Viva Terlingua – Jerry Jeff Walker

The MARK’S VINTAGE VINYL page features something from Mark’s collection of recordings from over the years. Most of it is on vinyl – hence the name – though there will be a few entries from his CDs (remember those?).

Viva Terlingua, by Jerry Jeff Walker

  • Eighth album and first live album by Jerry Jeff Walker, released in 1973.
  • I learned about Walker through a friend (Bill) who was a fan of Jimmy Buffett and of outlaw country music. Walker was a buddy of Buffett, and it was Walker who drove Buffett to Key West, Florida for the first time. Buffett’s music subsequently has become synonymous with Key West.
  • Walker is best known as the writer of the song Mr. Bojangles. The song was first recorded by Walker in 1968, and it has been covered by dozens of artists – The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band took it to #9 on the Hot 100 chart in 1970. Others covering it range from Sammy Davis Jr. to Elton John to Nina Simone to Whitney Houston.
  • Walker had a song titled Up Against The Wall, Redneck Mother that I thought was hilarious, and I bought the album Viva Terlingua that contains the song. The album features Walker playing with The Lost Gonzo Band as his backup band. The band backed several other outlaw country artists over the years, and also released 3 albums in the 70s.
  • The album’s sound is one of Texas outlaw hippie – if there is such a thing. It’s laid back, but still raucous and tight. It certainly appealed to country fans that enjoyed any substance that would alter the mind – booze or otherwise.
  • Apparently I was one of the few to buy the album – neither single from the album charted, and the album itself made it as high as #160 on the Billboard 200 album chart. Didn’t matter – I still enjoyed the songs, particularly Up Against The Wall, Redneck Mother. Watch Walker perform it at The Texas Connection – “Just kickin’ hippie’s asses and raisin’ hell!”

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