Seventy eight year old Texan country singer and songwriter Jerry Jeff Walker passed away on Friday, October 23, 2020. He wrote the famous pop song “Mr. Bojangles.” He began his musical journey at Greenwich Village in New York in the sixties. He was one of the founders of Circus Maximus, a popular band. He moved to Texas in the seventies and scored a few hits including his version of the popular song “L. A. Freeway” by Guy Clark. Another album, “Viva Terlingua” recorded live with the Lost Gonzo band in 1973 became a country-rock scene Texan classic. In 1986 he started an independent music label called “Tried & True Music”. He released several albums under this label.
In 2017, he was diagnosed with throat cancer. It was also announced that he had given over 100 boxes of his music archives to become a part of the Whittliff Collection that is kept at Texas State University. His collection included tapes, handwritten lyrics, photographs and artifacts. When undergoing chemo therapy and radiation in 2018, he told the Austin American Statesman, “I guess I took my singing for granted and now I don’t.”
I was saddened to hear about the passing of Jerry Jeff Walker. I’ll never forget seeing him at the Armadillo music hall in Austin in 1972, or his performance for my 1992 campaign the night before Election Day. He was a true original, and his music will live on.
— Bill Clinton (@BillClinton) October 24, 2020
He is survived by his wife, son and daughter.
Photo Credit Jerry Jeff Walker