Archive for the ‘Kris Kristofferson’ Category

This day in Willie Nelson History: Highwayman Released (May 2, 1985)

Saturday, May 2nd, 2015

On May 2, 1985, Columbia Records released the “Highwayman” album, with Waylon Jennings, Willie Nelson, Johnny Cash and Kris Kristofferson

The Highwaymen:  Four Superstars Come Together
Music City News
August 1985
by Neil Pond

I was a highwayman
Along the coach roads I did ride
A sword and pistol by my side
Many a young maid lost her baubles to my trade
Many a soldier shed his lifeblood on my blade
The master took me in the spring of ‘25
But I am still alive

I’ll always be around, and around, and around, and around.

by Jimmy Webb

Mystical and uplifting, Highwayman has become the summer’s collaborative hit for the superstar quartet of Willie Nelson, Johnny Cash, Waylon Jennings and Kris Kristofferson.  Their new LP, also called “Highwayman,” is a a coming together of boldly distinctive stylists that prompted one reviewer to observe “if Mount Rushmore could sing, this is what it would sound like.”

At Willie’s recent 4th of July picnic event in Austin, the audience was treated to the first ever public appearance of “The Highwaymen,” as the foursome have come to be collectively called.  After an all-day rain, the quartet gathered onstage to sing three songs as the sky gradually opened and spilled luminous orange twilight throughout the dissipating clouds.  It was a grandiose bit of meterological staging — coincidence, you ask?  — that fit nicely with the cover of the album, which shows the heavens parting and the four entertainers peering through like gentle mythological gods.

But the “Highwayman” project, despite it’s majestic overtones, was not a carefully calculated attempt at clustering the individual stars into one spectacular supernova recording — although that’s pretty much how things turned out.

The album’s roots are actually in Switzerland, where Willie, Waylon and Kris were guests of Cash at the taping a Christmas TV special last year.  After performing together on the show the four returned stateside and joined forces to cut a couple of songs intended for Cash’s upcoming solo album.  One of the songs was Bob Seger’s Against the Wind, which they had all performed together on the TV special.  The other was Highwayman, a song by New York-based writer Jimmy Webb themed around reincarnation.

“We’d intended it for my solo album,” says Cash of the song.  “But the more we recorded together, the more we realized that it should be an album of the four of us.”

Once the idea for an entire quartet album was concrete, Cash decided to sideline his own album until the group project could be completed. For three nights the four singer/songwriters gathered at producer Chips Moman’s Nashville studio and bantered around songs that they felt would be appropriate for their collaboration.  They drew from material both familiar (like Cash’s own Big River and Guy Clark’s Desparados Waiting for a Train and obsure to come up with a slate of songs that somehow seemed to fit their individual and collective imagery as purveyors of things original, Old-Western, and American.

It’s the title cut, however, that is attracting the most attention.  Already a hit single and an engaging video, its haunting theme of reincarnation makes for unusual country music fare.  In the song, Willie, Kris, Waylon and Cash each sing the part of a different individual who, in the end, turns out to be various reincarnations of the same person, the highwayman of the title.

“As far as subject matter, it’s a very meaty topic,” explains Rick Blackburn, head of Nashville’s CBS Records who gave the ultimate go-ahead for “Highwayman.”  “But I think country music is ready to deal with heavier topics as opposed to the stereotypes we’ve had all along.”

Lest some listeners imply that the enterainers themselves might be espousing personal afterlife philosopy with the song, Cash responds that he, for one, holds to other beliefs.

“I don’t believe in reincarnation,” he says.  “I’m a Christian and I sang the song because I liked it.  It’s a good song.  It’s a good melody, it’s excellent lyrics written by a really great songwriter.  But so far as the philosophy and the religion, if you will, of the song… it’s not my belief.  I’m not making a statement of affirmation in belief of transmigration of souls or any such thing.”

Ego never raised it’s ugly head in “The Highwayman” project.   The recording sessions were dominated by a shared comraderie between the four entertainers, a brotherhood beyond the business at hand.

“We never had any problems,” says Waylon.  “We don’t think of each other as superstars.  There were no ego trips.  We’re a lot alike.  We’ve all had our starving days, paid our dues.  We have a lot of respect for each other.  If you don’t record with somebody you like, it ain’t gonna be no good.”

The future of The Highwaymen quartet is undecided at his point, although it’s possible that the four will be making several appearances together throughout the summer.  “We can’t decide whose band we want to use,” says Cash, referring to the equally terrific musical line-ups that back each entertainer.  The four will appear, however, as the Highwayman on the upcoming coming Country Music Association Awards show in October.

A movie project re-make of the John Ford classic Stagecoach that would star all four in leading roles has also been talked about.  “That’s a possibility,” says Cash.  Willie, Cash and Kris all have substantial movie acting experience, but Waylon’s film resume is practically bare. ”I don’t get very excited about doing movies,” explains Waylon.  “I’m a singer.”

In the meantime, Cash and Kristofferson are pegged to begin production in September on a CBS television movie called The Last Days of Jesse James. (Kris will be Jesse, Johnny will be his brother Frank.)

Individually , the four Highwaymen are currently wrapped up in their separate careers as well as the promotional hoopla surrounding their group LP.  Cash’s oslo album for Columbia is finishing production.  Willie’s “Half Nelson” LP, also for Columbia, of duets with various artists will be released soon.  Waylon’s new “Turn the Page” album on RCA is fresh in the stores this month.  Cash and Waylon have also completed a duet album for imminent release and are dicussing a possible Western movie pair-up.

