+ scroll down for versions by Harry Nilsson and the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band
Australian singles charts:
Mr Bojangles by Jerry Jeff Walker entered the Kent charts on 10 August 1968 and peaked at #22.
Jerry Jeff Walker
Dan Elliot, Tom Dowd
Record label of Australian release:
BONUS CLIPS BELOW – versions by Harry Nilsson and the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band
Mr. Bojangles was written and originally recorded by American singer-songwriter Jerry Jeff Walker for his 1968 album of the same title.
Walker said he was inspired to write the song after an encounter with a street performer in a New Orleans jail. While in jail for public intoxication in 1965, he met a homeless man who called himself “Mr. Bojangles” to conceal his true identity from the police. Mr. Bojangles had been arrested as part of a police sweep of indigent people that was carried out following a high-profile murder. The two men and others in the cell chatted about all manner of things, but when Mr. Bojangles told a story about his dog, the mood in the room turned heavy. Someone else in the cell asked for something to lighten the mood, and Mr. Bojangles obliged with a tap dance. The homeless “Mr. Bojangles”, who was white, had taken his pseudonym from Bill “Bojangles” Robinson (1878–1949), the best-paid Black entertainer of his era.
Read more: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mr.Bojangles_(song)
This song is also on our Spotify playlist Bang a Gong – the 60s
Some of the many artists to record Mr Bojangles include Bob Dylan, John Denver, Nina Simone, Sammy Davis Jr. , Neil Diamond and Robbie Williams.
Harry Nilsson also released a version on his 1969 album Harry.
Two versions of Mr Bojangles charted in Australia: Jerry Jeff Walker’s original version and one by the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band.
NGDB’s version entered the Kent charts on 15 March 1971 and peaked at #15. It was #92 on the Top 100 on 1971. The song is on NGDB’s album Uncle Charlie & His Dog Teddy which entered the Kent album charts on 26 April 1971 and peaked at #31.
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