“The first duty of a revolutionary is to get away with it.”
Jerry Jeff Walker, outlaw country troubadour, is the subject of director Patrick Tourville’s documentary, OK Buckaroos. Not only was a packed house treated to an in-depth look into the life of one of music’s most innovative artists, but we were also privileged to see the man perform live.
As someone who only knew of Jerry Jeff Walker as “the guy who wrote ‘Mr. Bojangles’“, I have to say this film was quite enlightening. Originally from upstate New York, Jerry Jeff worked his way from being a street singer to writing one of the most popular songs of all time. His version of ‘Mr. Bojangles’ was never a hit, but countless other artists achieved great success with their version of the tune.
What surprised me the most was how far ahead of the times Jerry Jeff was when he decided to forgo the major record labels and record and distribute his music independently. At a time in the 80s where the major labels were everything, Walker proved that success was possible even without a big push from a record label, paving the way for what we see today in the music industry.
A man who has traveled and raised as much hell as Jerry Jeff Walker had plenty of extra stories to share in the Q&A following the screening.
One person asked about the real location of the Green Frog Cafe. Jerry Jeff had to call a friend to help him answer that question. That friend was the great Guy Clark.
Then we were all treated to a short set at Gilley’s by the man himself.
You leave the film with such a huge respect for the man. His sincerity comes across in his music and was clearly evident during the Q&A session. When asked what the greatest thing he has done in his life, he replied, “Marrying my wife, Susan, in Luckenbach, Texas.”
Learn more about the film by visiting http://www.okbuckaroosthemovie.com.