Kristofferson [Carson], Kris
- Stephen Holden
- , revised by Travis D. Stimeling
(b Brownsville, TX, June 22, 1936). American country-music singer-songwriter and actor. He studied at Pomona College and attended Oxford University on a Rhodes scholarship. A captain in the U.S. Army, Kristofferson was hired to teach English at the United States Military Academy at West Point in 1965, but he decided instead to move to Nashville to begin a songwriting career. After a brief stint as a helicopter pilot in the Gulf Coast oilfields, he became a janitor at Columbia Records’ Nashville studio, where he met many of the city’s leading session musicians, recording artists, producers, and songwriters. His first hit songs were “Me and Bobby McGee” (1969, recorded by Roger Miller and later by Janis Joplin), and “Sunday Morning Coming Down” (1970), which earned the 1970 Country Music Association Song of the Year. He also recorded several albums for Fred Foster’s Monument Records, including the gold-certified ...