Jerry Jeff Walker Collection
Scope and Contents
This small collection is comprised of the handwritten lyrics and chord notations to the country western song “Charlie Dunn”, written in the 1970s by Jerry Jeff Walker for the Texas boot maker by that name, who worked with Buck Steiner, at the Capital Saddlery, on Lavaca Street in Austin, Texas. Also included is the first pair of custom lizard skin boots made for Walker by Dunn, which bear Walker’s initials on the front shaft of each boot.
- 1970 - 1979
- Walker, Jerry Jeff (Person)
Conditions Governing Access
Collection is open for research.
Conditions Governing Use
Materials from the Wittliff Collections are made available for use in research, teaching, and private study. The user assumes responsibility for determining copyright status, obtaining permission to publish, and abiding by U.S. copyright laws. https://www.thewittliffcollections.txstate.edu/research/visit/policies/publication.html
Singer-songwriter Jerry Jeff Walker was born Ronald Clyde Crosby on March 16, 1942, in Oneonta, New York. In the early 1960s, he hitchhiked cross-country, singing in bars and on street corners, adopting the name Jerry Jeff Walker in 1966. While performing in Texas, Walker met songwriter Bob Bruno, with whom he formed a band called the Lost Sea Dreamers (and later Circus Maximus), and relocated to New York City.
In 1968, Walker wrote the song he would become famous for, “Mr. Bojangles”, which enabled him to embark on a solo career, this time based in Austin. Although Walker’s recording of the song barely broke the charts, artists such as Tom T. Hall, Sammy Davis, Jr., Harry Belafonte, George Burns, and the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band covered it, making Walker and his music known to a national audience.
Walker became a central figure in the burgeoning alternative country scene in Austin beginning in the early 1970s. In 1973, he recorded the album “Viva Terlingua” in Luckenbach, Texas, a ghost town which was memorialized by Waylon Jennings’ 1977 hit song of the same name. Walker began to celebrate his birthday in Luckenbach, an event which has grown to legendary proportions. From the early 1970s to 1978, he played with the Lost Gonzo Band, which was known for its skilled musicians, including singer-songwriter Gary P. Nunn.
In 1986, Walker formed his own production company, Tried and True Music, and began to take more time with each of his recording projects. In 1991, he began hosting the television show “The Texas Connection”, on the Nashville Network (TNN). In that same year, he played at the inauguration of Texas Governor, Ann Richards, and two years later at the inauguration of President Bill Clinton. Walker continues to play in packed halls to audiences ranging in age from teenagers to retirees.
2 boxes (plus 1 framed item)
2 Linear Feet
Language of Materials
Metadata Rights Declarations
- The descriptive data created for this finding aid is licensed under the CC0 Creative Commons license and is free for use without restriction.
This small collection is comprised of the handwritten lyrics and chord notations to the country western song “Charlie Dunn”, written in the 1970s by Jerry Jeff Walker for the Texas boot maker by that name. Also included is the first pair of custom lizard skin boots made for Walker by Dunn.
Materials may be stored off-site. Advance notice is required for use: https://www.thewittliffcollections.txstate.edu/research/makearesearchappointment.html.
Immediate Source of Acquisition
Gift of Jerry Jeff and Susan Walker, 1991
- Guide to the Jerry Jeff Walker Collection
- Amanda Oates
- Description rules
- Describing Archives: A Content Standard
- Language of description
- Script of description
- Language of description note
- Finding aid written in English.
- 2010: Finding aid revised by Alan Schaefer as part of the Wittliff's Collection Numbering Project
- 2021: Revised for ArchivesSpace by Katie Salzmann