophy in 1970. Roger Miller sang "Me and Bobby McGee," and Ray Price recorded "For the Good Times," which won song of the year at the Academy of Country Music Awards in 1970.
He started a movie career in 1971 when he co-starred with Gene Hackman and Harry Dean Stanton in Cisco Pike. He became an instant box-office draw, starring opposite such stars as Jane Fonda, Ellen Burstyn and Burt Reynolds. He also starred with Barbra Streisand in the classic film A Star Is Born in 1976. While making approximately two films a year, he continued to tour and record.
In the mid-80s, he joined Cash, Nelson and Waylon Jennings to form the Highwaymen. The supergroup's single, "Highwayman," was named the ACM's single of the year for 1985. His 1990 solo album, Third World Warrior, demonstrated his concern for human freedoms. Texas-based indie label Justice Records released A Moment of Forever in 1995. In 1999, he re-recorded some of his best-known tunes for The Austin Sessions, released on Atlantic Records. He teamed with Nelson, Jennings and Texas songwriter Billy Joe Shaver for Honky Tonk Heroes in 2000.