Popular American country music singer and songwriter who is best known for writing “Mr Bojangles“, Jerry Jeff Walker has passed away. The legendary singer was reported to have died today at the age of 78. Circumstances surrounding his death was not made known to the public as at the time of filing this report.
As Posted On His Facebook Page
He wrote “Mr. Bojangles” after getting arrested in New Orleans and being tossed by NOLA police into a “drunk tank.”
Mr. Walker was once an Atlanta Falcons fan, a friend of former head coach Jerry Glanville, and a legendary country outlaw who often travelled with the team and performed in the hotel before a few players, a few coaches and an occasional media guy (me).
Mr. Walker was friendly and approachable. He would play his stuff, as well as Kristofferson, Waylon, Willie and some Charley Pride.
During the Glanville era, we reporters were more foe than a friend—but Mr Walker was cool.
He lived in Austin for years.
The Austin Statesman: “Jerry Jeff Walker, the notorious rowdy raconteur who left a thousand beer-drinking’, hard-partying’ imitators at honky-tonk roadhouses all across Texas in his wake, penning songs of social consciousness? It’s not really all that far-fetched, as it turns out.”
Mr. Walker was a poet, like John Prine, Kristofferson or his long time Austin friend Willie Nelson.
Born Ronald Crosby—he began as a folk singer and was heavily influenced by the Kingston Trio and Bob Dylan.
At the time of his death, Jerry Jeff’s work was still relevant and appreciated—a country music outlaw who was married to the same woman for almost 50 years.
Jerry Jeff Walker spent his early folk music days in Greenwich Village in the mid-1960s. He co-founded a band with Bob Bruno in the late-1960s called Circus Maximus that put out two albums, one with the popular FM radio hit “Wind”, but Bruno’s interest in jazz apparently diverged from Walker’s interest in folk music.
Walker thus resumed his solo career and recorded the seminal album Mr. Bojangles with the help of David Bromberg and other influential Atlantic recording artists. He settled in Austin, Texas, in the 1970s, associating mainly with the outlaw country scene that included artists such as Michael Martin Murphey, Willie Nelson, Guy Clark, Waylon Jennings, and Townes Van Zandt.