Archive for the ‘Kris Kristofferson’ Category

Country Rhythms (September 1981) (UK)

Thursday, October 20th, 2016

[Thanks so much  to Phil Weisman for gifting me this great magazine from the UK.  The country music magazines always have the best photos.]

Country Rhythms
September 1981

It takes three buses and two trucks to move Willie Nelson and his band and crew around the country for the over 250 performances that Willie gives each year.  But for all it grueling aspects, life on the road never loses that sense of freedom and adventure so important to country musicians like Willie Nelson, who spent much of their early lives yearning to escape from backgrounds of poverty and rural isolation.

These photographs by Michael Abramson, courtesy of Columbia Records, tell the story of Willie’s magic caravan better than worlds could ever do.

Willie Nelson, Connie Nelson and daughters Amy and Paula



As unspoiled by his fantastic success as any one could possibly be, Willie Nelson is always available t his fans after a show.  Although he values his privacy, Willie knows how important it is to maintain personal contact with the people to whom he means so much.


rhythm2_0002 rhythm7

The Highwaymen, “Big River”

Wednesday, October 19th, 2016

Willie Nelson and Kris Kristofferson

Thursday, October 13th, 2016


Lukas Nelson sings Kristofferson

Monday, July 11th, 2016

Willie Nelson and Kris Kristofferson

Sunday, July 10th, 2016


Thanks, Phil Weisman, for this picture.

Willie Nelson & Kris Kristofferson in Aurora, IL TONIGHT!

Saturday, June 25th, 2016


photo:  Dan Schram

Willie Nelson will perform with special guest Kris Kristofferson tonight at RiverEdge Park in Aurora.

Tickets are $50 and are available by calling 630-896-6666, at, or at the box office at the Paramount Theatre, 23 E. Galena Blvd., Aurora.

Nelson and Kristofferson will perform at 8 p.m. at RiverEdge Park, 360 N. Broadway St., Aurora.

Happy birthday, Kris Kristofferson

Wednesday, June 22nd, 2016


photo:  Danny Clinch
by: Neil Strauss

Kris Kristofferson: An Outlaw at 80

Country legend has faced memory loss and the death of old friends, and has also found peace – just don’t try to tell him what to do

Oh, my god, the son of a bitch is back,” announces Lisa Kristofferson as she stands in the kitchen of her Los Flores Canyon home in Malibu. The son of a bitch, who is next to her, is more commonly known as Kris Kristofferson. He has been her husband for the past 36 years. He also happens to be one of the greatest songwriters of all time (covered by Johnny Cash, Janis Joplin, Elvis Presley and some 500 others), not to mention an iconic actor in his own right (from A Star Is Born to the Blade movies).

Three decades ago, “the son of a bitch is back” may have been the rallying cry of Kristofferson’s girlfriends or wives after he went off on a drinking or cheating bender. But today, just weeks away from Kristofferson’s 80th birthday, it means something different entirely.

It means that the rugged, fiercely independent spark of consciousness that is Kris Kristofferson, which has been fading for the past few years due to memory loss, is brightening again – to everyone’s surprise.

For years, doctors had been telling Kristofferson that his increasingly debilitating memory loss was due to either Alzheimer’s or to dementia brought on by blows to the head from the boxing, football and rugby of his teens and early twenties. Some days, Kristofferson couldn’t even remember what he was doing from one moment to the next.

It became so bad that Kristofferson started writing a song about it. “I see an empty chair/Someone was sitting there,” it began. “I’ve got a feeling it was me/And I see a glass of wine/I’m pretty sure it’s mine.”

But then, like the chair and the wine, he forgot about the song. And it lay unfinished like many others he’s begun these past few years. In this case, his daughter Kelly completed the song, which remains unrecorded.

Then, earlier this year, a doctor decided to test Kristofferson for Lyme disease. The test came back positive. His wife believes he picked it up from a tick as he crawled around the forest floor in Vermont for six weeks while filming the movie Disappearances.

“He was taking all these medications for things he doesn’t have, and they all have side effects,” she says. She is wearing one of her husband’s tour merchandise shirts. After he gave up his Alzheimer’s and depression pills and went through three weeks of Lyme-disease treatment, Lisa was shocked. “All of a sudden he was back,” she says. There are still bad days, but “some days he’s perfectly normal and it’s easy to forget that he is even battling anything.”

