It's often misinterpreted as Kristofferson's love song to Joplin, because her bluesy rendition has overshadowed all other versions. She recorded the song right before her death in and it topped the U. McKee, whose last name is now Eden, was a year-old working as Bryant's secretary and went by the nickname Bobbie. I think you're coming to see Bobbie,'" Foster said. Kristofferson was one of Foster's newest hires, a Texas-born athlete and Army veteran who loved William Blake. He had been trying to break through as a songwriter, even working as a janitor in a Music Row recording studio. After hearing some of his songs, Foster said he would only hire Kristofferson as a songwriter if he also signed a record deal. In , Foster called up Kristofferson with the song title idea with the hook that Bobby was a woman.
Forty-five years after Janis Joplin posthumously took the song to No. Newswire reports that producer Fred Foster has confirmed the story behind the song, which started when Foster's friend, songwriter Boudleaux Bryant, teased him that he only visited Bryant's offices to see his secretary, Barbara "Bobby" McKee. Inspired by the wisecrack, Foster approached Kristofferson, then a young songwriter on his roster. As Performing Songwriter detailed in a article, Foster pitched the idea for a song he titled "Me and Bobby McKee" — with the twist in the hook, of course, being that the "Bobby" in question was female. Although he had doubts he'd be able to put together a song on assignment, Kristofferson delivered, adding a few touches of his own including softening "McKee" to "McGee" , and the rest was history. Originally released by Roger Miller in , "Me and Bobby McGee" proved a popular cover choice for a number of artists — including Joplin, who cut a version for her Pearl LP shortly before her death in late Foster was welcomed into the Hall by singer Vince Gill , who offered a tribute to the beloved producer and label founder with a combination of humor and respect.
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Fred Foster shares the writing credit, as Kristofferson intended. A posthumously released version by Janis Joplin topped the U. Jerry Lee Lewis also released a version reaching number 1 on the country charts in Billboard ranked Joplin's version as the No. The suggestion for the title came from producer and Monument Records founder Fred Foster. The song is the story of two drifters, the narrator and Bobby McGee. The couple hitch a ride from a truck driver and sing as they drive through the American South. They visit California and then part ways, with the song's narrator expressing sadness afterwards. Due to the singer's name never being mentioned and the name "Bobby" being gender neutral, the song has been recorded by both male and female singers with only minor differences in the lyrical content. Roger Miller was the first artist to record the song and it appeared at No.