OK Buckaroos: A Troubadour's Journey


This was the official website for the film about Jerry Jeff Walker and his music, Ok Buckaroos (2010). The content below is from the site's archived pages and other outside sources.

Jerry Jeff Walker's story should not be forgotten.
Go to Jerry Jeff Walker 's website to see what this amazing artist is up to: http://jerryjeff.com/


This is the story of a troubadour's journey in the last years of the twentieth century. Jerry Jeff Walker's music has led him from the nation's biggest arenas to hundred-year old honky-tonks; from upstate New York to the beaches of Key West and the hustling sidewalks of New Orleans to the solace of the Texas Hill Country - and for beyond. He's been a cog in the wheel of the recording industry's star-making machinery and an involuntary pioneer on the frontier of artistic independence. He wrote one of the biggest mainstream hits of all time and still managed to help jump start a maverick musical movement. 

Back Story

It was in 1985 that Jerry Jeff took control of his career and severed all major label ties. He and his wife Susan start their own label, Tried and True Music. They take over every aspect of the creative process by unleashing a marketing and management coup that is truly a precursor to the independent and digital revolution that has overwhelmed the major labels today.

It's July 4th, 2009 - Independence Day - and from a stage in Round Rock, Texas, with over two thousand raucous fans we hear "OK Buckaroos," and once again with twinkle in his eye Jerry Jeff lets the opening chords from Gettin' By wash over the crowd. It's show time. Whether a back country saloon or a stadium filled with thousands of fans, he has brought people together to celebrate who they are and what they feel about life and love and freedom. The show never gets old. Jerry Jeff is singing his life story, what he knows of good times and bad.

The 2009 concert is interwoven throughout the film. With over forty years of archival footage, including performances, interviews and anecdotal stories from Jerry Jeff's contemporaries, the film explores the half century journey of this Gypsy Song Man from upstate New York to the beaches of Florida and the hustling sidewalks of New Orleans to a hot summer night in Round Rock, Texas.


Related: I have followed Jerry Jeff Walkers career throughout my life. I have seen dozens of shows from smoky bars to large arenas when he was playing screaming cowboy rock 'n' roll to thousands of people in the 70's and 80's. Yup, I'm that old. The other day while taking a break from training sales reps about the finer points of garbage & trash bags for the e commerce janitorial store I work for, I was telling these young pups about the various singer-songwriters that I like. I mentioned Jerry Jeff Walker and the American pop standard, "Mr. Bojangles" he wrote and performed. I reminisced about first seeing him in NYC at the Electric Circus. I was just out of college and working in the Big Apple. Saw him the next year at the Newport Folk Festival. That was the year he released the album, Mr Bojangles. Blank stares. I then switched gears and drilled the pups on the various GladForceFlex trash bags, Natural trash bags, and black garbage bags in their various sizes. Everyone perked up. Oh well. I went back to work whistling Mr Bojangles and heard one of the pups say, 'Hey, I've heard that tune. My father whistles it all the time." What can I say!



Jerry Jeff Walker
Susan Walker
Ray Wylie Hubbard
Todd Snider
Bruce Robison
Jimmy Buffett
Willie Nelson
Kris Kristofferson
Guy Clark
Joe Ely
...and many more on many stages!


Marshall Riggan - Writer
Ron Deutsch - Writer
Sean Schiavolin - Editor and co-director
Nate Ferrone - Associate Producer
Beau Ross - Executive Producer
John Trube- Executive Producer
Beau Ross, John Trube and Patrick Tourville



Update #15
I'm Going To Get Drunk
Dear Kickstarter Supporters,
We did it. Discs are being pressed and new website launched in the last hour. We have release dates and pre-sale package. Jerry Jeff gets back in a few weeks and I will be playing arts and crafts putting rewards together and getting his signature on some of the items.
Spread the word to all music lovers you know. Thanks for the support. It's been a long road.
Now for several cold ones....later.


Update #14
May 15 2014
Once Upon A Time
Dear Kickstarter Backers,
Well I am indeed a story teller and I'll stipulate right now the story of getting OK Buckaroos out is getting old for all of you. In my last Update of Jan 29th I pointed out and I emphasized again the three legs to our fund raising stool that would allow us to get the film out - Kickstarter, Screenings and Private Equity. It is important to understand that our finished film would only be a completed film once we jumped through all the legal hoops that are required with licensing of 29 songs and secure the money to execute those contracts. I mentioned that our music coordinator was very close to wrapping the negotiating side with 12 different publishers. Well three weeks ago it was wrapped up, finally. Why the delay? I'm going to be totally honest with ya and at this point I'm not over concerned about making friends or enemies in the US Copyright world...which needs a major overhaul. The song Chattanooga Choo Choo is in the film - the beginning of Act 1. Sony owns the publishing and made our life miserable in terms of getting a MFN (Most Favored Nations) contract with the other 11 publishers ( who were great!). For those of you who don't know what MFN means it simply allows the highest price to become the price for all participants. Their position was, of course Glynn Miller and Chattanooga Cho Cho is worth more than anything from Jerry Jeff. See Bojangles and the BMI list of most popular songs ever recorded for a good laugh! Sorry had to vent.

