John Denver, Janis Joplin, Kris Kristofferson

Celebrities, Celebrity Q&A, People
on March 28, 2004

My friend and I have a little bet going about John Denver and the date he passed away. I say it was after 2000 and he says before. Also, I say Kris Kristofferson wrote and sang Me And Bobby McGee and he says Janis Joplin did it first. Could you help us out with this? Somebody is going to have to do 100 pushups.

—Edward T., Texas

How about 50 push-ups each? You’re both right and wrong. John Denver, the singer known for such hits as Take Me Home Country Roads and Rocky Mountain High, died in 1997 at age 53 when the small plane he was piloting crashed in Monterey Bay, Calif. That’s one correct answer for your friend, but you’ve got the right history on Me and Bobby McGee. Kris Kristofferson wrote the song, which was a country hit for Roger Miller in 1969, and included it on his 1970 debut album, Kristofferson. Janis Joplin recorded it for her 1971 album, Pearl. It was her only No. 1 song, but she died from a drug overdose before she got to see that success.