Kris Kristofferson, Kris Kristofferson interview, Kris Kristofferson songwriting, Kris Kristofferson rolling stone
Peter Yang
Kristofferson stands next to her, alongside the kitchen counter, a black T-shirt tight on his thin but still-solid frame, his gray goatee neatly trimmed. Behind him, there is a wall covered with pen and pencil marks, denoting the growth of his children, stepchildren, grandchildren and foster children. One would imagine that he’d be elated by his unexpected recovery.

“Yeah,” he replies, unconvincingly, when asked.

So you were never scared about losing your past? Kristofferson stares straight ahead, into a sweeping ocean vista, his sky-blue eyes shining brightly under a brow that thrusts out like a rock ledge. “What good would it do?” he says with a shrug.

Seventeen years ago, Kristofferson had bypass surgery. As he was being wheeled into the operating room, the doctor told Kris and Lisa that this would be a good place to say goodbye. “I hope it’s not goodbye,” Lisa said.

His response: “So what if it is?”

This blunt, fatalistic streak is something Kristofferson has carried with him for most of his life like a birthmark. It’s one reason directors like Martin Scorsese and Sam Peckinpah have cast him in their films.

“I really have no anxiety about controlling my own life,” Kristofferson says, taking a seat at the head of a wood dining table. “Somehow I just slipped into it and it’s worked. It’s not up to me – or you. I feel very lucky that [life]’s lasted so long because I’ve done so many things that could have knocked me out of it. But somehow I just always have the feeling that He knows what He’s doing. It’s been good so far, and it’ll probably continue to be.”

He pauses. “Now as soon as I said that, of course…” He looks upward as if a lightning bolt is on its way down to strike him.

And there he goes: Just on the verge of a happy ending, Kristofferson imagines the worst will happen instead. It’s a theme that runs through many of his best-known songs. Saturday nights end in Sunday hangovers (“Sunday Mornin’ Coming Down”). Great relationships end, leaving lifelong regret as their legacy (“Loving Her Was Easier [Than Anything I’ll Ever Do Again],” “Me and Bobby McGee”). The perfect lover who sweeps a woman off her feet is destined to abandon her, robbing her of body, soul and pride (“The Taker”).

To spark his memory, Kristofferson has been going through all these old songs again. A box set of his first 11 albums, The Complete Monument & Columbia Album Collection, due on June 10th, rests on the counter. He has been listening to it album by album to get reacquainted with his life’s work. “It just takes you back like a picture of something would,” he says.

I bring him the box set. He examines the sleeves of each disc, which are designed like the original vinyl album covers. “I was also interested in seeing if they still sounded good to me,” he continues. “I’ve been pleasantly surprised, particularly with this one.” He points to his third album, Border Lord. “I can remember at the time being so disappointed at the reception it got.”

His wife sits to his left and looks at him, beaming at his recall. “To me, the song is what matters, not necessarily the performances,” he says as he moves a napkin to examine a picture of him in his twenties, looking disheveled in his meager Nashville bedroom. “Just the words and melody – that’s what moves your emotions.”

Kris Kristofferson; Willie Nelson; Merle Haggard
Kris Kristofferson with Willie Nelson and Merle Haggard Danny Clinch
The box set is just one flake in a flurry of activity happening around Kristofferson this year. There was a celebration of his life and music at the Bridgestone Arena in Nashville in March, for which he re-formed the Highwaymen with Willie Nelson, Jamey Johnson and Waylon Jennings’ son Shooter. Kristofferson recently traveled to Canada to record with Gordon Lightfoot and Ronnie Hawkins. He played the lead in a new Western, Traded, also coming out June 10th. His upcoming album, The Cedar Creek Sessions, includes a duet with Sheryl Crow for his first-ever recording of “The Loving Gift,” a song made famous by Johnny and June Carter Cash.

He’s also embarking on a special string of summer dates with Nelson: Just before Merle Haggard passed away this year on his 79th birthday, he requested that his backing band, the Strangers, continue without him. So Kristofferson, his longtime friend, decided to bring the Strangers with him on the road for a few dates to perform his and Haggard’s songs together.