Kristofferson, the only act of the four not currently affiliated with a record label, is staying very busy on the road with his Borlderlords band.  A movie called Trouble in Mind,  in which he will co-star with Keith Carradine, is scheduled for release around Christmas.

So the Highwaymen continue to ride, separately if not together.  And who knows?  There’s the prospect of another four-way album.  Cash says they’ve got almost enough material in the can from the previous sessions.

Nothing lasts forever, but it certainly seems as if these guys are planning, in some configuration, on being around, and around, and around and around…

Willie Nelson, “Who’ll Buy My Memories” (“Songwriter”)

Thursday, April 30th, 2015

You can watch the full movie at Crackle


From Crackle: Songwriter

Legends of the road: Willie, Merle, Kris (SOLD OUT)

Wednesday, April 8th, 2015

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Thanks, Janis Tillerson, for sharing this picture she took of the SOLD OUT poster, from concert on April 4th.

Willie Nelson and Family, and Merle Haggard and Kris Kristofferson at WinStar World Casino (4/4/15) (Thackerville, OK) (April 2015)

Monday, April 6th, 2015

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Kevin Smith, Willie Nelson, Billy English

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Kris Kristofferson, with the Strangers

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Merle Haggard and the Strangers with Kris Kristofferson

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See more photos of Willie Nelson and Family and Merle Haggard from the concert at the Winstar FaceBook Page:
https://www.facebook.com/WinStarWorldCasino/photos_stream?ref=page_internal

Willie Nelson and Friends, after concert in Thackerville, OK (April 4, 2015)

Sunday, April 5th, 2015

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www.WillieNelson.com

Willie Nelson, Randy Travis, Kris Kristofferson, and Jamie Johnson, backstage after the concert with Merle Haggard at the Winstar Casino, in Thackerville, OK last night.

Kris Kristofferson, “On the Road Again”

Saturday, April 4th, 2015

Willie Nelson and Kris Kristofferson

Sunday, March 8th, 2015

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The Highwaymen (Country Weekly, March 2015)

Friday, March 6th, 2015

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Thirty years ago, four musical giants–Willie Nelson, Johnny Cash, Waylon Jennings and Kris Kristofferson–came together to form country’s first supergroup, The Highwaymen. In this special cover story, we take a look back at the group’s legacy and ongoing influence.

This day in Willie Nelson History: First Highwayman Concert (Houston 1990)

Tuesday, March 3rd, 2015

highwaymen

On March 3, 1990, Willie Nelson, Waylon Jennings, Johnny Cash and Kris Kristofferson perform at the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo at the Astrodome, kicking off their first concert tour as the Highwaymen.

The Highway Men Live in Las Vegas

Sunday, February 22nd, 2015

Willie Nelson and Kris Kristofferson at the Oscars 1984

Saturday, February 21st, 2015

www.RollingStone.com
by: Stephen L. Betts

Hollywood’s elite gather this weekend to celebrate the best in film for 2014, as the 87th Academy Awards take place in Los Angeles on Sunday night. Throughout the long history of the Oscars, country music has made its presence known relatively few times.

The 1980s was one of the more fertile decades when it came to country music and the movies. It started with Sissy Spacek’s flawless, Oscar-winning portrayal of Loretta Lynn in Coal Miner’s Daughter, and Dolly Parton’s Best Song nomination, for “9 to 5,” with both films released in 1980. In 1984, Robert Duvall earned the Best Actor trophy playing fictional country singer Mac Sledge in Tender Mercies, and by 1985, a trio of “heartland” films earned a dozen nominations: “The River,” “Places in the Heart,” and “Country.”

That same year, Kris Kristofferson earned a nomination in the Best Original Song Score category, for Songwriter, the film in which he starred with one of his fellow Highwaymen, Willie Nelson. The film is loosely based on Nelson’s own career as a tunesmith.

The frisky “How Do You Feel About Foolin’ Around,” performed by the two friends, was released as a single, although it barely scratched the Top 50 on the country chart. Songwriter‘s soundtrack split the rest of the songs down the middle, giving half to each of the country legends.

When it came time for the 57th Academy Awards in 1985, host Jack Lemmon introduced Nelson and Kristofferson in a musical segment that featured the pair performing the above-mentioned “Foolin’ Around” and Nelson going solo for “On the Road Again,” another song from a 1980 film, Honeysuckle Rose, in which he once again portrayed a country singer.

Although Songwriter earned some good buzz from critics, audiences were slim. Kristofferson lost the Oscar to a young upstart named Prince, whose Purple Rain film and soundtrack were among the biggest hits of 1984.

This day in Willie Nelson History: “Highwayman” album certified Gold (Feb. 10, 1986)

Tuesday, February 10th, 2015

On February 10, 1986, “The HighwayMan” album, is certified gold for Willie Nelson, Waylon Jennings, Johnny Cash and Kris Kristofferson

1. Highwayman
2. The Last Cowboy Song
3. Jim, I Wore A Tie Today
4. Big River
5. Committed To Parkview
6. Desperados Waiting For A Train
7. Deportee (Plane Wreck At Los Gatos)
8. Welfare Line
9. Against The Wind
10. The Twentieth Century Is Almost Over

Willie Nelson and Kris Kristofferson, ‘How Do You Feel About Fooling Around?’

Sunday, January 11th, 2015

Willie Nelson, Merle Haggard, Kris Kristofferson, in concert (April 4, 2015)

Wednesday, December 17th, 2014

williemerlekris

WILLIE NELSON, MERLE HAGGARD & KRIS KRISTOFFERSON
Sat Apr 4, 2015

WinStar World Casino and Resort

777 Casino Ave.
Thackerville, OK 73459
1-800-622-6317

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Wednesday, December 3rd, 2014

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