Country & Songwriting Legend Jerry Jeff Walker Has Died
From contributing one of the most important folk songs of the American songbook in history, to becoming a seminal member of the Austin, TX music scene and founding father of Texas country music, there is no comparing, and no replacing the impact of performer, songwriter, musical icon, and gonzo musician Jerry Jeff Walker. And now like so many of the greats, he has passed on to leave the rest of us searching and wondering who will fill his shoes.
Word of Jerry Jeff’s passing came down late Friday evening October 24th, according to Texas Red Dirt Roads and Galleywinter and other sources. He was 78 years old.
A native of New York State where he was born Ronald Clyde Crosby on March 16, 1942, Jerry Jeff is known most notably for penning the iconic song “Mr. Bojangles.” First coming up in the Greenwich Village folk scene in the mid 60’s, he wrote the song after making the acquaintance of a New Orleans street performer while spending time in a drunk tank. The whimsical story and compelling melody made it a song that was eventually covered by just about every contemporary of Jerry Jeff Walker at the time, from Bob Dylan, to Sammy Davis Jr., to Neil Diamond, and most famously The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band. It became Jerry Jeff’s signature song, and one of America’s.
But following the Texas credo that if you’re not born there, you get there as fast as you can, Walker would take his name recognition, prestige, and major label deal, and become one of the primary catalysts for creating the world-class music scene in Austin, TX that would later launch Willie Nelson and others to superstardom. Moving to the area in the early 70’s, the music scene very much formed around Jerry Jeff as he recruited the Lost Gonzo Band with Gary P. Nunn and Bob Livingston behind him (that he borrowed from Michael Martin Murphy), and made the Armadillo World Headquarters his second home.
Soon a guy known as a songwriter became known as a guy who shouted out and recorded some of the greatest songs from other songwriters of the time—songwriters such as Ray Wylie Hubbard, Rodney Crowell, Townes Van Zandt, Guy Clark, and later Todd Snider, helping to put them on the national map. He made Guy Clark’s “L.A. Freeway” a hit, as he did with Ray Wylie Hubbard’s “Redneck Mother,” and Gary P. Nunn’s “London Homesick Blues,” which became the theme song for Austin City Limits for decades.
Though Walker started his career as a folk artists, records like Viva Terlingua were decidedly country in style, and helped define the burgeoning Texas country sound. As many of his friends in Texas started to blow up like Willie Nelson, Jerry Jeff’s rambunctious, offbeat, country rock style and propensity to drink too much and blow shows kept him decidedly less successful than some that he gave a leg up to. But with “Mr. Bojangles” royalty money continuing to pour in, Walker was given the creative freedom to explore his muse, and the laid back lifestyle he regularly sang about in his songs. Soon he became to embody the carefree attitude, yet high standard for storytelling that made the country music from Texas so special.
After recording for MCA and Elektra, Jerry Jeff formed his own label Tried & True in 1986 with his wife and manager Susan, who he married in 1974. Under the imprint, he released multiple records that would bolster his legacy, including 1987’s Gypsy Songman, and 1994’s Viva Luckenbach. Despite not being born in the state, Jerry Jeff became his own Texas tradition, with annual birthday celebrations at the Paramount Theatre in Austin, and at Gruene Hall.
But moreover, the way Jerry Jeff Walker turned the unexpected fame and attention he received from writing “Mr. Bojangles” to benefit so many others via shout outs and song credits is what stands out as the defining mark of character and contribution Jerry Jeff Walker left. He never wanted to be famous, but he sure enjoyed bestowing fame to others.
It was revealed in September of 2017 that Jerry Jeff Walker had been suffering from throat Cancer, and developed pneumonia and a blood infection. According to Walker, at one point his wife Susan asked if he wanted to continue the fight. That is how dire the situation became. But Jerry Jeff was able to recover, and released his last album in 2018 called It’s About Time. His official cause of death was a relapse of the throat Cancer.
Jerry Jeff Walker is survived by his wife and manager Susan, daughter Jessie Jane, and son and fellow musician Django Walker.
October 23, 2020 @ 11:06 pm
This one hurts.
October 24, 2020 @ 6:41 am
I cried, it sure does hurt! Like I knew him personal.
October 24, 2020 @ 8:47 am
Exactly. Me too.
October 25, 2020 @ 1:18 am
I saw JJ at the Riverboat in Toronto twice. He was always late and he loved his Red cap ALe.I think I got to get up and leaving this town to maybe New Orleans maybe Mexico.
July 18, 2022 @ 8:25 pm
Found him late in life.So much I didn’t know. Smooth and at the same time rough. Will miss him.
