Kris Kristofferson wrote Why Me in 1972. Did Elvis record Why Me …?
Why Me became one of, if not THE most popular song that Kris ever wrote & recorded. It was covered by many artists, Connie Smith, George Jones, David Allen Coe, Cliff Richards, Merle Haggard, Conway Twitty, Johnny Cash, every country singer with a YouTube Channel – & Elvis Presley, too.
Elvis included the song in concerts from January 1974 & continued doing so for the rest of his life. He habitually introduced it as one of his favourite songs, & released it on a number of his albums.
What an honour – There was nobody more famous than Elvis at the time. Many people heard Elvis’ version before they ever heard Kris’ own.
Kris & Elvis
Kris Kristofferson was an Elvis fan. This is well documented. How, then – Could it be true?
Did Elvis Record Why Me – ? Kris thought not
I couldn’t believe my own ears earlier tonight. I was listening to Kris being interviewed by an Australian radio station. I couldn’t see the date, but Kris’ movie, the Jacket being described as his upcoming movie dates the interview itself to 2004 /5.
Kris is asked when he first heard Elvis sing Why Me (which Presley cut as Why Me, Lord), & he replies,
- I never did hear him (Elvis) sing it
- I knew he cut Billy Swan’s song I can Help but I never knew he cut Why Me.
Kris had never heard Elvis sing Why Me – Not live NOR even on record – At least not before 2004 / 2005
I am sure that Kris has since had the pleasure of hearing Elvis sing the song. I’m not sure why it even matters that much. Maybe it’s just been a long time since I heard something so very unexpected.
It makes me happy to ponder on how Kris Kristofferson might have felt hearing Elvis’ amazing rendition of such a well-loved song for the first time ever – so many years after the King had left us. The hairs on my arm stand up.
It is so easy for us (or maybe just me?) to forget that the most talented, iconic & successful people in the world often work a lot harder than we would think possible. The focus & dedication required to follow through on tours, plans, demands & commitments must require a lot of filtering & prioritising. Then there’s the actual art of penning experiences, thoughts & emotion into songs that make sense to others. WOW.
The most brilliant & talented people are people, after all. Their humanity is the biggest part of what makes them so special.
Unsure why, but I felt the strongest urge to make Kris a cuppa & just talk about gardening, or the weather.
If you hadn’t heard it either, have a listen. There is no mistaking Kris’ great capacity to laugh about himself, & to carry on taking care of the business of life, love & creativity.
Due to copyright respect, I have to post the link. When it opens, look for the play button in the middle of the main screen where it says:
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