Nearly five decades since its version by Janis Joplin topped the U.S. singles chart, the song “Me and Bobby McGee” remains as popular as ever. For some, it evokes of a time when days were more straightforward and more relaxing. For others, it told of a period of unique lyricism and musical style.
But what do you know about the song? Do you know there are a lot of useful and entertaining tidbits of trivia about this soul and blues classic?
If you are a fan of the song, an admirer of Janis Joplin, or just plain music buff, here are top thirty fun facts that you may not know about “Me and Bobby McGee.”
A Well-loved Cover
Written by Kris Kristofferson and Fred Foster, Roger Miller initially sings “Me and Bobby McGee.” Later, other performers made their versions of the song, including Kristofferson himself and the Grateful Dead, which regularly made a cover of the song from 1971 to 1974.
In 1969, Miller’s version peaked at number 12 on the country’s country chart.
The next year, Gordon Lightfoot’s cover of the song landed number 13 on the U.S. Pop Chart. It even became the top country song in Canada, his native country, that year. The song was also considered a top 10 song in South Africa the next year.
However, the song became much more popular when Joplin’s version of the song became number one in the singles chart in the United States in 1971.
What made Joplin’s version became more unique was that the cover topped the charts after her death. This song became the only second posthumous single that topped in the history of U.S. charts. The first one was Otis Redding’s “(Sittin’ On) The Dock of the Bay.”
Kristofferson previously said the song was not written for Joplin, but the truth of the matter is, the song has become associated with the legendary singer.
Joplin’s version became the country singer’s only number one single. Fast forward to 2004; Rolling Stone ranked Joplin’s version at 148 in its “500 Greatest Songs of All Time” list.