This #1 Country hit was written by the songwriter and actor Kris Kristofferson. As the story goes, Kristofferson was sweeping floors and emptying ashtrays at Columbia Records in Nashville before scoring big with this, as well as a series of other songs, which included "Me And Bobby McGee
" (a #1 hit and an enduring rock classic for the late Janis Joplin), "Sunday Mornin' Comin' Down," "For the Good Times," and "Loving Her Was Easier (Than Anything I'll Ever Do Again)." Kristofferson was a Golden Gloves boxer, a Phi Beta Kappa college graduate, and a Rhodes Scholar who spent time at Oxford University in England before becoming a commercial helicopter pilot. But his first love was country songwriting. He turned down a teaching position at West Point to work as a janitor at Columbia, trying to break into the music business. Break in he indeed did. But it took some persistence and theatrics. For example, he is said to have landed a helicopter in Johnny Cash's yard to get the famous Country singer's attention so he could hand over some demo tapes of his original songs. Persistence and unconventional tactics paid off handsomely for the multi-talented Kristofferson.