06 November 2020

Jerry Jeff Walker

Thanks to Des Butler for this sad news:

The death has occurred on 23 Oct. at 78 years of age of Jerry Jeff Walker (right) from throat cancer. Jerry was probably best known for his writing of the song 'Mr Bojangles' which went on to be recorded by many artists from many genres of music - the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, Bob Dylan, Nina Simone, and Sammy Davis Junior, to name but a few. Jerry had it on his first album and it is said that his inspiration for the song came from a time he was on the road busking and wound up in a New Orleans jail cell for public inebriation. His cellmate was a homeless man who called himself 'Mr Bojangles' to conceal his true identity from the police.

The real Bojangles was Bill 'Bojangles' Robinson (born Luther Robinson; 25 May 1878–25 Nov. 1949), an American tap dancer, actor, and singer, the best known and the most highly paid black American entertainer in America during the first half of the twentieth century.

Jerry, born in NY, cut his teeth on the folk scene coming out of Greenwich Village at the time. He then moved to Austin, TX, and joined the country 'outlaw' sound coming via the songs of Waylon Jennings, Willie Nelson, and Billy Joe Shaver etc. He released thirty-eight albums, sang with Guy Clark, and covered songs by Townes Van Zant, Rodney Crowell, and Paul Siebel, to name a few.

Jerry Jeff Walker 1942-2020 RIP

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