“I’m thinking of his face when he was dying,” remembers Kristofferson, who was touring with Haggard up until the end. “I had the highest respect for him. Knowing him and Willie and Waylon and Johnny Cash – that’s been one of the biggest blessings in my life.”

In his current state of mind, there is one period of his life that Kristofferson often returns to when reflecting on his past – a decision that, for him, changed everything. It was a combination of luck and choice. The year was 1965; the luck was that he was a captain in the Army and signed up to go to Vietnam, but was assigned a teaching position at West Point. The choice was to leave the Army instead. After reporting to West Point, he moved to Nashville to try to make it as a songwriter. As a result, this Oxford-educated Rhodes scholar soon found himself emptying wastebaskets at Columbia Recording Studios.

“I’m kind of amazed by the whole thing,” he marvels. “I was on my way to a totally different life. And all of a sudden I committed my future and all my family and everything to this! It was pretty scary.”

Kristofferson and Lisa say that his brother joined the Navy; his father was a two-star Air Force general; both grandfathers were in the military; even his great-grandfather was in the Swedish armed forces.

“Didn’t your mother say she would rather have a gold star in the window?” Lisa asks him. Kris gives a sheepish shrug. It is his way of saying, “I can’t remember.” It is an expression he uses a lot these days.

“When you have a family member that died during World War I, they would put a gold star in the window,” she reminds him. “And your mother said she would have rather had a gold star in the window than to see what you’re doing with your life.”

“She said that I was an embarrassment to the family,” he recalls a little later. “I’ve given them moments of pride, when I got my Rhodes scholarship, but she said, ‘They’ll never measure up to the tremendous disappointment you’ve always been.’ Why tell your kid that?”

But when his mother sent him a scathing letter disowning him, Kristofferson experienced something he’d been seeking his whole life: freedom. It’s an independence he’s embraced to this day. He bucked Nashville’s conventions, helping start the outlaw-country movement. More recently, he canceled a book contract for his autobiography because he didn’t want to work on a deadline. His latest album includes a song called “You Don’t Tell Me What to Do.”

“Even if someone tells him to have a good day, he’ll say, ‘Don’t tell me what to do,’?” Lisa says. “He’s unmanageable. You can’t manage him.”

Kristofferson looks down at the table and screws up his face as she speaks.

What were you just thinking? I ask.

“I…” He pauses and purses his lips. “I think it’s probably true.”

In several of Kristofferson’s songs, characters burn brilliantly in the present moment without a past or future, trading in “tomorrow for today” or proclaiming, “Yesterday is dead and gone/And tomorrow’s out of sight.” In an unexpected twist of fate, Kristofferson sometimes finds himself similarly marooned in the present moment due to his memory problems. Except unlike the characters in his songs, who usually find loneliness there, he says he feels remarkably content and well-supported.

Kelly has observed that he “forgets to get nervous,” and Kristofferson notes that a couple of years ago, his anxiety just went away. “He hasn’t always been happy,” Lisa says. “His nickname when he was doing Star Is Born was Kris Pissed-off-erson.” These days, one of his favorite things to do is simply mow the grass or weed-whack for hours at his primary home, in Maui.

He recently went to a reunion of the Pomona College football team, where he saw his former coach, who’s now 93. And he’s still in touch with his childhood nanny Juanita, who’s 93 and still calls her former charge mijo (my son).

“She probably saved my life,” he says. “Because God knows my mother was an asshole. And my old man was gone most of the time.”

He adds that without Juanita, he “probably would have ended up as some serial killer.”

Two weeks later, Kristofferson sits in a booth of a Malibu studio, playing the part of a ghost for an animated pilot for Fox. When he reads a line about cellphone coverage, Kelly laughs: “He doesn’t know what a cellphone is. He calls them hand machines.”

Afterward, the director asks Kristofferson to sign a guitar. “I’m not a very good guitar player,” he tells Kristofferson.

“Neither am I,” Kristofferson responds.

Self-deprecation is one of Kristofferson’s most conspicuous traits. He is especially down on his singing: “I don’t think I’m that good a singer,” he says. “I can’t think of a song that I’ve written that I don’t like the way somebody else sings it better.”

Yet even as he’s pushing 80, there is no shortage of demand for his voice – whether it’s films, TV dramas, cartoons, performances or albums. He has one of the most unique careers in music, which he says was inspired in part by seeing Frank Sinatra excel as both a singer and an actor.

