Sunday, March 29, 2009

MR. BOJANGLES - A DOZEN MORE COVERS


Last time around, you had ten, including the two definitive versions...Jerry Jeff Walker's country take, and the sophisticated cover by Bobby Cole that arrived on the charts at the same time. Now? Another dozen!
Who covered this janglin' story? Chet Atkins, Frankie Laine, David Bromberg, Hunt & Turner, John Holt, Lambert & Nuttycombe, Lulu, Nancy Wilson, Johnny Paycheck, Sammi Smith, Tom T. Hall...who am I leaving out...oh yeah, Harry.
Bromberg's live track deserves special note, since he gives the background to Walker's story (how Jerry actually did meet a guy in jail who danced for drinks and tips, etc. etc.).
There's plenty more out there. The song was also covered by Dennis Brown, Tom McKinney, Al Cherny, Gene Pistilli, Jud Strunk, Three Faces West, Jack Hennig, Ronnie Aldrich, Jim Rowe, Lana Cantrell, The Fortunes, Brenda Byers, Rod McKuen, Edwyn Collins, Steve Hall, Magna Carta, The Bentones and on and on.
At this point, what else is there to say about the song? Well, after all this time, maybe you'll notice Jerry Jeff's unusual use of repetition ("he jumped so high, he jumped so high" "he talked of life, he talked of life" "his dog up and died, he up and died"...) and his penchant for internal rhyme ("I knew a MAN BoJANgles" "Spoke with TEARS of 15 YEARS" "Most of the TIME I spend BEHIND" etc.)

12 More BOJANGLES
In case you missed the first batch:
MR. BOJANGLES The Original TEN

2 comments:

Tom said...

You will be doing yourself and us, your readers, a BIG service if you NEVER bother to dig up Jim Stafford's version of Mr. Bojangles, which may possibly be the more overwrought version of the song ever. It makes Red Sovine's sappy records sound like a comedy record. I heard it once years ago and it still haunts me.

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