Thereafter started an incredible performing career as a singer, songwriter and actor after he moved to Nashville initially as a janitor at the Columbia Records office in Nashville and caught the attention of Johnny Cash by landing a helicopter in his backyard. He had many hits as a songwriter and his songs were performed by many leading musicians. He won a Golden Globe as an actor in the film "A Star is Born" opposite Barbara Streisand.
For me, his great song "Me and Bobby McGee" will always remain his signature track. It has been made famous by several great performers like Johnny Cash and Janis Joplin (who dated Kristofferson until her death in 1970) but his own version below is my personal favorite. Listening to the line "Well I'd trade all my tomorrows for a single yesterday" still sends tingles down my spine. This line with its expression of an aching desire to relive the past even for a single day and the desperate longing to recover or perhaps redo what has already happened is a powefully tragic motif in art. The past, to me, is infinitely more fascinating than the future and nobody has better articulated my feelings on this than the great German writer W.G. Sebald. (If you have not read any Sebald I would highly recommend reading "The Emigrants"). Sebald said:
"It's that sensation, if you turn the opera glass around----Curiously, although its further removed, the image seems much more precise. It's like looking down a well shaft. Looking in the past has always given me that vertiginous sense. It's the desire, almost, or the temptation that you might throw yourself into it, as it were, over the parapets and down. There is something terribly alluring to me about the past. I'm hardly interested in the future. I don't think it will hold many good things. But at least about the past you can have certain illusions."Here's "Me and Bobby McGee":