News of Otsego County

Mr. Bojangles

Jerry Jeff Walker, 78, ‘Mr. Bojangles’ Creator; On Historic OHS Team


Jerry Jeff Walker, 78,

‘Mr. Bojangles’ Creator;

On Historic OHS Team

Jerry Jeff Walker hoists his OHS Wall of Distinction plaque, awarded to him during his last local performance, Aug. 14, 2010, at the Oneonta Theatre. ( file photo)
A publicity shot of Jerry Jeff in his heyday.

ONEONTA – Jerry Jeff Walker, the Oneonta native who found country music stardom with his 1968 hit “Mr. Bojangles,” has died after a three-year battle with throat cancer, according to reports.

Born Ronald Clyde Crosby on March 16, 1942, in Oneonta, was a member of OHS Coach Tony Drago’s unbeaten, untied 1959-60 varsity basketball team.  He also formed his first band locally, The Tones. He graduated in 1960 and moved to New York City, then to Austin.

HOMETOWN History May 29, 2020


May 29, 2020

135 Years Ago

Home & Vicinity – A few nights ago a fair damsel who was coming out of one of our churches was approached by a young man who requested the pleasure of seeing “her home.” The young lady replied,” “No, sir; if you want to go home with me you must go with me to church, sit with me during the exercises and thus show yourself worthy of my company!”
Sensible girl, that! If others would follow her example, the young men who loaf around the streets until service is nearly over and then station themselves near the church door, and when the ladies appear ask to go home with them, would soon become more familiar with the inside of the churches than at present.

May 1885

130 Years Ago

The street railway company has made arrangements to handle two thousand passengers on Decoration Day between West End and Wilber Park. The observation car will run only from the Windsor Hotel to the park; all other cars will run through as usual. Cars will leave the West End every half hour and the Windsor Hotel and Wilber Park every fifteen minutes.
The graduates of the Oneonta Normal School are from the first able to command very comfortable salaries.
Two members of the class of 1890 have already secured excellent positions. F.H. Lane, whose thesis is titled “The Jesuits,” goes to Babylon, Long Island at a salary of $1,000 per year, while one of the lady graduates has been secured by the Normal College of the City of New York where she will be teacher in the model department.

May 1890

125 Years Ago

Patrons who attended the sell-out performance of McIntyre & Heath’s “The Ham Tree,” a musical comedy, on Monday evening at the Oneonta Theatre, were unanimous in their verdict that it was the best of Manager George Roberts’ excellent shows. It was no place for a philosopher who wanted to do any serious work. But, for any human being who likes to laugh, it was the inner shrine. If there are any funnier comedians in the world than McIntyre & Heath they had better be locked up, or they might face a charge of manslaughter for tickling people to death.
The songs were good, the dancing clever, the show girls pretty, the costumes clean and bright and not a line in the show that would make a Quaker blush. The situations in which the busted down minstrels found themselves were the product of a mastermind and the dialogue of the two minstrels were put over in a way that would make imitators look awfully sick. Theatre lovers are grateful to Mr. Roberts for his nerve in securing an attraction like this for a city of this size.

May 1895

90 Years Ago

Professor Robert D. McKenzie of the University of Washington maintains that Nordic supremacy is not caused by racial differences, but rather by differences in culture and training. A good many people might disagree with him. However, the dissenters from McKenzie’s view might be persuaded differently by reading newspaper accounts of the marathon race at Amsterdam in the Netherlands. The marathon race is generally regarded as calling for distinctly Nordic strength and endurance. However, the race was won by a brown-skinned Algerian, with a dark-skinned Chilean second and two yellow-skinned Japanese fourth and sixth, while the white race had to be content with third and fifth places. The winner was trained as a dispatch runner for French troops – a fact that supports the professor’s theory that almost any race, with the same training as whites, can do what whites can.

May 1930

30 Years Ago

Pepsi is trading soda for vodka, McDonald’s is bringing
the golden arches across the iron curtain, and Thomas Scholet, an Oneonta businessman believes any size company can make a Soviet business connection. “Soviet Business Connections” is the name of the umbrella organization Scholet set up to facilitate commercial, cultural and recreational exchange between the super powers. Scholet himself is doing business with the Soviets, having recently entered into a joint venture with a Moscow-based organization called Soviet International Tourist Services. Scholet and his partners put together here in the U.S. to travel to the Soviet Union and the Moscow office organizes groups in the Soviet Union to tour in America. Scholet plans to lead 150 business travelers to the Soviet Union this year.

May 1990

20 Years Ago

Health insurance companies will have to settle claims faster and face higher penalties for failure to pay claims on time under the terms of legislation sponsored by State Senator James L. Seward. The measure passed unanimously on May 16. “We need to toughen the 1997 prompt payment laws because compliance isn’t what it should be,” Seward said. The legislation requires insurers to pay claims filed electronically within 30 days instead of 45. The bill also declares that failure to settle claims in a timely manner constitutes an unfair claims settlement practice,,, subjecting HMOs and insurers to additional penalties.
The bill requires that all health insurance contracts include a dispute resolution mechanism. “When a company agrees to cover medical procedures, it must pay policyholders and providers on time,” Seward said. The bill also prohibits HMOs and insurers from denying care that had been previously authorized. “I certainly hope the Assembly will support our effort to improve the claims settlement and payment process in New York on behalf of patients and providers,” Seward added.

May 2000

15 Years Ago

Jason West, the New Paltz Village Mayor who challenged New York law by attempting to marry gay couples will face trial, New York State’s highest court has ruled. Mayor West will face 24 misdemeanor counts of violating the state’s domestic relations law by marrying couples without marriage licenses last year. West’s defiance of a law that state officials say forbids gay marriage has made New Paltz a flashpoint in the national gay marriage debate. The New York State Court of Appeals refused West’s request to hear the case first, avoiding the usual process of hearing cases in town, county and state appellate courts before they are considered by the state’s highest court. West had sought a “leave application” because he argued the case was unique, novel and critical to the state. The Appellate Court issued its ruling following a teleconference.

May 2005

10 Years Ago

Oneonta native Jerry Jeff “Mr. Bojangles” Walker will be back in town in early August to visit his mother. And while here, he plans to play his first local concert in a half-dozen years Saturday, Aug. 14, at the by-then newly refurbished Oneonta Theatre.

May 28, 2010

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