If you're going to hire Kris Kristofferson to star in your eight-hour miniseries about the dawn of the Texas republic, it stands to reason that you'd also ask him to record a song for the soundtrack.

The 78-year-old singer-songwriter legend plays President Andrew Jackson in the History Channel's upcoming Texas Rising event, which will dramatize the 1830s war between Texas and Mexico over 10 hours, spread out across five nights starting Memorial Day. But the show's kept him busy behind the scenes, too — he also covered Tom Petty's "I Won't Back Down" for the first trailer, which you can watch above.

According to Rolling Stone, Kristofferson's sparse take on Petty's hit is one of several newly recorded numbers on the Texas Rising soundtrack, which reportedly also includes songs from George Strait and José Feliciano.

Kristofferson, who stars alongside a cast that includes Bill Paxton and Ray Liotta, was a huge casting coup for executive producer Leslie Greif, who told Variety, "This iconic story and role really needed an American who is able to command the screen and captivate audiences. For me Kris was an obvious choice, there aren’t too many actors that are able to embody this character and the stature, strength and liberty to play the part. ... When I announced to the cast and crew that we got Kris, the set erupted in loud cheers and everyone was yelling, ‘Yee-haw!' We are blessed and thrilled that he enthusiastically jumped on board."

For more information on the series, visit the Texas Rising page at the History Channel's website. Check out Petty's original version of "I Won't Back Down" below.

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