October 23, 2020 @ 11:39 pm
I know this was announced around midnight or so… or least that’s when the story broke. But Old crow medicine show + Ray Benson opened with Mr. Bojangles tonight at Nutty Brown. Makes me think it may had been known He was close to the end…
October 24, 2020 @ 12:29 am
Alvin Crow got a text with the news just after finishing playing at the Broken Spoke tonight which is one of Jerry Jeff’s hunting grounds. Alvin made a toast in his friend’s honor. You could feel the gravity in the dancehall.
October 24, 2020 @ 12:48 am
Huge loss, the fact he wasn’t exponentially more popular/famous/successful is beyond me.
October 24, 2020 @ 8:44 am
A piece of America is gone. I loved his music. He came to Toronto (as did Ramblin Jack) and they played the folk scene around Yorkville. What great music we had to listen to in our twenties.
October 25, 2020 @ 4:37 am
He was famous with all my playing buddies!
October 24, 2020 @ 12:48 am
This DOES hurt. I was a sophomore in college in 1978 when I saw him open for Emmylou in Pawtucket and it’s a tribute to him that she watched his whole set from the wings. My favorite cover of Mr. Bojangles remains David Bromberg’s, which I saw performed live at the Bottom Line in NYC, also in the late 1970s. this news sucks.
October 24, 2020 @ 5:30 pm
“You know Jerry Jeff wasn’t there on no research mission.” Agreed, David Bromberg could honor that song better than anyone not named Jerry Jeff.”
Arlene R Smoler
October 24, 2020 @ 11:35 pm
“The way I got that story…. I may have that wrong, but he propositioned the right woman at the right time in the wrong place. And her husband the bartender….”
Chad M Watson
October 24, 2020 @ 1:02 am
Tears…his multiple great fun-loving LPs taught many of us to be ourselves & sing our stories with personality! Opening for him in ’87 at The Ventura Theater was a career highlight for me…RIP to Royalty…amen
strait country 81
October 24, 2020 @ 2:10 am
I saw Jason Michael Carroll post Doug Supernaw died a couple days ago also RIP to him 2.
October 24, 2020 @ 7:12 am
Supe is still with us. He’s not doing great but he’s hanging in there. The internet rumors of his demise are greatly exaggerated.
strait county 81
October 24, 2020 @ 9:29 am
Was wondering cause that had been the only place i seen it mentioned.
October 24, 2020 @ 11:28 am
You bet’cha! There was one death hoax report about him that circulated. The story is, he’s under hospice care now. He has good days and bad days, but he’s still kickin’. If you’re interested, there is merchandise available from his wife, and the money goes directly to his expenses. Look up Cissy Allen Supernaw on FB for the details. She’s a sweetheart and posts updates frequently. Doug got off of FB some time ago, but gets on hers from time to time, I think. There is a Doug page that is run by people who owe him a lot of money, though, so beware.
James 'Jim' Ellis (Phoenix, AZ)
October 24, 2020 @ 2:55 am
Was lucky enough to witness an open air concert with JJWalker with Bo Diddley as opener at mid-campus Northern Arizona University, (Flagstaff, AZ) in 1974. Diddley put on a raucus opener which was unexplicably extended several times~ until Walker finally poured out of a large backstage ‘Plains Indian’ teepee. JerryJeff required a barstool from which to perform because he was so intoxicated in several ways that he could barely play and sing. LOL Well that seemed to fit the condition of the audience as smoke and liquid was plentiful! Alas, a great time was had by all who could remember it.
God’s blessings and all safety and kindness to Walker, family, friends and fans. <3
Bonnie V (Costa Rica)
October 25, 2020 @ 5:15 am
I was at that same concert, but my recollection is that it was held on a parking lot near the College of Business on South Campus. Perhaps the plentiful smoke and liquid has clouded my recollection. I loved those outdoor concerts at NAU. Did you attend the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band concert around that same time on the football field? That concert sparked a lifelong love of the Dirt Band and friendship with the McEuen family, and I’m sure they must have performed Jerry Jeff’s Mr. Bojangles at it. My main memory of that concert is getting Diggy Diggy Lo stuck in my head for weeks. How did I ever get any studying done?
Besides “London Homesick Blues”, one of my favorite songs that Jerry Jeff sang was “Jaded Lover” by the late, great Chuck Pyle. I imagine they’ll both be performing for the angels now. RIP Jerry Jeff and condolences to your friends and family. Thank you for bringing so much great music and fun to millions over the years!
October 24, 2020 @ 3:06 am
I spent college summers working in Yellowstone. After work we sang his songs around a campfire. What great memories. Night Rider’s Lament a fave. Glad I have his albums.