Kris Kristofferson, Kris Kristofferson interview, Kris Kristofferson songwriting, Kris Kristofferson rolling stone
Kris Kristofferson, 1968 LFI/Photoshot
We drive back to his house with Kelly and her boyfriend, Andrew Hagar, son of Sammy. When asked half an hour later about going to the studio today, Kristofferson works his tongue around the inside of his mouth, thinking hard. “I’ll be honest with you,” he finally says. “I don’t remember going to the studio.”

Kris and his wife have spoken about Lyme disease, head injuries and aging interfering with his memory. But there’s one thing they haven’t mentioned: the smoking.

“Do you think the weed hurts your memory?”

He answers quickly and defiantly: “If it does, it’s too bad. I’m not quitting.” He pauses and considers it further. “I’m sure that it slows me down and doesn’t make me the sharpest-witted person in the room, but I’ll probably be smoking till they throw dirt on me.”

As we’re speaking, one of Kristofferson’s sons marches into the kitchen. He is known as War Pig, though he was born Jody. A heavyweight wrestling belt testifying to his prowess in the ring hangs in the living room. Each of Kris’ children seems to have taken on one aspect of his career, even down to his youngest son, Blake, who majored in creative writing.

One of the few ambitions that Kristofferson never got to realize was as a literary author. In his Maui home, there are trunks full of notepads – a treasure trove of short stories, journal entries and even novels, none of it published.

“You have stories from college on,” Lisa reminds him. “All through the Army, all through your time with Janis Joplin, all through your working in Wake Island, working in Alaska, working fighting fires and on the railroad. You even have stories from being a janitor in Nashville.”

“I don’t feel very creative anymore,” Kristofferson confesses a little later. “I feel like an old boxer.” He laughs. “The brain’s gone, but I can still move around.”

“He says that,” Kelly protests, “but he leaves little pieces of songs lying around the house all the time.”

Kristofferson considers this. “I may have some more creative work in me,” he finally admits, then concludes on a characteristically impassive note. “But if I don’t, it’s not going to hurt me.”

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“Highwaymen: Live at Nassau Colleseum” ( on PBS tonight (Thurs, June 9, 2016)

Thursday, June 9th, 2016

Other air dates, or at least here in Colorado:

  • Sunday, June 5 at 8:30 pm on 12.1
  • Monday, June 6 at 1:00 am on 12.1
  • Thursday, June 9 at 8:30 pm on 12.1
  • Saturday, June 11 at 11:00 am on 12.1
  • Saturday, June 11 at 5:30 pm on 12.1


Willie Nelson, Kris Kristofferson, “How Do You Feel About Fooling Around?”

Tuesday, June 7th, 2016

“The Winning Hand” Willie Nelson, Johnny Cash, Kris Kristofferson, Dolly Parton

Monday, May 30th, 2016


Dolly, Brenda, Kris & Willie
… The Winning Hand

Produced by Fred Foster
Monument Records
Willie Nelson, Johnny Cash, Kris Kristofferson, Dolly Parton

Johnny Cash hosted a television special to celebrate release of album, and also wrote the liner notes for this album, Dolly, Brenda, Kris and Willie.  He wrote something about each artist, and here is what he wrote about Willie:

Willie Nelson

Like a thief in the night
Like the witch on her broom
The red-headed stranger
Came right through her bedroom

No, actually I’m kidding.  He was a little reluctant to walk through the bedroom at eleven o’clock at night with Waylon Jennings and myself.  They had come over to see me and I said, “Let’s go into my little back room and sit and talk and pick awhile.”  We passed John Carter’s bedroom where he was asleep.

“Come on and follow me,” I said.  leading the way through the master bedroom to my little get-away-from-it-all-writing-reading-picking-listening refuge.

“I’m afraid we’ll wake June,” said Willie, tiptoeing past the bed where she slept.

“C0me one,” I said, and the three of us walked Indian style through the dim lit room and into my private place.

“I’ve always been a dreamer.  I mean, I have vivid technicolor, wide-screen stereo dreams.  Oftimes I dream of things that are happening, sometimes I dream of things that will happen, sometimes I’m dreaming of things even before I’m sound asleep.  Sometimes I wake up in the middle of a dream not knowing what the end was to be.  I go back to sleep, commanding my mind to finish the dream.

