Jerry Jeff Walker dies at 78
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Jerry Jeff Walker dies at 78

Saturday, October 24, 2020 – Country singer Jerry Jeff Walker, best known for "Mr. Bojangles" and an influential figure in the Austin country scene, died on Friday at 78 of throat cancer.

Walker played folk music before veering into country, settling in Austin and becoming a key figure in the Texas country music scene.

""Other than Willie, Jerry Jeff is the most important musician to happen to Austin, Texas," said Asleep at the Wheel's Ray Benson.

Walker was born Ronald Clyde Crosby in Oneonta, N.Y. on March 16, 1942. During the late 1950s, Crosby was a member of a local teen band, The Tones. After high school, he joined the National Guard, but went AWOL. He ended up busking on the streets in New Orleans, Texas, Florida and New York. He adopted his stage name "Jerry Jeff Walker" in 1966.

Walker played folk music in New York's Greenwich Village in the mid-1960s. He co-founded the band Circus Maximus that released two albums with an FM radio hit "Wind."

Walker soon went solo and recorded "Mr. Bojangles" in 1968, containing the hit song about an alcoholic in a New Orleans jail. walker was in jail himself or public intoxication. He switched gears, moving to Austin in the 1970s, associating mainly with the outlaw country scene that included Willie Nelson, Guy Clark, Waylon Jennings, and Townes Van Zandt.

Walker's 1973 live album "Viva Terlingua!" was considered a key album in the Texas country music scene.

Walker put albums for MCA and Elektra, before starting his own record label, Tried & True Music, in 1986.

Walker recorded songs written by others such as "LA Freeway" (Guy Clark), "Up Against the Wall Red Neck Mother" (Ray Wylie Hubbard) and "London Homesick Blues" (Gary P. Nunn).

Walker had an annual birthday celebration in Austin and at Gruene Hall in Gruene, Texas. Many well-known country acts would attend the celebration.

Walker was diagnosed with throat cancer in 2017.

More news for Jerry Jeff Walker

CD reviews for Jerry Jeff Walker

In the liner notes to this ballad-heavy collection, Jerry Jeff Walker denigrates, in startlingly harsh terms, a 1978 cover he did of I'll Be Your San Antone Rose. Maybe it's just marketing. The earlier album, "Too Old to Change," has been discontinued, while "Moon Child" must make its way in a harsh new music world in which it is only available as a download. Once again, San Antone is the high point - more lush here in a duet with Christine Albert than with a ...
Originally released on Atco in 1969, this reissue shows Jerry Jeff Walker in his pre-Austin era when his sound had more in common with the progressive rock and folk of the time than country. The opening "Help Me Now," as well as "Janet Says" and "About Her Eyes,"recall the mellow side of the Velvet Underground, both lyrically and in Walker'svocal similarity to Lou Reed. "Blues in the Night" and "Dead Men Got No Dreams" display a folk rock influence, while closing track "Born to Dance and Sing" ...
As one of the premier singer/songwriters of progressive country for over three decades, Jerry Jeff Walker's latest collection of primarily remakes is appropiately sub-titled "A Life In Song." With the aid of co-producer Lloyd Maines on steel guitar and dobro and Richard Bowden on fiddle and mandolin Walker revisits some of his favorite tunes from the past, plus a few new compositions. Most cuts are delivered in his familiar country-folk ballad style. "That BeatUp Old Guitar," in which he fondly ...

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