Outlaw Country Icon Kris Kristofferson Performs at the Tobin on Saturday



You might say Brownsville-born singer-songwriter-every-other-damn-thing Kris Kristofferson put the “outlaw” in “outlaw country” by portraying both Billy the Kid and Jesse James on screen, but the biographies of those notorious ne’er-do-wells pale in comparison to Kristofferson’s own in every category except body count. Neither gunslinger, for example, ever landed a helicopter in Johnny Cash’s yard. Don’t try this at your own idols’ homes, kids, unless you too are an Army-trained helicopter pilot hawking a song like “Sunday Mornin’ Coming Down,” which Cash – who’d formerly been ignoring Kristofferson’s demo – took to the top of the charts in 1970, in an unbelievable chain of events Kristofferson told NPR “allowed me to quit working for a living.” The former Golden Gloves boxer and Oxford-educated Rhodes Scholar was working as a janitor at Columbia Records, but after Cash’s “Sunday Mornin’,” Ray Price (“For the Good Times”), Sammi Smith (“Help Me Make It Through the Night”) and Janis freaking Joplin (“Me and Bobby McGee”) also took Kristofferson’s songs to No. 1, and everyone from Elvis Presley to Jennifer Love Hewitt has tried to do the same, ensuring the only things the music industry will ever ask Kristofferson to pick up again are royalty checks and lifetime-achievement awards. $34.75-$54.75, 8pm Sat, Oct. 8, Tobin Center for the Performing Arts, 100 Auditorium Circle, (210) 223-8624, tobincenter.org