October 24, 2020 @ 4:35 pm
I’m guessing “Night Rider’s Lament” was a favorite.
October 24, 2020 @ 4:36 pm
I missed that you said that in your comment. Brain freeze on my part, sorry!
October 24, 2020 @ 3:41 am
One of Jerry’s first bands……https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4r8zZkm1vyc
October 24, 2020 @ 3:53 am
Godspeed Ol’ Scamp!!
October 24, 2020 @ 3:56 am
The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band version was probably more well know, but David Bromberg’s live version on Demon In Disguise (1972) is my favorite. He played with Jerry Jeff and tells the story of how it was written. That version can make you both laugh and bring a tear to your eye. Killer guitar also RIP JJW.
October 24, 2020 @ 4:03 am
First Guy Clark then John Prine now Jerry Jeff Walker all meeting in Heaven for a song writer gathering RIP your songs will be with us forever.
October 24, 2020 @ 4:37 am
My senior class trip in 1969 was memorable in that CSN&Y were on the plane that flew us to Baltimore and I got the Jerry Jeff Walker album at a record store in NYC. I heard him on KDNA, the hippy community radio station in St Louis and couldn’t find his record anywhere in the area. in 1971 when David Bromberg was playing at the Red Herring coffee house in town we invited the band over to Laugh House (where the band of the same name lived & I was the roadie) and played with them a while. It was along time ago.
October 24, 2020 @ 4:43 am
I was playing ‘RIdin High’ yesterday and it was great as always and brought back such great memories form the 70’s. I did a shout out on Instagram. This hurts, but thank you for 45 years of pleasure for this one.
October 24, 2020 @ 4:47 am
RIP. May his music live on.
October 24, 2020 @ 4:54 am
Surely a sad day indeed, have everyone of his records seen him a bunch, Ridin’ High is one of my favorites maybe since it was the first one I bought, have it and Walker’s Collectibles framed in my house.
I think his signature song should be ‘Contrary to Ordinary’, great album and there is a great live version out there youtube.
RIP Jacky Jack, my condolences to Susan and kids.
October 24, 2020 @ 4:43 pm
Going to high school with him was a real trip. Got to follow his career all these years. Thoughts go out to Susan and the kids.
October 25, 2020 @ 11:48 am
What was he like in high school?
October 25, 2020 @ 12:04 pm
He was a great basketball player. Sang in the choir. Had many girl friends. Very popular.
And what few people know, started his first band. Called the DA’s because he had a DA haircut.
I was in the band . Played the sax. Neal N played the trumpet and Jerry R played the piano. We had one gig. A dance in 9th grade. He did all the singing and we were back up. The rest is history.
October 24, 2020 @ 4:57 am
Hate to hear this. My youth is filled with memories of listening to Jerry Jeff and Jimmy Buffett. Jerry Jeff is a legend and will be missed.
October 24, 2020 @ 5:18 am
Prayers going up for Loved ones of Mr.Walker.
October 24, 2020 @ 4:58 am
Friend to Railroad Dick and my family.
Thanks for the songs!
October 24, 2020 @ 5:05 am
A good friend and a true Texas Legend, many times in Luckenbach sitting around the campfire drinking Lone Star beer and pitching washers to songs from him and Michael Murphy , godspeed my friend, I guess you can get off that L.A. freeway now….
October 24, 2020 @ 9:29 pm
Had the pleasure to meet Jerry Jeff around 86/87 at the Grog in Newburyport, MA. Sweet man-killer musician.
Godspeed Jerry Jeff. ❤️
October 24, 2020 @ 5:07 am
I remember joking with him at Lafayette’s Music Room in Memphis, TN shortly after his marriage. Always loved his music.
October 24, 2020 @ 5:17 am
I grew up in Memphis, where Elvis and soul were the prevailing gold standard.
My best friend’s brother went to Rice University in 1973.
He brought back a copy of Viva Terlingua, and my life changed forever.
His was the music which spoke directly to my soul.
It was like I had become a Texan as a teenager.
I went off to college 2 years later in East Tennessee and immediately immersed myself in bluegrass, David Allan Coe, Waylon, Willie, Tom T Hall and, of course, Jerry Jeff.
I still listen to him regularly to this day.
Thanks for the requiem, Trig.
October 24, 2020 @ 5:19 am
Prayers going up for Loved ones of Mr.Walker.
