|"Me and Bobby McGee"|
|Single by Janis Joplin|
|from the album Pearl|
|Released||January 12, 1971|
|Recorded||September 5 – October 1, 1970|
|Genre||Blues rock, country rock|
|Length||4:09 (Single version)|
4:28 (LP version)
|Songwriter(s)||Kris Kristofferson, Fred Foster|
|Producer(s)||Paul A. Rothchild|
|"Me and Bobby McGee" on YouTube|
"Me and Bobby McGee" is a song written by American singer-songwriter Kris Kristofferson and originally performed by Roger Miller. Fred Foster shares the writing credit, as Kristofferson wrote the song based on a suggestion from Foster.  A posthumously released version by Janis Joplin topped the U.S. singles chart in 1971, making the song the second posthumously released No. 1 single in U.S. chart history after " (Sittin' On) The Dock of the Bay" by Otis Redding. Gordon Lightfoot released a version that reached number 1 on the Canadian country charts in 1970. Jerry Lee Lewis released a version that was number 1 on the country charts in December 1971/January 1972 as the "B" side of "Would You Take Another Chance On Me." Billboard ranked Joplin's version as the No. 11 song for 1971.
The suggestion for the title was a cordial challenge from producer and Monument Records founder Fred Foster to Kris Kristofferson. The titular character was named for a studio secretary, Barbara "Bobbie" McKee, but Kristofferson had misheard her surname. He explained that he was trying to convey the despair of the last scene of Federico Fellini’s La Strada in which a broken, war-torn, inebriated man (played by Anthony Quinn) stares up from the beach at the night's stars, and breaks down sobbing. 
The song is the story of two drifters, the narrator and Bobby McGee. The pair hitch a ride from a truck driver and sing as they drive through the American South before making their way westward to California. 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 (especially in America), 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 (in May 1969), and it appeared at No. 12 on the U.S. country chart in 1969.  Kenny Rogers and The First Edition recorded the song in May/June 1969, and released it on their album Ruby, Don't Take Your Love To Town in 1969. On the Canadian charts, Gordon Lightfoot's version (recorded in November 1969) hit No. 13 on the pop music chart and No. 1 on the country music chart in 1970. The song was included on the 1970 Statler Brothers album Bed of Rose's, but was not released as a single.
Kris Kristofferson recorded his own version of the song on his debut album Kristofferson in 1970. Later that year, his version of the song appeared in Monte Hellman's psychedelic road movie Two-Lane Blacktop. Kristofferson also appears briefly singing the song in the 1971 Dennis Hopper film The Last Movie.
Janis Joplin recorded the song for inclusion on her Pearl album only a few days before her death in October 1970. Kris Kristofferson had sung the song for her, and singer Bob Neuwirth taught it to her. Kris Kristofferson did not know she had recorded the song until after her death. The first time he heard her recording of it was the day after she died.  Janis Joplin's version topped the charts to become her only number one single and was ranked later No. 148 on Rolling Stone's list of the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.
|U.S. Billboard Hot Country Singles ||12|
|U.S. Billboard Bubbling Under Hot 100 ||22|
|Canadian RPM Country Tracks ||3|
|Canada RPM Country Tracks ||1|
|Canada RPM Top Singles ||13|
|South Africa ( Springbok) ||7|
Charley Pride version
Jerry Lee Lewis version
|United States ( RIAA) ||Platinum||1,000,000|
Sales+streaming figures based on certification alone.
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