Kris to reach Big-8O in singin’ mode

Kris Kristofferson
Kris Kristofferson

Celebrated singer, songwriter and movie actor KRIS KRISTOFFERSON is 80 next Wednesday and tributes are already being paid to a performer who has made an awesome contribution to country music over the past 50 years.

A complete set of Kris’s best-selling music has been released in advance. The Complete Monument & Columbia Album Collection, a 16-CD deluxe box set from Sony Music’s legacy recordings, released on June 10, is a glowing testament to the bearded Texan.

The collection consists of 11 of Kristofferson’s studio albums spanning the entire decade of the 1970s. At the same time he was recording his own material, and Kristofferson’s massive song catalogue was mined for hits by singers ranging from Janis Joplin (classic parody Me and Bobby McGee) to Ray Price (For the Good Times) and beyond.

All of the albums in the collection, released from 1970 through 1981, will be individually packaged in facsimile sleeves reproducing the original album artwork.

Five additional albums in the set will spotlight rare and unreleased live and studio recordings encompassing Kristofferson’s years recording for the Monument and Columbia labels, with three concert recordings (two of them previously unreleased) from 1970-1972 and two full discs of rarities – non-LP singles, studio outtakes, previously unavailable demos – and more.

The package will also include a booklet featuring essays and liner notes penned especially for the project, including an introduction to Kris contributed by his fellow Country Music Hall of Fame member Fred Foster, founder of Monument Records who signed the Rhodes scholar and former Army pilot to a songwriting contract at Combine Music and a recording pact with Monument label.

Grammy-winner Kris has also released a double album, The Cedar Creek Sessions, 25 songs recorded over a three-day period in 2014. The set includes stripped-down versions of some of Kristofferson’s most revered tunes, including Sunday Mornin’ Comin’ Down, a dark, meditative song which Kris penned while living in a tenement and going through a divorce. Johnny Cash would go on to record it in 1970, winning for Kris a ‘Song of the Year’ accolade for it.

Kris, a huge favourite in the UK, particularly in Northern Ireland where he has visited regularly over the past two decades, is still touring and has been to the UK several times in the past year for concerts.

Always an ‘Outlaw’ to the conservative Nashville country music establishment, the man with the heavy facial growth and shaggy jeans has an unmistakable vocal style and demeanour which has endeared him to millions globally.

With classics like Help Me Make It Through The Night, Me and Bobby McGee, Why Me Lord, and Sunday Mornin’ Comin’ Down he is a legend,

* Chips Moman, Nashville producer, songwriter and studio impressario, died this week, aged 79. Although best known for rock and R&B productions, Moman had a firm country music base producing for Willie Nelson, Tammy Wynette. Ronnie Milsap and Waylon Jennings.

Moman also embraced in his Memphis studio Elvis Presley, Dusty Springfield and Neil Diamond and he had a hand in some of Mr Presley’s most notable hits including Suspicious Minds, In the Ghetto and Kentucky Rain. Later, he brought together Johnny Cash, Carl Perkins, Roy Orbison and Jerry Lee Lewis for the nostalgic landmark 1986 album Class of ’55.