October 24, 2020 @ 5:26 am
His albums were so Alive! Every damn one of them…
October 24, 2020 @ 5:33 am
This hurts. My first concert was JJW at Luckenbach. It was his daughter’s bday. 16 or 18 maybe? I was just a small thing on my daddy’s shoulders singing along to every word. RIP Ol’ Scamp 😢
August 4, 2021 @ 3:58 pm
That’s where I was at my first concert. On top of my Daddy’s shoulders at the Summit arena watching Kristofferson. He also gave me Jerry Jeff around that time. I was 5, maybe 6.
October 24, 2020 @ 5:35 am
Should also mention that he was responsible for Jimmy Buffett’s first trip to Key West, in Jerry Jeff’s old Packard.
Over 2020. Over it.
October 24, 2020 @ 8:05 am
Yep. Their first stop was at the Chart Room inside the Pier House. Both are still up and running.
October 24, 2020 @ 8:18 am
Yessir. I’ve stayed there and had a beer at the Chart Room.
October 25, 2020 @ 6:45 am
Yes, IIRC the maroon and silver ’47 Packard was dubbed “The Flying Lady”. It used to be possible to find a pic of it online, but that seems to have disappeared. I would be grateful if someone would post it somewhere, and also comment if it’s known where it is now.
October 24, 2020 @ 5:37 am
Lost another of the great ones. Yep this one hurts. Many of fond memories.
Thank you JJ, Godspeed
October 24, 2020 @ 5:47 am
Like Desperados waiting for a train, he could weave a story into a song
October 24, 2020 @ 5:48 am
Man, what a gut punch. RIP JJW.
October 24, 2020 @ 5:57 am
Jerry Jeff Walker music became part of my life in 1973. And still listen to his music. Seen him several times at concerts.
October 24, 2020 @ 5:58 am
Jerry Jeff Walker became part of my life in 1973. And still listen to his music. Seen him several times at concerts.
October 24, 2020 @ 6:00 am
Just Another Gringo In Belize. Wow can’t believe we lost this gem.
October 24, 2020 @ 6:06 am
Prayers for his loved ones left behind! 🙏🙏🙏🙏🙏 Thanks For The music sir♥️
October 24, 2020 @ 6:09 am
The George Jones who’s gonna fill their shoes comes to mind- and while some shoes/boots can be filled, others not so much- RIP JJ
October 24, 2020 @ 6:23 am
Sad day today I lost my favorite singer of all time. I was lucky to see JJW in Mankato Minnesota in 1977 and then at the Minnesota Zoo three times. I got to talk to him and shake his hand then tell him what a great musician he was. I listen to his music weekly and enjoy that gravelly voice of his. RIP Scamp!
October 24, 2020 @ 6:27 am
Jerry, Join up with my dear husband in heaven whom I lost just last week here in our beloved Belize… your love of Belize was our love of Belize. You and my honey, gone too soon…. but never forgotten. Sail on….we love you 😘
October 24, 2020 @ 6:35 am
“Gettin by on gettin by’s my stock in trade…” One of my personal mantras. RIP JJW.
October 24, 2020 @ 6:36 am
One of my early heroes. He was my inspiration in the early 60s to want to play guitar and sing. Never missed one of his shows back in the day playing at the Main Point in Bryn Mawr.
October 24, 2020 @ 2:02 pm
I saw him there too, about half a dozen times, always with Bromberg except once. He said “David’s got the flu, I had to leave him back at Treadway Inn. But I soaked my harmonica in gin…..”. Because of him, I hitched all over the Northeast while I was supposed to be attending college, wouldn’t have missed it for the world.
Mokie Joe Howell
October 24, 2020 @ 6:52 am
I’m left speechless! Jerry Jeff’s music and persona carried me through a particularly dark time in my young adulthood after my mother’s suicide. My “back’s against the wall” was pulled away by JJ’s music! Kudos to The Redneck Mutha of us all. May you live on in our hearts. VIVA TERLINGUA !!!
October 24, 2020 @ 6:59 am
Proud to say I was at his last performance ever exactly one year ago today. The entire Lodge brothership is in mourning today. RIP, RCC
October 24, 2020 @ 7:04 am
brings a tear played those records to death
October 24, 2020 @ 7:08 am
Damn, RIP. In addition to the thoughts that go out to family and friends, I also cant help think about what a sad state we are in when these legends pass. There’s some great younger artists, no doubt, but we’re losing something special every time one of his generation leaves us.
October 24, 2020 @ 7:13 am
My thoughts and prayers are with the family in this dire time of his life ! May
God open the gates of heaven and welcome Mr. Jerry Jeff
Walker into his arms !! Thank you for all your music
October 24, 2020 @ 7:19 am
Crushed, my hero. so real, flawed but real. saw probably 20 shows. I’ll be spinning JJW tunes all day. God Speed. Hell of a Jam tonight. JJW, Cash, TVZ, SRV, Guy C, Waylon, John P. Bet it is a sold out show.
