Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Country Music Month: The Texas Connection - Jerry Jeff Walker

You've no doubt seen the t-shirts or bumper stickers that say, "I Wasn't Born In Texas, But I Got Here As Fast As I Could". One such transplanted Texan is Ronald Clyde Crosby. Who? These days, he answers to the name Jerry Jeff Walker. Before getting to Texas as fast as he could, Walker was born in Oneonta, New York, where he introduced to music by his grand parents. After high school, JJ joined the National Guard, but the lure of the music business was so strong, that he went AWOL from the Guard and roamed the country, eventually ending up in Austin, where the freedom to do his music his way was exactly what he wanted.

You can probably name a dozen Jerry Jeff Walker songs, but not one that was a "hit". A loyal following, however, has been the backbone of Walker's audience for the better part of forty years, them and of course new fans picked up along the way. My first taste of JJW's music came in the early '70's when I listened to an album called Viva Terlingua. The album included these songs: Gettin' By, Up Against the Wall Redneck Mother, and the classic Gary P. Nunn song London Homesick Blues. The album also contains probably the only song in the history of the English language that pays homage to wine and Mexican food in Sangria Wine. Viva Terlingua is one of the most fun albums ever. Buy it if you can or at least give it a listen or re-listen. Jerry Jeff also wrote on of the most familiar songs ever recorded, Mr. Bojangles.

Let me toss out a few more Jerry Jeff Walker tunes to you:
  • Navajo Rug - ay ay ay Katie!
  • LA Freeway - Clip from an old Dinah show. Features Dandy Don Meredith with the intro of JJW.
  • Jaded Lover - About an undercover Queen for a Day.
Jerry Jeff's home page is here if you wanna get some tour information and the like. A good bio of JJW can be found on wikipedia as well. The music of Jerry Jeff Walker is great on a roadtrip or at a poker game or bar b que. Crank it up when you get the chance! ay ay ay, Katie!

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All Original Material © Toby Shoemaker