Texan gonzo musician Jerry Jeff Walker dies at 78


Jerry Jeff Walker, the vagabond gonzo musician known as one of the founding fathers of modern Texas country music, has died, according to several music sources close to the singer. While Walker was familiar to the Texans as the supplier of Lukenbach’s sound, he was known more widely as the author of the 1968 song, “Mr. Bojangles,” a tune he wrote after meeting a homeless street performer while in a prison cell in the New Orleans for public intoxication.He was born Ronald Clyde Crosby in Oneonta, New York on March 16, 1942 and began playing music in the area as a teenager. He left home to travel the country in the 1960s and spent time in Greenwich Village and Key West, Florida, New York, before migrating and settling in the Austin area in 1971, a region with which he became most widely associated, as the capital of live music began. to earn his reputation.He recorded mainstream country music albums for MCA and Elektra before embarking on his own indie label, Tried & True Music, according to his bio. The label and the business enterprise were run by his wife, Susan.

Known for tunes like his, “Gettin ‘By”, “Sangria Wine” and “Up Against The Wall, Redneck Mother” by Ray Wylie Hubbard, were followed by ballads like “Mr. Bojangles ”and Gary P Nunn’s,“ London Homesick Blues ”.
In 2018, American writer Peter Blackstock, Austin American Statesman, said Walker may have written more about the country’s social scene in the 1970s than previously thought.

“Jerry Jeff Walker, the notorious rowdy storyteller who left in his wake a thousand beer-drinking, hard-partyin ‘imitators in honky-tonk truck stops all over Texas, writing social conscience songs?” It’s not much of a stretch, in the end, ”Blackstock wrote.

While Walker was known for his songs, his associations with other musicians were perhaps as epic as his reporter.

He was credited with giving singer-songwriter Guy Clark his big chance by recording “LA Freeway” and “That Old Time Feeling,” Blackstock wrote.

Parrott’s heads everywhere can have Jerry Jeff to thank for Jimmy Buffett’s long-standing association with Key West and the sound of Margaritaville. Buffett recently recalled how his association with Walker led to his relocation to the Keys.

“Jerry Jeff was kind enough to welcome me and let me live with him for a while,” Buffett said. “I worked part-time in an auto repair shop, working on his car, and then when the car was fixed, we went to Key West.

Michael Martin Murphy and Gary P. Nunn also pursued successful solo careers following their stint in the Walker Lost Gonzo Band.

Walker was diagnosed with throat cancer in 2017, but continued to work on songs and projects throughout his battle with the disease.

He is survived by his wife, Susan, his son, Django, and a daughter, Jessie Jane.

Jerry Jeff Walker was 78 years old.

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