Talk:Jerry Jeff Walker
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Mr. Bojangles, real-life folk character
I am almost exactly the same age as Jerry Jeff. Like Jerry, I too had and extended one on one encounter with the amazing but obscure "Mr. Bojangles", not in a jail but in a bus station after closing time, as a stranded teen. The man I met, about ten years before the song was published, was exactly like the subject in the song. I spent about 3/4 of an hour alone with him. He was apparently paid a small fee to come into the locked Greyhond station and sweep up. After a few minutes, friendly but cryptic questions and remarks he said, " Boy...Who's the greatest dancer in the world?...I replied " Gene Kelly or Fred Astair"...he grinned and retorted, "No way...That man is Bojangles!..and dat's me!" He raised his broom an inch above the floor and began to dance...Brother could he dance! This is undoutedly the same man, or perhaps one of a tiny group of gifted natural dancer/entertainers who masterfully danced for tips or change in America in the early and middle twentieth century. In his or their hearts, they were right up there with Bill Robinson, truly ..." Mr. Bojangles ".
if he was born ronald crosby, how did he come to call himself jerry jeff walker? can anyone shed light on this?--Alhutch 05:43, 9 April 2006 (UTC)
- I don't know, but the 1967 album Circus Maximus (first album by the band of the same name) credits him as "Jerry Walker"; their next album, Neverland Revisited (1968) credits him as "Jerry Jeff Walker". - Jmabel | Talk 05:18, 27 September 2006 (UTC)
Since "Bojangles" was the name used by a very famous black tap-dancer names Bill "Bojanges" Robinson (see Bill Robinson) from the early 1900s, I think it reasonable to assume that many people of that time took the name for themselves to emulate his character.
Jerry Jeff Walker says he definitely was referring to someone he met, and not Bill Robinson, but I bet you are right and "Bojangles" was not as rare/unique as a name in the past for an entertainer as it might seem today.
Jerry Jeff Walker explains in his autobiography "Gypsy Songman" where/how he came to chose his name. If you want the full answer/effect of his story you should read the book. He's quite the story-teller. Just a hint, though, it starts with a young man from the Catskill Mountains of NY who needed a fake ID.
Walker once appeared on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno. Leno opened his scrapbook to a poster showing Leno as opening act for Walker. Then he told Walker he did not get paid and had to hitchhike home because Walker failed to appear.
Does anyone know what happened to Bob Bruno from Circus Maximus? He and Walker wrote most or all of the songs on their two LPs, but Bruno seemed to have dropped out of sight after their second album? —Preceding unsigned comment added by 184.108.40.206 (talk) 20:53, 28 February 2008 (UTC)