+ 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:


Click to comment

This song is also on our Spotify playlist Bang a Gong – the 60s

Bang a Gong song finder


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.

New to Bang a Gong? Click HERE to learn more about us.