Twenty years ago I had a dream about Willie Nelson.  I hadn’t spoken with, nor seen him, in about three years.

In my dream, Willie and I were sitting in a dresing room, swapping songs.  I sang him a song I had leanred from a demo which Gene Ferguson had given me called The Ballad of Ira Hayes.

Willie said, “You should do an album of Indian songs.”

“I will,” I said.  “I never thought of doing a whole album of Indian stuff”

“You will,” I said.  “I never thought of doing a whole album of Indian stuff.”

“You will,” said Willie in my dream.  (It’s called Bitter Tears.)

Willie said, “Let me sing you one, John.  I thought of you when I wrote it.” “They’re all the same.

The dream was over at the end of they’re all the same.

Next morning I called my secretary.  “Try to find me a number where I can call Willie Nelson,” I said.  “Willie Nelson, the songwriter.  I think he’s living in Nashville.”

An hour later I was talking to him.  I congratulated him on the success of some of his big songs he had written recorded by other artists.  He kindly returned the compliments.  “Willie,” I said.  “You might think I’m a little weird, but I dreamed about you last niht.”  There was silence on his end, so I went on.  “I dreamed you sang a song to me, one you had written clled they’re all the same.”

More silence.

:Do you have a song called They’re All the Same?”  I asked.

“Yes, I do,” he said, barely above a whisper.

“Would you send it to me” I asked.  “Maybe I can record it.”

A long pause, then willie said.  “Sure, give me your address.”

Willie sent the song and I played it a hundred times, but I never recorded it.  I was beginning to get heavily into something else and somewhere along the way, I must have lost the demo of ‘Thy’re All the Same.’

Now, back to 1979.   Willie, Waylon and I were sitting in my room just off the bedroom where June was asleep, just off the bedroom where John Carter was asleep.

I hadn’t seen Willie in ten years.  The hair was long and plaited.  The beard was full and red, and the eyes were clear and intelligent.  Waylon kept his hat on and sweated like I do.

I was a little shy myself because I was in the presence of two of country music’s all time greats.  I was also a little awed by Willie Nelson for his amazing rise to super stardom.

We sang a few songs quietly.  Willie was still concerned with waking June.

“Willie;,” I said, “do you remember ‘They’re all the same’?”

“Man,” he said.  “That’s been a long tme ago.  Didn’t I send you that?”

“Yes, but I lost it.”

“I’ll send you another tape of it,” he said.  “Let me sing you this one.”  And he sang a song which became a number one record for him.  But he still hasn’t sent me a tap on ‘They’re All the Same.’ Maybe he forgot it, too.

Not more than an hour had passed when Waylon said, “We’d better go, John.  I know you and June had already gone to bed.”

“Don’t go,” I said, and to Willie, “I haven’t seen you in so long and I want to spend some more time with you.”

They insised that it was too late to keep me up and again expressed their concern of waking June on the way out.

I led the way and June was still asleep.  I stopped and went over and shook June awake.  Only the night light was on and as I started to turn on the bedside light, Wilie said, “No, John, don’t do that.”

In the dim light, I said, “June, here’s some old buddies, Waylon Jennings and Willie Nelson.”  Waylon went over and hugged her, and Willie knelt down beside the bed and kissed her on the cheek.

“HOw have you been, Miss June?”  he said.

June started talking up a storm.  “It’s so good to see you both.  Why didn’t you wake me, John?  Waylon, how’s Jessi?  Willie, it’s so good to see you.  John and I are so proud for you.”

“Didn’t mean to wake you pu, Miss June,” said Willie, “But it’s good to see you.”

:Oh, that’s alright, stay, John, turn on the light.”

“No, Miss June, we’re going.  Hope we didn’t make too much  noise.”

“Come back anytime, Willie.  Come back, Waylon, and bring Jessie,” said June.

Waylon tipped his hat and followed Willie past John Carter’s bedroom and on out the door.

I waived goodbye to them as they got in the car and closed the door.  I started past John Carter’s open bedroom door, back into our bedroom, but he was awake and standing there.  “Who’s that, Daddy?” he asked.

“Willie Nelson and Waylon Jennings.”

He started back to his bed and stopped, “I smell something funny,” he said.

