The enduringly popular singer-songwriter passed away Friday in Austin, but his music lives on.
Jerry Jeff Walker, the cult-fave country music singer-songwriter who managed to become a legend without ever scoring a Top 40 hit, passed away Friday at age 78 at a hospital in Austin, Texas. Arguably, his greatest claim to fame was writing “Mr. Bojangles,” the lyrically melancholy standard recorded by such diverse artists as The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, Nina Simone, Sammy Davis Jr. and Walker himself. But he also helped call early attention to Texas singer-songwriter Guy Clark with definitive recordings of Clark’s “L.A. Freeway” and “Desperados Waiting for a Train,” and later, as writer Bill Friskics-Warren duly noted in an admiring New York Times obituary, “became a mainstay of the Texas outlaw movement that catapulted Willie Nelson and Waylon Jennings to fame.”
So we’re raising a beer to toast one of favorite “redneck mothers,” and listening to some of our favorite Jerry Jeff Walker music.