Jerry Jeff Walker Dies: Songwriter For ‘Mr. Bojangles’ Was 78

Bruce Haring
·1 min read

Jerry Jeff Walker, a Texas favorite country singer who crossed over to the pop charts by writing the hit Mr. Bojangles, has died at age 78. He had cancer, according to family spokesman John T. Davis.

“He had battled throat cancer for many years, and some other health issues,” Davis said Saturday.

Walker came out of New York’s Greenwich Village folk scene in the 1960s, where he became a founding member of the band Circus Maximus. He moved to Texas in the 1970s and had a hit in 1972 with his version of the Guy Clark song, L.A. Freeway.

In 1973, Walker and the Lost Gonzo Band recorded a live album in Texas called Viva Terlingua that became a classic of the country-rock scene. He went on to release more than 30 albums, including on his own Tried & True independent label.

Walker revealed his throat cancer in a 2017 interview. “I guess I took my singing for granted, and now I don’t,” he told the newspaper. .

Walker’s survivors include his wife, Susan, son, Django, and daughter, Jessie Jane.

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