“Like what, John Carter?” I asked.

“I don’t know, he said, crawling under his covers.

Crawling in bed by June, I thought of the miles and the troubles my visitors must have known in their lives.  They had been everywhere and done everything, but then so have I, I thought.  Maybe I smell funny.

Willie’s a mon on The Willing Hand

Nelson is his name

Some fly high and some fly low
But theyrenot all the same
For a winning man with a winning hand
You never see brought down
One year he might disappear
And no more be seen in town
He’s got lots of things I’ve not
An he’ll master the movie game
He’ll be back along to sing his song
nd they’re not all the same
This record made in this decade
Is this decade’s number one
There is no doubt in my mind without
Willie Nelson it could not have been done
Now my take is said
And I thaik yo, Fred
You are one might man
To work it out
And bring about
The platinum The Winning Hand

— Johnny Cash

Willie Nelson & Family, Kris Kristofferson with Ben Haggard, Noel Haggard & The Strangers

Saturday, May 28th, 2016


photo:  Dan Schram
by:  Spencer Griffith

Koka Booth Amphitheatre, Cary
Sunday, May 22, 2016

In early April, I called my mother and invited her to join me in mid-May to see Willie Nelson play at Cary’s Koka Booth Amphitheatre. “Sure! Who else is playing?” she asked, perhaps spoiled by Alison Krauss & Union Station providing stellar support when Nelson passed through the same venue two years ago.

Hearing my reply of Merle Haggard, she bluntly replied, “Oh. I thought he was dead.” I assured her that Haggard would be there, recent poor health notwithstanding. But it was just a matter of days until the country legend actually did pass. Mom, like usual, turned out to be right.

Sunday night, our date finally arrived. Filling the huge hole left in the bill by Merle’s death, Kris Kristofferson opened alongside Merle’s sons Ben and Noel Haggard, backed by The Strangers—the late Haggard’s backing band. For my mom, Kristofferson’s appearance was bittersweet; it seems her high school crush had somehow aged in the intervening forty-odd years. I was more focused on his voice, which—especially early in the set—was, well, rather haggard. The hour-long show followed a revue format, in which Kristofferson and each of the Haggard sons took turns on lead vocals, sprinkling some of Kristofferson’s best-known songs with plenty of Merle classics.

Having joined The Strangers on lead guitar at age fifteen—nearly a decade ago now—Ben, Merle’s youngest son, did an admirable job of filling his father’s role on those tunes, injecting them with youthful energy and recounting his dad’s wishes for him to carry on with The Strangers. Meanwhile, Noel—almost thirty years Ben’s senior—lent his rich baritone to “I Think I’ll Just Stay Here and Drink,” sounding every bit like a man who’d lived through plenty of the song’s broken-hearted nights. By the time Kristofferson led off “Sunday Mornin’ Comin’ Down,” his voice had warmed up considerably, containing just the right amount of weariness for his sighing hit.

The crowd responded with a standing ovation. Ben thanked everyone for coming to celebrate his father’s music. Kristofferson wiped away tears. The set closed on an upbeat note, sandwiching Kristofferson’s gospel number “Why Me” between Haggard’s “Ramblin’ Fever” and a spirited singalong of “Okie from Muskogee.”

The emotional tribute to Merle carried over into Willie Nelson’s headlining set in a surprising way. Sure, Nelson may appear to be as weathered as his trusty guitar Trigger, but as a performer, he seems to be drinking from—or smoking something out of—the fountain of youth. Almost four years older than Haggard, Nelson carried on Sunday night as if he could do so forever—and it’d be easy to convince yourself of just that, had it not been for the too-fresh reminder of Merle’s mortality.

Across an hour and fifteen minutes, Nelson barreled through more than two dozen songs with hardly a pause, ripping off nimble runs on Trigger, perhaps none more impressive than on a cover of Django Reinhardt’s “Nuages.Following along to whichever song title Nelson shouted out, The Family provided rocksteady rhythms, rousing harmonica solos, and barrelhouse piano fills. Willie remained the star, even when flanked by the backing vocals of fellow Highwayman Kristofferson. His voice sounded clear as a bell on timeless ballads like “Georgia on My Mind” and “Always On My Mind.”

