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Surprising Source

John Derbyshire, of all people, has an eloquent tribute to Bob Dylan. He's mistaken about Mr. Bojangles, though--it was written by Jerry Jeff Walker, not Dylan.

Posted by Rand Simberg at September 28, 2005 08:47 AM
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Derb may not actually be implying that Dylan authored "the dog up and died". My impression is that he's merely (re)using it as an illustration of beauty in poetry of the semi-literate kind. (Though Jerry Jeff's educational background is less known to me than Kris Kristofferson's...) In any event, thanks for the link, I generally enjoy Derbyshire's writing and definitely dug the Scorsese flick!

Posted by Hazy Dave at September 28, 2005 11:51 AM

For another view of Dylan see I Was So Much Older Then

Posted by pbswatcher at September 28, 2005 05:18 PM

I believe the formal education of Jerry Jeff Walker-- n Ronald Crosby-- pretty much ended with his stint on the Oneonta (N.Y.) High School championship basketball team of 1958. He apparently agreed to enlist in some branch of the military, but did not report, and they didn't track him down. The song was based on a character he met in a New Orleans jail, though some in Oneonta insist there's a bit of his barkeeper father Mel in Mr Bojangles as well.

Posted by Reg Csar at October 3, 2005 11:40 PM

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