The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #44348   Message #2093287
Posted By: PoppaGator
03-Jul-07 - 03:04 PM
Thread Name: Origin: Mister Bojangles
Subject: RE: Mr Bojangles
I haven't played this in years, but it was one of my "greatest hits" as a street performer in the late 60s/early 70s. Thanks for the reminder; I just might work it up again. (I played it in C, just like Jed-at-work, with the same descending bass line, etc.)

It may not be correct to assume that the nickname "Bojangles" originated with the famous Bill Robinson. I think it's just as likely that he adopted an already-well-established "folk" nickname for any skilled tapdancer ~ not that all street dancers to appear after Mr. Robinson had established himself in Hollywood were necessarily named after him.

Any of you scholars out there have a pre-1930s citation of the nickname "Bojangles" or "Mr. Bojangles"? I have a hunch there might be some, indicating that Bill Robinson (or his agant) did not make up the name, that he simply popularized a pre-existing sobriquet.