Charlie Louvin (left) and Kris Kristofferson at the Ryman Auditorium, Nashville, Tennessee, January 27, 2010. Photo courtesy of Sonny Louvin.
On May 11, Light In The Attic will release its 50th title, a project that was over five years in the making. Please Don’t Tell Me How The Story Ends: The Publishing Demos 1968-72 is a collection of the early demos of Kris Kristofferson, and our anticipation is ratcheting to levels bordering on mania. The good people at NPR are streaming the album in its entirety, and we highly recommend you stop by their site for a listen. As part of the run-up to the release date, we’re also attempting to put into some context how important a figure Kristofferson is within the framework of modern American music. The above photo is as good a place as any to begin. Charlie Louvin, along with his brother Ira, are country music luminaries. Kristofferson and Charlie Louvin are old friends. At one time in the 1960s, Kristofferson worked as a janitor at Columbia Studios in Nashville, and Louvin would eventually become the first artist to record a Kristofferson-penned song.
In January, the men had a wide-ranging phone conversation, and graciously allowed it to be recorded. The text of the conversation can be found in the latest edition of the Light In the Attic magazine. Below is the recording of their talk, which runs a little over 17 minutes. A special thanks to Mark Maxwell at KPFK in Los Angeles for recording the conversation.