Though most people connect "Me and Bobby McGee" with Janis Joplin (who sang it soon before her death in 1970), Kristofferson wrote it and Roger Miller initially recorded it in 1969. Kenny Rogers (1969) and Gordon Lightfoot (1970) later recorded it. It has been suggested that Kristofferson wrote the song for Joplin because they had a mutual friend, Bob Dylan.
Kristofferson said in an interview: "I think I wrote it for Janis. But she didn't like it so I gave it to Rogie [Miller]... He liked it so he made some changes and put his own spin on it and that's how it became 'Me and Bobby McGee'."
In addition, Kristofferson said he also wrote a song called "It Makes No Difference If You Write The Words Or Not" which appears on Miller's album That's When Your Heart Starts To Roam.
Kristofferson also mentioned in the same interview that he wrote another song called "Sunday Morning Coming Down" for Joplin but she never recorded it.
Over the years, "Me and Bobby McGee" has become a rock classic. This legendary song, co-written by Kris Kristofferson and Fred Foster, was originally conceived with only a title—inspired by a real person. Foster had a thing for Barbara "Bobbie" McKee, a secretary on Nashville's music row. He would flirt with her, but never actually follow through with any promises. One day, while visiting his friend Kristofferson at his office, he brought along this young girl as a gift for him. She happened to be McKee's daughter.
Kristofferson loved the idea of a father/daughter relationship as a theme in a song, so he decided to go with it. He started writing words to the melody, which at first were simply descriptions of Bobbie. Then he thought of a more poetic way to phrase things, and that's how the song came about.
There are several theories about who Bobby McGee might have been written for. Some say it is about Kristofferson himself, while others think it could be about another musician who died young (like McGee did). But most agree that it is about a real person, who just so happened to be Kristofferson's assistant at the time he wrote the song.
Bobby McGee went on to win two Grammys and reach number one on the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart.
Joplin, Janis "Me and Bobby McGee" by Janis Joplin (1971). Janis Joplin created it, but Kris Kristofferson made it her own when she recorded "Me and Bobby McGee" for her last album, 1971's "Pearl."
Kristofferson wrote the song for his daughter, who was born in January 1969. She died in July 1970 at the age of 7 years and 4 months. The song is about a mother's love for her child no matter how many others she may look after too.
It has been covered by numerous artists including Rita Coolidge, Joan Baez, Delaney & Bonnie, and Linda Ronstadt.
In addition to being listed as one of Janis Joplin's favorite songs, "Me and Bobby McGee" is also one of hers that she performed most often. The song has appeared on all of her live albums except for one (1995's "The Ultimate Collection").
Kristofferson. They met when Janis Joplin moved to Los Angeles in 1968. At the time, Kristofferson was already a famous country singer who had just won the National Academy of Country Music Award for Best New Male Vocalist. He was only 21 years old.
Kris Kristofferson recorded this on his first album, Kristofferson, in 1970. When it became a hit for Joplin a year later, Kristofferson's CD was re-released as Me And Bobby McGee to capitalize on the song's newfound notoriety. This was published following Joplin's death from a heroin overdose.
Me And Bobby McGee reached number one on the country chart and spent two weeks at the top of the pop chart in 1971. The single was also popular in Australia, where it stayed for several months. It has been covered by many musicians, including Jerry Garcia who played it regularly during his final tour in 1995.
She performed at Woodstock and on the Festival Express rail excursion. Joplin has five Billboard Hot 100 songs, including a rendition of Kris Kristofferson's "Me and Bobby McGee," which peaked at number one in March 1971.
Kristofferson would go on to become a famous solo singer and star in many films, but it was Janis Joplin's popular rendition of this song that catapulted his career to new heights. "'Bobby McGee' was the tune that changed my life," he told Performing Songwriter in 2015. "When Janis covered it, it made me feel good. I thought, 'Maybe there's more to singing than just telling stories.' So I decided to try."
Joplin's version of the song is one of the most popular covers of all time, with many people saying they love it because they connect with her pain-free delivery and emotional interpretation of the song.
Kristofferson had already established himself as one of America's most successful country singers when he met Joplin at a party in Hollywood in 1966. She asked him if he wanted to work with her on her album, and although he said no thanks, she kept asking him until he agreed.
The pair worked together to create what would become known as the "San Francisco Sound", which is used to describe the psychedelic music that was popular in California in the late 1960s. This sound was characterized by its use of flute, bass guitar, and psychedelic rock arrangements.