October 24, 2020 @ 7:23 am
R.I.P. Jerry Jeff
October 24, 2020 @ 7:37 am
1 of the best artist ever, your songs will always inspire many memories. RIP
October 24, 2020 @ 7:39 am
It’s A Good Night For Singin my friend. RIP JJW AKA Gypsy Songman. Tell John and Guy hi for me. ✌️❤️
October 24, 2020 @ 7:51 am
Thanks for all the great tunes, and awesome live performances!
This one hurts….Godspeed to his loved one’s.
October 24, 2020 @ 7:57 am
Aw. Rest in peace. Back in 75 or 76, Jerry and the Lost Gonzos were playing at McDonald Gym. Jerry was signing autographs in the Lone Star Beer booth at a pre concert BBQ. A buddy of mine knew him and introduced us, and he asked us to take him somewhere he could get a Buswieser. We took him to Casey’s Lounge on old Rail Road Ave and we proceeded to get shitfaced, had blast, and got him back to the concert drunk and late.
October 24, 2020 @ 8:46 am
Railroad Avenue, McDonald Gym…
October 24, 2020 @ 8:02 am
Bad case of the “London Homesick Blues” this morning. Heaven added another great songwriter and teller of tales. Play on “Mr Bojangles”. Your fans will be getting by on getting bys now that you’ve left us.
October 24, 2020 @ 8:04 am
JJW was a huge part of my misspent youth. Happy trails.
October 24, 2020 @ 8:09 am
I loved that man worked with him many times in my 47 years in this business I will see him on the other side I’m crying now may he REST IN PEACE!!!
October 24, 2020 @ 4:43 pm
Can you share what capacity you were in when you worked with him? I’m sure others would be interested in hearing about your experiences.
October 24, 2020 @ 4:55 pm
Pretty much did artist transportation so most of the time I drove him around a few times I did lighting or audio loved his music 🎵 🎶 🎼 everything he wrote and played and sang R.I.P. my friend
October 24, 2020 @ 5:00 pm
Thanks. Do you have any particular memories or stories of those experiences?
October 24, 2020 @ 5:06 pm
Not really I’ve worked with so many different artist rock,country,jazz,blues and I’m getting up in age it’s hard to keep track of all of em sorry
October 24, 2020 @ 8:09 am
Sad to lose JJW, but what a legacy he has left us! On another note, news broke yesterday that Arlo Guthrie has given up touring due to health reasons. But he’s not done on earth yet. Let the music play!
October 24, 2020 @ 1:39 pm
That’s a loss. I was lucky enough to see him 10 years ago or so. Was a really entertaining show. Much under appreciated.
October 24, 2020 @ 8:12 am
One of my favorites of all time. He made such beautifully unpolished and spontaneous records that to me embodies the Texas mythos more than anyone else. Love ya Jerry and thanks for all the music you’ve given. Rest In Peace
October 24, 2020 @ 8:20 am
I have said for years that Jerry Jeff Walker is the all-time number “1” singer/songwriter with Michael Martin Murphy being number “1a”. The two artists comprise about 75% of my total music listening time. It is a sad day indeed. RIP Scamp. There will never be another as good as you.
October 24, 2020 @ 8:28 am
His ballads stir my soul. He always seemed perfectly aware of his own foibles, sang them to the world. No glitz. No BS. He cut through all the phony fronts we erect for show and sang the notes of pain and loss for us to understand human condition.
October 24, 2020 @ 8:37 am
Oh man this hurts. Seeing his annual Christmas show at Gruene Hall was an annual tradition for me and my closest friends for many many years. He will be missed but his music lives on!
October 24, 2020 @ 8:43 am
2020….and the hits just keep on coming
October 24, 2020 @ 8:53 am
Lotta late nights, Danny Moore on harp, a fresh bottle, some Humboldt County bud, and a sackful of Jerry Jeff songs. Something about his voice moved you down in the soul. Thanks, JJ Walker. Say goodbye to the landlord for me; rest in peace, and say hi to John Prine.
October 24, 2020 @ 9:03 am
2020 is still kicking us when we are down, but this is the worst. He would come to Wisconsin almost every summer and we would follow him around the state and into Mn. for years. R.I.P. Mr Bojangles….
October 24, 2020 @ 4:46 pm
I saw him in Madison in the early-90s, but can’t remember the name of the venue. Do you have any guesses where the show might have been? My memory, which is dim, is of a small place, almost like a bar with an area for dancing in front of the stage.
October 24, 2020 @ 9:30 am
My fondest memory of him was opening for a Waylon show.