Nelson seemed somehow ageless, as if defying what I’d told my mom a couple hours earlier during Kristofferson’s set—“You know we’re all getting older, mom.”


photo:  Dan Schram

Kris Kristofferson with Ben Haggard and Noel Haggard & The Strangers setlist:
Shipwrecked in the Eighties (Kristofferson on lead vocals, duo performance with Scott Joss)
The Running Kind (Ben Haggard on lead vocals)
Heaven Was A Drink Of Wine (Ben Haggard on lead vocals)
Help Me Make It Through The Night (Kristofferson on lead vocals)
Me and Bobby McGee (Kristofferson on lead vocals)
I Think I’ll Just Stay Here And Drink (Noel Haggard on lead vocals)
What Am I Gonna Do (With The Rest Of My Life) (Ben Haggard on lead vocals)
The Pilgrim, Chapter 33 (Kristofferson on lead vocals)
Working Man Blues (Ben & Noel Haggard on lead vocals)
Honky Tonk Night Time Man -> Folsom Prison Blues (Noel Haggard on lead vocals)
Sunday Mornin’ Comin’ Down (Kristofferson on lead vocals)
Ramblin’ Fever (Ben Haggard on lead vocals)
Why Me (Kristofferson on lead vocals)
Okie From Muskogee (Ben & Noel Haggard on lead vocals)

Willie Nelson & The Family setlist:
Whiskey River
Still Is Still Moving To Me
Beer For My Horses
Mammas, Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up To Be Cowboys
It’s All Going To Pot
Good Hearted Woman
Funny How Time Slips Away -> Crazy -> Night Life -> Listen To The Blues
Down Yonder
Me & Paul
If You’ve Got the Money I’ve Got the Time
Shoeshine Man
Georgia On My Mind
Jambalaya (On The Bayou)
Hey Good Lookin’
Move It On Over
On The Road Again
Always On My Mind
Roll Me Up And Smoke Me When I Die (with Kris Kristofferson on backing vocals)
I’ll Fly Away (with Kris Kristofferson on backing vocals)
The Party’s Over (with Kris Kristofferson on backing vocals)
Blue Eyes Crying In The Rain
Uncloudy Day

The Message of the Highwaymen

Sunday, May 22nd, 2016


Director and producer Jim Brown talks about the making of The Highwaymen: Friends Til The End, his admiration for the musicians’ camaraderie, passion for music and having a clear purpose in their careers. American Masters — The Highwaymen: Friends Til The Endpremieres nationwide Friday, May 27, 2016, at 9/8c on PBS (check local schedule) as part of the 30th anniversary season of THIRTEEN’s American Masters series, exploring how these men came together and the fruits of their historic collaboration.

Willie Nelson and Family with Kris Kristofferson, in Cherokee, North Carolina

Sunday, May 22nd, 2016


Thanks to Andy Bush, who followed Willie Nelson & Family from the Atlanta, Georgia show to Cherokee, North Carolina, for another show last night.  Andy said Kris came out and sang with Willie for ‘Roll Me Up and Smoke Me When I  Die”, and the gospel set, on both nights.

Willie Nelson fans waiting for a show in Georgia

Friday, May 20th, 2016


Thanks to Andy Bush for sharing photos from the Willie Nelson & Family Show in Georgia tonight.  Andy said that President Carter was in the audience.

Kris Kristofferson and the Strangers, Merle Haggard’s band, also performed, in celebration of Merle.


Willie Nelson, Kris Kristofferson, The Strangers (Florence, SC) (May 19, 2016)

Thursday, May 19th, 2016


Honoring Merle Haggard

May 19

Willie Nelson & Family with special guests Kris Kristofferson and The Strangers featuring Ben and Noel Haggard honoring Merle Haggard

Join us for a special concert event honoring the late Merle Haggard with legendary musician Willie Nelson & Family plus a very special guest and another original Highwaymen, Kris Kristofferson LIVE in concert. Also joining the lineup is Merle Haggard’s incredibly talented sons, Ben and Noel, collectively known as The Strangers performing on May 19th in honor of their father.

  • Arena, Florence, SC
  • $30, $45, $55
  • All tickets are for Reserved Seating: $30.00, $45.00, Floor $55.00 -additional fees may apply
  • May 19, 2016 8:00 pm
  • Buy Tickets Now