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snopes 07 August 2007 11:22 PM

How Kris Kristofferson got his start
We kicked this story around a bit on the old board:


Rumor: A young and unknown Kris Kristofferson, piloting a
helicopter, landed in Johnny Cash's yard and delivered some of his songs
to Cash. Johnny Cash was so impressed with the songs and the gumption of
Kris that he helped Kristofferson break into the music business. True or
I'm a little puzzled because this story only seems to pop up in isolation -- I've gone through a fair bit of material (including several [auto]biographies of Johnny Cash) and found no reference to it. It's clear that secondary elements of the story are exaggerated (e.g., Kristofferson was already a fairly successful songwriter in his own right even before Cash covered his "Sunday Morning Coming Down"), but you'd think a guy landing a National Guard helicopter on someone's lawn to get his attention would rate at least a mention by Cash or one of his biographers.

- snopes

RingKeeper 07 August 2007 11:37 PM

I heard a version in which Johnny Cash was asked if it was true and he said that Kristofferson landing in the helicopter wasn't what impressed him. What impressed him was that he didn't spill his beer.

ganzfeld 08 August 2007 04:33 AM

Long ago I heard the story that Kristofferson was working as a janitor at a record company and presented some songs to a producer who said, "You didn't write these songs." Kristofferson insisted that he did so the producer said, "Okay, write me a song called Me and Bobbie McGee" and that's how Kristofferson got his start.

Neither story seems to be supported by any evidence, except that apparently he did work as a janitor for a record label and he was once a helicopter pilot.

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