Crashed my car on the way but made the show.
Was 21 at the time I think, and JJ was drunker than me.
He pissed in his hat on stage.
What a show…
Thanks for the memories and RIP.
October 24, 2020 @ 9:32 am
Legend, Viva Terlingua was one of the first country records i fell in love with. Very sad news in a very sad year.
October 24, 2020 @ 9:33 am
So sorry to hear this. I first saw JJW in Tramps in NY in ’95 or ’96. Jack Ingram opened.
At the time, all i knew was that he wrote Mr. Bojangles, but he was so infectious live that I bought his greatest hits and became a huge fan.
I also saw him at the Broken Spoke in 1999 right after my father died. He was very nice and respectful to my mother and me that night. I will never forget it.
RIP, Jerry Jeff. Thank you for many great memories and times. We will miss you.
October 24, 2020 @ 9:39 am
So Sad Another Country Legend Has Passed Rest In Peace Jerry Jeff.
October 24, 2020 @ 9:49 am
His words helped me through some rough spots, “Just gett’n high on gett’n by is my stock and trade, livi’n it day to day, just pick’n up the pieces wherever they fall. Just lett’n it roll letting the high times carry the load. Just live’n my life easy come easy go”
October 24, 2020 @ 10:18 am
My husband and I were “Walker Stalkers” and followed him all around Texas in the late 90’s and early 2000’s. We went to see him at Gruene Hall on our honeymoon. RIP JJW and prayers for your family. Your music will live on….
October 24, 2020 @ 11:08 am
I saw him once during that same era, and it was a blast. I don’t remember much, detail-wise, from that night, but I do remember him singing at least a couple of Todd Snider tunes.
October 24, 2020 @ 10:29 am
I first discovered his music when my brother’s band, Balcones Fault, opened for him @ Liberty Hall in Houston. Many years later I was an usher @ the Paramount Theatre in Austin for his annual birthday party. Those were fun & wild events. To Texans he was one of the greats & will be sorely missed.
October 24, 2020 @ 10:45 am
A song for this life i have found
October 24, 2020 @ 10:46 am
Rest In Peace! What an amazing singer-songwriter.
October 24, 2020 @ 10:47 am
1974 at Delta State University, I got to see his concert and then a group of us were at our favorite bar in a cotton field. In came JJW and his piano player. Sat down at our table, bought the first round and acted like we were long lost family.
Bar closed at midnight, owner locked the doors, JJW got his guitar from the car and the bar had a piano. Well, you can guess, he played the rest of the night till 5 a.m. What a memory I will never forget! Oh yeah, didn’t attend any classes that day! RIP, YOU WERE THE BEST!
October 24, 2020 @ 10:48 am
No amount of money can buy the past. No amount can buy a future beyond what time we have. Many good souls lost this year. Many more to come. It’s a reminder for those of us left to *treasure* this exact moment, for it will never come again.
J. W. Jordan
October 24, 2020 @ 10:49 am
I smiled to think of the weekend I spent pushing
his “silver beaver underbelly” hat back from the
edge of the table, just to have him pull it back to
the edge. ‘n gently suggest I let it be. After six times, or so, I did. No sad memory. Just a smile.
I’m great ful for the gift of knowing him.
October 24, 2020 @ 10:54 am
Glad I got to see him live when he came to Glasgow,Scotland for a solo gig sometime in the early noughties I think.Told a bunch of funny stories and sang his great songs, had the audience in the palm of his hand so much natural charm and charisma.
I was only listening to him a couple of days ago,the Ridin’ High album which is one of his best.Be playing a few tomorrow night in tribute as I’m working tonight.
October 24, 2020 @ 11:03 am
My prayers to Susan.
October 24, 2020 @ 11:09 am
I was luckly enough to attend a couple of the Bday bashes at the paramount theater and seeing the last one were it composed of other artists paying tribute and bday wishes. Each artist played an orginal with Kick Brooks playing Red Dirt Road acoustically and it was simply awesome. JJW and band played a 1hr set with several artist coming on stage to sing JJW songs. He truly blew the roof off the place. A sit down concert turned into a huge dance party and he closed it with Alright Guy accompanied with Todd Snider. Thats what i will remember of JJW, knowing how to have fun and staying true. Ive seen a handful of JJW shows but that bday bash was prob one of the most memorable ones.
Hill Country Rain has been an all time favorite and sure enough, it was raining in the hill country yesterday. Had to laugh about that one knowing how fitting that song is when saying goodbye.
