Jerry Jeff Walker, a Texas country singer and songwriter who wrote the pop song “Mr. Bojangles,” has died at age 78.
Walker died Friday of cancer, family spokesman John T. Davis told The Associated Press.
“He had battled throat cancer for many years, and some other health issues,” Davis said Saturday.
JJ & Buffett, 2 old pals enjoying SXSW! pic.twitter.com/ZtSS8mRQ2d
— Jerry Jeff Walker (@jerryjeffwalker) March 11, 2019
Walker emerged from New York’s Greenwich Village folk scene in the 1960s and was a founding member of the band Circus Maximus.
He moved to Texas in the 1970s and in 1972 scored a hit with his version of the Guy Clark song “L.A. Freeway.”
RIP my friend, JERRY JEFF WALKER. Texas music Legend. Mr Bojangles & Sangria Wine got me hooked but my fav was Life on the Road, this song kept me awake & alive many many years driving late nights on recruiting trail. JJW sent our team this video before 2019 National Championship pic.twitter.com/dBhBxRlGEG
— Chris Beard (@CoachBeardTTU) October 24, 2020
Walker and the Lost Gonzo Band in 1973 recorded an album live in Texas called “Viva Terlingua” that became a classic of the country-rock scene.
Walker had since released more than 30 albums.
Sad word comes this morning that my friend and neighbor Jerry Jeff Walker has passed away. My condolences to his wonderful wife Susan and all his friends and family. He was a brilliant songwriter, singer, musician, and all around good guy. He will be missed.
— Dan Rather (@DanRather) October 24, 2020
In 1986, he formed independent music label Tried & True Music and released albums under it.
Walker was diagnosed with throat cancer in 2017, undergoing chemotherapy and radiation, he told the Austin American Statesman in 2018.
“I guess I took my singing for granted, and now I don’t,” he told the newspaper.
In 2017, it was announced that Walker had donated more than 100 boxes of his music archives to The Wittliff Collections at Texas State University, including tapes, photographs, hand-written lyrics and artifacts.
Walker’s survivors include his wife, Susan, son, Django, and daughter, Jessie Jane.
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