Cayamo Cruise: Kris Kristofferson
Sixthman, a company out of Atlanta, specializes in music cruises, and this one features singer-songwriters. Some of the local people who have appeared on Cayamo include Marc Broussard and Roddie Romero and the Hub City All-Stars.
You probably know that many of your favorite songs were not written by the artists that made the song famous. The Cayamo cruise isn’t about glitz and the glamor, it’s about the heart and soul of those people who write those songs, putting their feelings into words.
According to Wikipedia, Kris Kristofferson’s career in music had a very rough start. After finishing his stint in the Army, he worked odd jobs to try to feed himself while he worked to get his music published. One of those jobs was working for PHI, flying out of Intracoastal City, Louisiana.
… I’d go back to Nashville at the end of the week and spend a week up there trying to pitch the songs, then come back down (to Louisiana) and write songs for another week … I can remember ‘Help Me Make It Through The Night’ I wrote sitting on top of an oil platform. I wrote ‘Bobby McGee’ down here, and a lot of them [in south Louisiana].
Eventually, all of the hard work and helicopter flying paid off: people started to record his songs. Artists including Johnny Cash, Ray Stevens, Faron Young, Jerry Lee Lewis and Roger Miller took notice of his songwriting skills, and his career was off to a good start! (Kris even landed a helicopter in Johnny Cash’s yard, without warning or permission, just to deliver some songs to Cash personally).
Kristofferson’s songwriting skills garnered him awards from the Academy of Country Music, the Country Music Association, and a “Song of the Year” Grammy!
Having had dozens of his songs recorded by huge artists (Waylon Jennings, Ray Price, Willie Nelson and, of course, Janice Joplin) and starring in several movies, Kris most recently appeared on the stages of Cayamo, and seemed to be very humbled by the experience. So many of the (successful) artists on the ship went on and on about how much Kris influenced them, and you could tell that Kris was touched.
In all honesty, I was unaware of just how many hit songs Kristofferson wrote: I was aware of “Me and Bobby McGee“, “Sunday Morning Coming Down“, and “Why Me“, but the rest surprised me. A very talented songwriter, indeed.
During his performances on Cayamo, I noticed that his voice wasn’t very ‘strong’, and I had to ask myself if his guitar was in tune, but his heart and soul shined through (which is what Cayamo is all about).
Here he is, up on the pool deck on the Cayamo cruise, singing his hit song “Sunday Morning Coming Down”.