'Mr. Bojangles' Hitmaker Jerry Jeff Walker Dies of Cancer at 78

The country music singer who was best known for his classic hit single 'Mr. Bojangles' has passed away at the age of 78 following a battle with throat cancer.

AceShowbiz - Country music singer Jerry Jeff Walker has died.

The musician, best known for writing the classic "Mr. Bojangles", died "peacefully" on 23 October (20) after a battle with throat cancer, his wife of 46 years, Susan Walker, told the Austin American-Statesman. He was 78.

"He was at home until an hour before his passing," she confirmed. "He went very peacefully, which we were extremely grateful for."

Walker cut his teeth in the folk music scene of Greenwich Village, New York in the 1960s and, after spending a night in New Orleans wrote his seminal hit, which would go on to be covered by stars including Bob Dylan, Harry Belafonte, and Sammy Davis Jr.

He later moved to Austin, Texas, where he had an outsize impact on the country music scene, helping to create genre known as "outlaw country," which was also popularised by Willie Nelson and others around the same time.

"Other than Willie, Jerry Jeff is the most important musician to happen to Austin, Texas, I would have to say," Ray Benson, star of country group Asleep at the Wheel, told The Tennessean.

"He really brought that folksinger/songwriter form to its height in Texas. And for that, he'll be eternal, because there's all these kids today that write songs in that mode."

During his 51-year recording career, Walker released 36 albums and, in the mid-1980s, he and his wife formed their own record label, Tried & True Music, which they ran out of their Austin home and handled all of Walker's bookings, tour promotion, merchandise and publicity.

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