Singer Jerry Jeff Walker, best known for writing the classic “Mr. Bojangles,” died Friday at the age of 78 after a battle with cancer.
Jerry was a founding member of the band Circus Maxiums in the 60s. He moved to Texas in the early 70s, where he helped shape the music scene, and is considered a pioneer of the “cosmic cowboy” sound.
According to the story, he wrote “Mr. Bojangles” after meeting a dancer in a New Orlenans drunk tank. It was the title track to his 1968 album, but became a pop hit when The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band covered it in 1971, and has since been covered by several artists, including Bob Dylan, Dolly Parton, Sammy Davis Jr. and more.
His classic live album, “Viva Terlingua.” is revered by artists of his genre. It was recorded live in a dance hall in Luckenbach, Texas, and features such songs as “Sangria Wine” and “Wheel,” as well as Gary P. Nunn’s “London Homesick Blues” and Ray Wylie Hubbard’s “Up Against the Wall, Redneck Mother.”