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Published on Feb 22, 2010
Jerry Jeff Walker ~ MR BOJANGLES ~ ( JJ Walker).
I am dedicating this song to my cousin who is fighting in harms way in Afghanistan.
"Mr Bojangles" is a song writtten and recorded in 1968. The song was inspired by an encounter with a street performer in the New Orleans First Precinct jail and refers to neither the famous stage and movie dancer "Bill Bojangles" Robinson nor the New Orleans blues musician Babe Stovall.
According to Walker, a murder on the 4th of July weekend in 1965 precipitatied the arrest of all the street people in the area. In the crowded cell, a disheveled homeless man began to talk to Walker, who had been arrested earlier for drunkeness. The man told various stories of his life, but the tone darkened after "Mr Bojangles" recalled his dog who`d been run over. Someone then asked for something to lighten the mood, and the man obliged with a tap dance.
Walker mentions that all the men in the cell had nicknames to prevent easy misidentification by the police. The dancer`s name was "Mr Bojangles". In his autobiography, Walker makes it clear that the man he met was white. Walker pointed out, at the time, the jail in New Orleans were segregated by color."