Legendary country star Jerry Jeff Walker has passed away at the age of 78.
The singer-songwriter, who wrote hit Mr. Bojangles in the late 1960s, passed away on Friday. CNY News reported.
He fought throat cancer three years ago and went on to write the 2018 album It’s About Time.
Legend: Country icon Jerry Jeff Walker, who wrote Mr. Bojangles, died aged 78 on Friday
Born Ronald Clyde Crosby, Walker grew up in a musical family in Oneonta, New York and got his start on the Greenwich Village folk scene in the 1960s.
The singer was inspired to join Mr. Bojangles, one of the most iconic country / pop songs ever written, after spending time in a drunken tank with a New Orleans street performer.
It became his signature song and it was covered by many artists over the years, including Sammy Davis Jr., Bob Dylan and Neil Diamond.
In the 1970s he moved to Texas, where he married his manager Susan in 1974 and became part of the outlaw country scene.
Jerry had been singing in a Oneonta band called The Tones since his teens, which embarked on a botched audition for American Bandstand.
He split into one Live Nation interview that he ‘couldn’t wait to get going’ and escape his sleepy early life in a small town.
“As a friend of mine said, the first morning after I graduated I got up early the morning after graduation,” he said, laughing. “I was ready to get started!”
After a brief stint in the National Guard when he had just graduated from high school, he became a traveling musician across the United States.
He eventually established himself on the Greenwich Village music scene of the 1960s and recorded the album Mr. Bojangles with the iconic song of the same name.
Jerry also became a legendary party animal known as the ‘Rowdy Raconteur’ and at one point joked that ‘I personally drove half of my fans home’.
He lived much of his life in Austin, narrator The next waltz a few years ago: ‘The reason I’m staying here is because of my wife. She’s as happy as she can be. She has the home she wanted in Austin. My kids like it too, so I’m a little bit there. ‘
Jerry, whose best-known albums include Viva Terlingua,
He is survived by Susan and their children – daughter Jessie Jane and son and fellow musician Django Walker.
His death brought a torrent of tribute on social media, including from Tom Arnold, who shared a funny anecdote.
Jerry Jeff Walker passed. Great songwriter, soulful voice, respected by peers, and funny. 30 years ago, Roseanne wanted to sing Mr. Bojangles in an HBO Special. They said no, that wouldn’t respect Jerry. I called Jerry and he said he wrote ‘Piss in the wind’ too, so why not, ”he said.
Music critic Stephen Thomas Erlewine wrote on his own Twitter page: “Farewell to Jerry Jeff Walker, author of the 70s standard” Mr. Bojangles “and a trailblazing Texas country outlaw whose 1973 LP Viva Terlingua is a classic. I also love his rowdy 1989 single “Trashy Women”. “
RIP Jerry Jeff Walker. Live forever …. #RIP #jerryjeffwalker #mrbojangles #americansongwriter #liveforever #vivaterlingua #gonzo #troubadour, ‘wrote country singer Dallas Moore on his social media.