Arkansas Red-Ozark Troubadour
October 24, 2020 @ 11:49 am
How strange. I just finished watching an old Texas Connection PBS show I had taped years ago with JJW as MC, and I turned on my computer to this news. Godspeed on your new journey. May you liven up the Heavenly band.
October 24, 2020 @ 11:54 am
Stoney, He was a Friend of Mine. I still have a JJW photo in my enclosed m/c trailer with a sign below it saying, “Oatis Club Members Only.” Godspeed.
October 24, 2020 @ 11:55 am
so sad, loved jerry jeffs’ music and style
October 24, 2020 @ 12:19 pm
RIP Jerry Jeff Walker. This one really hits me hard as the early albums of Jerry Jeff were played constantly on a turntable or reel to reel and also on our guitars while onboard the USS Oriskany in the Gulf of Tonkin in 1970-72. His music kept me sane doing those long deployments. I’m sure it was James Sweetwater who introduced my friends and I to Jerry Jeff and Jim knew the songs well. Jim was the musician and I was the fumbling apprentice trying my best to learn. I never did.
After discharge, I wrote and recorded, on reel to reel, my attempt at a radio biography for an undergraduate writing class. I received an A which was not common for me at the time.My next quest was an interview with him.
Several years later, Jerry Jeff was performing at a club in Iowa City and through his manager, I sent a copy of the program on cassette and made arrangements to spend time before and after the show with him and the band. I had a portable cassette recorder and recorded several songs and some of of the antics going on back stage after the show. Everyone was having a good time and I was trying to get Jerry Jeff to agree to an updated and more professional version. He kindly refused, saying he had listened to the advance copy, but said there were already more than enough versions of his story and he wasn’t interested in another. I was really disappointed, but no where near the sadness I am today. RIP Scamp Walker.
October 24, 2020 @ 12:23 pm
Such a great writer!
“Ah, to be up and leavin’ this place
Headin’ down an open road
All that you own kinda thrown on a back seat
Thinkin’ ‘bout where you’ll go
Maybe New Orleans
October 24, 2020 @ 1:13 pm
This hurts! I will always remember Jerry Jeff and David Bromberg coming unplanned and unannounced to Bob Fass’s program “Radio Un-Nameable” at WBAI in NYC well after midnight after a gig. It was there they did the first airing in a live take of “Mr Bojangles” somewhere around 1:00-2:00 AM on a weeknight. To this day I consider it my luckiest being at the right place at the right time moment in my life. That was some 50+ years ago and that original WBAI recording was the best by far and can not be found but it still rolls around in my head.
October 24, 2020 @ 9:56 pm
There is a WBAI program with Jerry Jeff and David Bromberg on YouTube (audio only) right now. Could it be the one you mentioned?
October 24, 2020 @ 4:56 pm
I met him in Berkeley at a coffee house around 1971. He and David Bromberg were touring the country on the legs of Mr. Bojangles. After they got off stage I sat and talked with him (and a few fans) for over an hour. He had quite a few stories even back then.
Later, about 1981, I introduced my friend Peter Rowan to him after Peter and his band had done the opening set for him. That was at a bar in the Embarcadero Center in San Francisco.
Happy trails, JJ.
October 24, 2020 @ 9:04 pm
Kinda met him in Boulder CO in 1980 he stayed at a place I worked.. hot tub place on n broadway.. was kind of star struck, as i was trying to learn to play guitar.. still am… those songs are sooo great… thanks JJW peace/love to ya…
October 25, 2020 @ 4:25 am
Jerry was my eyeopener to the Austin sound: I love the folksound en scene; I live in Holland but it was the mainreason to visit luckenbach tx, 5 years ago I headed to San Antonio and travel up north to Luckenbach; it was the great album viva terlingua enspired me to visit that place where Jerry made a big performance on sat, aug 18th,1973.
I love his songs , intens and quiet like Charlie Dunn, the bootseller and ‘that old time feeling’…
For me is that the only thing; that old time feeling when I first met ( and start to play) some good old country music. Thanks Jeff RIP.
October 25, 2020 @ 4:41 am
Little Bird is still one of my favorite songs.
RIP Jerry Jeff.
October 25, 2020 @ 7:27 am
Sad, sad news, another one of the greats is no longer among us, but never to be forgotten. That foot stomping roof raising band the the sky just got themselves another true iconic legend. I will shed tears every time I play one of his albums for a very long time to come. Give em hell Jerry.
no cobwebs on my shoes
October 25, 2020 @ 7:45 am
Little Bird has taken flight, Godspeed.
