Country Throwback: Kris Kristofferson Stuns Crowd at First-Ever Farm Aid in 1985

by Atlanta Northcutt

Kris Kristofferson puts on an epic performance of one of his most legendary songs at the inaugural Farm Aid.

When he begins playing “Me and Bobby McGee,” the crowd begins to excitedly clap, hoot, and holler.

“Me and Bobby McGee”

The classic is notoriously covered by Janis Joplin. Her rendition is softer and slower while Kristofferson’s impressive guitar skills and rocking sound flawlessly flows to the 80,000 fans in the crowd.

On September 22, 1985, the first Farm Aid took place in Champagn, Illinois. The concert benefits farmers and is led by Willie Nelson, Neil Young, and John Mellencamp. The great Bob Dylan was the one who got the wheels turning for Farm Aid.

Since Kristofferson actively supports chosen causes, including immigrant and farmers’ rights, the concert is a perfect gig since that is what Farm Aid is all about.

Kris Kristofferson Delivers an Amazing Performace

He gave fans a taste of the classic song, but then introduced the crowd to his newest 1986 album Repossessed. The singer treats the crowd with all-new material that hadn’t even been released.

Kristofferson’s setlist included brand new songs such as “El Coyote” and “They Killed Him.” Kristofferson’s lyricism typically has a deeper meaning. “They Killed Him” is a perfect representation of his talented writing skills. The song honors Martin Luther King Jr., Gandhi, and other forms of activists whose lives were taken while peacefully fighting for their rights.

Bob Dylan, who also performed at the 1985 Farm Aid, enjoyed “They Killed Him” so much that he added it to his 1986 album Knocked Out Loaded

Kris dedicated the beautiful acoustic version of “Shipwrecked in the 80s” to all of the farmers and veterans. The talented musician ends the song by saying “God bless you all.”

Kristofferson’s Setlist for the First Farm Aid

Get ready to rock while listening to the talented Kristofferson’s “Me and Bobby McGee” at the first-ever Farm Aid.