"Sunday Morning Coming Down"
Kristofferson wrote "Sunday Morning Coming Down," but Ray Stevens recorded it first -- one of the first times that Kristofferson heard someone else singing his material.
“At the time Ray cut it, nobody had ever put that much money and effort into one of my songs,” Kristofferson tells The Boot. “He’s a wonderful singer. The first time I heard it, I had to leave the publishing house. I went out and sat on the steps and wept. Of course, the record company didn’t want him to put it out and go in that direction, because he was having success with those novelty songs at the time he cut it."
Of course, Cash also recorded "Sunday Morning Coming Down," taking it all the way to the top of the charts and changing the entire trajectory of Kristofferson's career.
“Up until, like, 1969 … until the time that John had that TV show [The Johnny Cash Show], I didn’t have any real success you could point at with my songs,” Kristofferson says. “After he recorded "Sunday Morning Coming Down," it was like a flood gate opened. All of a sudden I’m recording and doing films, and everybody is doing my songs.”