One of a few personal JJW stories to share: In the mid 90s, I got a call from a fraternity brother who was having lunch at the Dallas Hard Rock Cafe. They happened to be honoring JJ there. He approached him to tell him what a fan he was and we all were at the Beta House SMU. JJ told him he loved playing a little bar Milo’s close by the college and asked him where his buddies were that afternoon. He told him to call us up, he’d head that way to play – like old times. So, the call was to gather up as many as we could and head to Milo’s. We got there, but no sight of JJ. We were giving our bro a hard time for getting us all stirred up for nothing, when the door swung open and in strode JJ with his guitar, small speaker, and straw hat! He set up in a chair across from the bar, plugged in, and proceeded to play all night. Every few songs he would stop and visit with us all. By the end of the night, word had gotten out and the crowd trying to get in spilled out onto Upper Greenville. It’s a night I’ll never forget, and Jerry Jeff Walker is a Legend never to be forgotten – he and his music are a gift that touches the soul shaping memories for lifetimes. What a Blessing!
Richard P. Mouton
October 25, 2020 @ 8:09 am
Just found out that Jerry Jeff Walker passed away Friday at the age of 78 years of age. In my younger days I wore out much of his finer work in my cassette players of most of the vehicles that I rode around in! I met him one night in the restroom of the old Sting Lounge on Johnston St., He told me to go sit at the table of the then LA Insurance commissioner whose first name was Jim, I went up to the table and told the guy that JJW sent me to party with them! They welcomed me with open arms and needless to say we had a great time that evening as JJW put on a masterful show along with the Lost Gonzo Band! I crossed paths with JJW a few times down the road and always enjoyed listening to his stories and music! RIP JJW! I am putting on Youtube to listen to your music right now with a tear in my eye!
Carolee J King
October 25, 2020 @ 10:01 am
I am so sad to hear of Jerry Jeff’s passing and send my condolences to his wife and family. I was a classmate of Jerry Jeff in Oneonta, NY. I loved going to 2 of his concerts in Boston and Newburyport, MA. We talked for a while after his concert because Jerry Jeff wanted me to tell him about a reunion that he missed. He had so much great music – I will still be listening to it.
Vicki L Burnham
October 25, 2020 @ 12:17 pm
Not given the credit and fame he deserved in life, JJW will live on in my heart and all of ours who loved him. I cried when I heard the news but he would have said “lucky sombitch”. Thank you Jacky Jack for so many wonderful songs 💔😓 Now I’ve got to put on Night Riders Lament and toast a life well lived. Susan and children, you have my deepest condolences. He was one of a kind.
October 26, 2020 @ 9:29 am
Always loved how Toby Keith mentioned him in “Beers Ago” singing “Jerry Jeff songs.”
Nowadays, country singers name-drop Drake.
October 27, 2020 @ 2:41 pm
I saw him in Colorado-Ft Collins, Boulder Theater and possibly at the Little Bear in Evergreen. Don’t remember for sure the early 80s were crazy. He probably didn’t remember either. Huge and sad loss. I wish I could find my t-shirt.
October 28, 2020 @ 4:51 am
I have loved JJW since my brother and I had to share an eight track tape of him. Really didn’t understand the greatness I was listening to, but at twelvas old, who would? I got older. He got better and I found that every emotion I had, there was a song. Scamp has transitioned and is out of pain. The pain we feel, well, he has a song for us. Rest with the angels, sir. We will keep your memory alive forever.
October 28, 2020 @ 10:09 pm
I met him in 1980 at show he did at Belle Starr’s in Dallas. I knew the lyric’s to every song he had every published. It was late and I had been at Belle’s too long. He stopped his performance, sat down next to me and said, “Darlin, do you know all my tunes?” “Ah, yes I do.” “Well then, let’s us sing, “London Home Sick Blues.” I’m 71 now, that was along time ago. I will never forget the night, I helped Jerry Jeff Walker sing; what a memory, I will never forget you. (I will be glad when 2020 is in my rearview mirror.)
November 9, 2020 @ 2:51 pm
I was saddened to hear Jerry had passed.
We were friendly on email he knew I was
a bass man had worked with Ernest Tubb &
The Texas Troubadours
He will be missed I frequently do his “Mister Bo Jangles”
November 24, 2020 @ 8:25 pm
So great. I especially loved his version of LA Freeway. Pick up the Tempo is an underappreciated gem.
Warren D Serkin
January 4, 2021 @ 5:42 pm
I saw him several times at the Great American Music Hall in San Francisco and had the absolute pleasure of spending two week on Ambergris Caye, Belize with Jerry Jeff, Susan, His guest Jack Ingram and his wife, and several fans. Jerry Jeff and Jack would come in after dinner and perform for an hour or so. Great times. My condolences to Susan, Django, and Jesse Jane. I’ll sure miss him.