I recently discovered some Jerry Jeff Walker songs in my collection that are live recordings with no studio recordings to match.
So I went off in search of studio recordings.
I found L.A. Freeway:
I remember spending many an afternoon and evening during my junior and senior years at Texas A&M University (1975-1977) sitting in the Dixie Chicken playing 42 and pool, drinking beer, eating Deathburgers (still my all-time favorite hamburger!), and singing along to Jerry Jeff Walker.
Trivia: Charlie Dunn was a real person who made custom boots in Austin, Texas, for several decades. Friends sang “Charlie Dunn” at his funeral in 1993.
Trivia: Jerry Jeff Walker’s real name is Ronald Clyde Crosby. Just doesn’t have the same country ring as Jerry Jeff Walker….
Desperados Waiting For A Train
Up Against The Wall, Redneck Mother
London Homesick Blues
Smile if you played with armadillos as a child.
The Dixie Chicken opened in 1974, so by the time I discovered it, it was already a year old. Thirty-nine years later and it’s a Texas Aggie tradition.
Trivia: Jerry Jeff wrote Mr. Bojangles, covered by singers and bands both pop and country—Garth Brooks, Harry Belafonte, The Byrds, Jim Croce, Sammy Davis Jr., John Denver, Neil Diamond, Bob Dylan, Arlo Guthrie, Whitney Houston, Billy Joel, Elton John, Frank Sinatra, and Dolly Parton, among many others.
Perhaps the most recognized version is that by the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band which took it to #9 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in 1971.
Trivia: Walker was inspired to write Mr. Bojangles while in a New Orleans jail for public intoxication in 1965. A homeless white man also in jail called himself “Mr. Bojangles” to conceal his identity from the police. “Mr. Bojangles” told a sad story about his dog, causing a cellmate to ask for something to lighten the mood. Mr. Bojangles obliged with a tap dance. Listen to the lyrics for the full story.
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