Country Music Hall of Famer Kris Kristofferson will perform an intimate solo acoustic show at Nashville’s historic Ryman Auditorium on Saturday September 13 at 8:00 p.m. All proceeds will go to the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum. Tickets go on sale Friday, August 15 at 10:00 a.m.
Kristofferson ranks among the most versatile of American talents. He’s been a Golden Gloves boxer, a Rhodes scholar, a college football player, an acclaimed actor, a military officer, a helicopter pilot, a Grammy-winner and an icon.
In the Nashville beginning, Kristofferson threw away a promising military career in favor of life as what he sometimes calls, “A songwriting bum.” He had excelled at most everything he’d ever tried, save for singing and songwriting, but it was the singing and the writing that called to him. He wound up penning classics including “Me and Bobby McGee,” “Help Me Make It Through the Night,” “Sunday Morning Coming Down” and “For The Good Times,” as well as a slew of other empathetic, incisive gems. Kristofferson—along with contemporaries Tom T. Hall, Mickey Newbury, Willie Nelson, John Prine and Guy Clark—enhanced the scope of country music songwriting, focusing on layering, nuance, empathy and emotional truth.
“Going back to the beginning, the songs have been reflections of where I was at that point in my life,” he says. “I always try to be as honest as I can in the songwriting, otherwise there’s no point in doing it: I might as well be doing an advertising job or something. And what I’m finding, to my pleasant surprise at this age, is that I’m more inclined to laughter than tears. I hope I’ll feel this creative and this grateful until they throw dirt over me.”
His renown as a songwriter triggered Kristofferson’s successful career as a performer and that, in turn, brought him to the attention of Hollywood, leading to his flourishing career as a film actor. Kristofferson has acted in more than 70 films and in 1977, he won a Golden Globe for Best Actor in “A Star Is Born.” He’s appeared in cult favorites including the “Blade” trilogy, “Lone Star,” “A Soldier’s Daughter Never Cries,” “Alice Doesn’t Live Here Anymore,” “Blume In Love,” “Cisco Pike,” and “Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid.” Recent films include “Fast Food Nation,” “Dreamer: Inspired By A True Story,” “The Jacket,” “Silver City,” “He’s Just Not That In To You” and “Dolphin Tale.”
Heralded as an artist’s artist, the three-time Grammy® winner has recorded 28 albums, including three with pals Willie Nelson, Johnny Cash and Waylon Jennings as part of the Highwaymen. Kristofferson has spent four decades performing concerts all over the world, in most recent years in a solo acoustic setting, which puts the focus on the songs. “There’s an honesty in the sparseness. It feels like direct communication to the listener,” he says. “I still have more fun when I’m with the band, but being alone is freer, somehow. It’s like being an old blues guy, just completely stripped away.”
Kristofferson has reached living legend status, but that hasn’t changed or hindered his creativity. His current CD, “Feeling Mortal” contains eleven gems that explore love, gratitude, aging, and his ever-present theme of freedom.
In addition to many other awards, Kristofferson is a member of the Country Music Hall of Fame, winner of the prestigious Johnny Mercer Award from the Songwriter Hall of Fame, and was honored with the American Veteran’s Association’s Veteran of the Year Award in 2002. For Kristofferson’s 70th birthday in 2006, his friends and admirers gifted him with a tribute CD, “The Pilgrim: A Celebration of Kris Kristofferson.” Noted artists including Willie Nelson, Emmylou Harris, Rodney Crowell and Rosanne Cash, recorded 17 of Kristofferson’s compositions for the tribute. In 2007, Kristofferson was honored with the Johnny Cash Visionary Award from Country Music Television and in 2009 BMI lauded Kristofferson with the Icon Award. He received the Frances Preston Music Industry Award from the T.J. Martell Foundation in 2012. In 2014, Kristofferson was honored with a Grammy® Lifetime Achievement Award and the PEN Song Lyrics of Literary Excellence Award.
Funds raised through the All For the Hall concerts support the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum’s preservation efforts, exhibitions and educational programs that teach audiences about the enduring beauty and cultural importance of country music.