Don't mistake me for someone who knows things. A few years back a friend of mine held a film premier at the GFT and invited me along. As we were going to our seats he said, "Ricky, you know Kris Kristofferson don't you?" I realised at this point that we were to sit next to the great man and his wife. Fortunately it was a film; the lights went out and we said hello quickly then a polite goodbye a couple of hours later.
I tell you this because I didn't really know Kris Kristofferson's work and right up to that point the best use of his name occurred in John Byrne's wonderful 'Still Life.' (I'll leave you to find that one). That all changed a few years ago when my friend Roddy Hart asked me along to see his show at The Royal Concert Hall supprorting the great man. What I hadn't fully recognised was the depth of Kris's songs, how intrinsic they were to the Scottish DNA and how much he was loved by the people of Glasgow. That night and last month he played without his band and, whenever someone would shout for a particularly massive song, reply. "If I do that the night will be over." Nobody wanted that. When he got to the end of the final chorus he would let the song trail off and announce its completion by offering a dusty, "Thank you very much," triggering wild applause. It was magical. I told everyone to go and see it so I had to go back myself.
Ricky Ross with Kris Kristofferson
This time the blessed Roddy arranged for me to meet up and invite him to be our special guest on Another Country. In the end I must have spent 45 minutes with Kris Kristofferson and decided we didn't have time to talk about Michael Cimino, Barbra Streisand or Waylon Jennings. We skipped over the army years and we didn't spend time talking about the Rhodes scholarship to Oxford. However we did talk about his friend John Cash, his being there at the birth of some of the great Dylan recordings and some of the wonderful covers of his many great songs. If you need to be reminded about the impact of some of these then you might want to to listen to Glen Campbell, Gladys Knight or Elvis Presley...oh yeah, sorry...that's just ONE song! If you want some more names....Perry Como, Willie Nelson....Al Green! There's so much more....... But you can hear all of that Friday night from 8pm on BBC Radio Scotland. In part 2 of the show you will get another chance to hear the interview I did with the man who gave the name to Kris's supergroup, The Highwaymen, Jimmy Webb which was first broadcast on January 1st. We also have an exclusive session from Jimmy and his family recorded when he visited Scotland last year.