Monday, August 22, 2011

Mr. Bojangles

Mr. Bojangles is the title of a song originally written and recorded by American country music artist Jerry Jeff Walker for his 1968 album of the same title. Since then, it has been covered by many other artists, including American country music band The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, whose version (recorded for the 1970 album Uncle Charlie & His Dog Teddy) was issued as a single and rose to number nine on the Billboard Hot 100 pop chart in 1971.

Walker has said he was inspired to write the song after an encounter with a street performer in a New Orleans jail. Walker said while in jail for public intoxication in 1965, he met a homeless white man who called himself "Mr. Bojangles" who told a story about his dog and when it turned too sad, he escaped with a tap dance.

Walker's song has been re-recorded by many popular artists, including Harry Chapin, J.J. Cale, Sammy Davis Jr., Chet Atkins, Rod McKuen, Whitney Houston, Billy Joel, Harry Nilsson, Bob Dylan, Don McLean, The Byrds, Harry Belafonte, Frank Sinatra, Bobby Cole, Elton John, Lulu, Arlo Guthrie, Nina Simone, Esther Phillips, John Denver, David Bromberg, Neil Diamond, Tom T. Hall, King Curtis, Radka Toneff, John Holt, Kristofer Åström, Bermuda Triangle Band, Robbie Williams, David Campbell, Jamie Cullum, Ray Quinn, Edwyn Collins, Frankie Laine, Cornell Dupree, Jim Croce, Todd Snider, Jim Stafford, Jamie Walker and Cat Stevens. Furthermore, composer Philip Glass makes reference to "Mr. Bojangles" in his minimalist opera Einstein on the Beach. A French version of the song was recorded in 1984 by Hugues Aufray on his album L'enfant Sauvage. Jim Carrey has allso preformed this song on his earlier stand up stuff plus at his first movie copper mountain.

I think that Sammy Davis Jr. had his signature on this song and owned it in this performance. This is quite a sad song.
Midnight in Paris

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