1970s1980sAustinAustin City LimitsMusic

Live at ACL Jerry Jeff Walker – I’m The First One to Go & Pick Up Tempo & Comfort and Crazy

DOG ASIDE:

Jerry Jeff Walker (born Ronald Clyde Crosby on March 16, 1942 in Oneonta, New York) is an American country music singer and songwriter. Best known for writing the song “Mr. Bojangles”….Walker’s prolific music career and widespread musical influence have made him an iconic fixture of the Texas country music scene.  He settled in Austin, Texas in the 1970’s 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.

Walker’s “Mr. Bojangles” is perhaps his most well-known and most-often covered song….it was about an obscure alcoholic but talented tap-dancing drifter who when arrested and jailed in New Orleans…..insisted on being identified only as Bojangles (the nickname of famed dancer Bill Robinson).  Bojangles is thought to have been a folk character who entertained informally in the south of the US and California….with authentic reports of him existing from the 1920’s through about 1965.  Artists from Neil Diamond to Nina Simone, Bob Dylan, Philip Glass, Bobby Cole, David Bromberg, Tom T. Hall, Jim Stafford, Sammy Davis Jr., Lulu (New Routes), Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, Harry Belafonte and Robbie Williams, have covered the song. 

Jerry Jeff has an annual birthday celebration bash in Austin, Texas at the Paramount Theatre and at Gruene Hall in Gruene, Texas. This party has become an enormous event in Texas and brings some of the biggest names in country music out for a night of picking and swapping stories under the Austin skyline. Jimmy Buffett attended the 2004 Birthday bash….and his son Django also often accompanies him at these parties.  Any way you cut the pie….Jerry Jeff Walker is a beloved Austin music icon.

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