and gave him a song.
Kris was a helicopter pilot. He flew in Vietnam. He came back to the states and chased after a dream of making music. He even moved to Nashville where he had the glorious job of sweeping up the floors at a then-well known publication called “The Music City News.”
The janitor who worked at the country music trade publication played music when it could, saved a dollar or two here and there, and rented a helicopter.
The way I heard the story, Kris wrote a song with Johnny Cash in mind. But he was a nobody. He was less than a nobody. He wasn’t anybody John R. Cash’s people would’ve let in their office door. So how to get the song to the man in black? The answer? Deliver it personally.
I read Cash’s biography several years ago. They went on to make a movie based on that book. Maybe you saw “I walk the line.”
The part about the janitor in the helicopter didn’t make it into the movie, but it still makes for an epic story.
Kris landed the helicopter in Cash’s yard at his place on Hickory Lake outside of Nashville. Got out of the chopper and greeted the puzzled singer with a gentleman’s introduction, a handshake, and handed him a reel-to-reel with his version of “Sunday Morning Coming Down.”
The rest they say…
Why I thought to tell the story, I don’t know. I thought about Kris and his life’s adventures after seeing a link of his one-time girlfriend, Janis Joplin. She was performing his song “Me and Bobby McGee” which is probably the only one of a handful of songs that I know every word.