OK, so we ultimately  got some concessions and now have a plan which includes our physical product and digital download rights and options for Streaming, Cable etc. (and our DVD cover above!). It goes like this:

  • Film with final credits/chaptering/bonus material will go to manufacturing the first week of June.
  • We will launch a new website at the same time with a store for pre-orders.
  • Kickstarter physical rewards will be shipped in late June along with pre-orders
  • General Release of the film is targeted for July 4th

Thank you again for your patience and know that this has been a painful and costly process for me personally (if you need film/video work, I'm available) but I will not let you down.


Update #13 
Jan 29 2014
I Swear We Are Not Pissin' in the Wind
Dear Kickstarter Backers,
I have had several inquiries over the last couple of weeks, RE: when is the DVD coming out and where are our rewards. Again, as referenced in the many updates we have hit several bumps along the road, with the big one being my two month illness that really set us back. Subsequently we have been back on track trying to achieve our three part strategy to get the film cleared/legal and finished - Kickstarter (done), Screenings (happening) and Private Equity (happening). My primary focus over the last couple of months is getting the filmed screen, a laborious process but important to our over all success. We will continue with screenings and seeking new partners but the good news we have raised and/or have committed enough funds to get the film licensed for DVD and Digital downloads. We have targeted March 18th and a screening at The State Theater in Austin for our DVD release party. Running up to that my focus will turn to final technical needs on the film for DVD authoring (yeah, there will be bonus material)and preparing all other rewards.
Our music supervisor in LA is very close to wrapping all 13 publishers in deals that will allow us to get you the DVD. So that's why we are targeting March 18th. We will continue to screen the film at different venues throughout the country beyond that date for our 1k contributors or we like to see you at the March 18th shindig in Austin. Or if would like to come to Nashville next week, let me know know. www.franklintheatre.com 
I want to thank you again for your patience. Some of you have been so kind and understanding, others a little miffed - I deserve both! No one whats this film out more then me. We are so close.
Many thanks,


Update #12 
Nov 27 2013

Hey Buckarooos,
I want to take a moment to get everyone on the same page. There are a few of you who have felt a little consternation for me: lack of communication and delivery of Rewards and I hate knowing that! There are also a few issues I would like you to understand. First as I commented on yesterday there have been technical issues with Kickstarter and emails not getting to me. This has been a two month problem that was finally rectified yesterday. So fire away and I will get the alerts. Secondly as I hoping you know from reading previous updates I had serious health issues that incapacitated me from mid July to early Sept. That obviously put a huge dent in our schedule. Finally I want to refer to some of the copy in Risk and Rewards from our original page:
So our plan has three parts: money from current and new investors, Sneak Previews in targeted markets throughout the US and engage all the fans through Kickstarter. We know we can always fall back to a DYI - DVD only release. So the primary risk is time. We have a well thought plan that we feel can be executed in 90 days but it may take longer. So come on board and be a part of the plan. We'll keep you updated as we continue down this road.  
The biggest risk was and always has been with this project "time." This is my third year of attempting to get the film released. While painful, it's not completely unusual for a music documentary to experience this process. The recently released film about Levon Helm, "I Ain't In It For My Health" took two years from finish to clear the legal and licensing. I've got 29 songs in this film none of which I'm willing to jettison! So we are back on track. The same 90 model was re-configured in late Sept and we are working diligently to execute...it may be more like 120 though! here's what I know:
Music Publishing Negotiations are in full swing on a DYI -DVD/DD license ASAP with options for other outlets TBD later.
Screenings are lining up: Currently Houston, Dallas, Nashville, New Orleans, Atlanta and Austin are in different stages of booking and we won't stop there. For you 1k EP donors out there I will be providing more detail in the surveys going out Friday. Our plan is to have the DVD Release Screening and Event in March in Austin day TBD (around JJ's Birthday). Hope to see ya there or one of the screenings.
As mentioned in above Risk and Reward section, there were and remain three legs to our fund raising stool to address the completion and release issues - private equity, screening fund raisers and Kickstarter. 
Kickstarter has been the most successful leg of the the three, without which none of the above would be happening. From bottom of my heart I thank you for giving us the momentum once I got out of bed and back to work.
Surveys Friday....with early Rewards going out. Have a Happy Thanksgiving.


Update #11 
Nov 26 2013
Back on Line
The good folks at Kickstarter have resolved the email alert issue. 
Kickstarter Support, Nov 26 15:29 (EST): Hi Patrick, It looks like we were having some issues delivering emails to your address, but we have since resolved the issue. I've just sent along a password reset email as a test. Best, Katherine ________________________________________  
Again, I apologize for not getting back to specific questions - didn't know they were there. To all standby info is forthcoming and I'll comb the message box for specific questions.




Aaron Campbell
Amber Foreman Gaddis
Anthony Lucio
B Carroll
Barry Roberts
Bart Hains
Beth Joens
Bill Bobbora
Bill West
Bob Treadway
Brad Witty
Brandon Masters
Bret Worley
Bruce Penny
Buck Lomas
Bud Josserand
Carson Cullen
Chris Coffman
Christine Cwiklinski
Christopher Duval
Cindy Eells
Clint Padgett
Cody Coleman
Curt Daniels
Daniel Drooger
Daniel Heldring
Dave Crockett
David and Julie Fitzpatrick
David Balk
David Genecov
David Herle
David Murphey
David Ogonowski
Dennis Williams
Diana Payne
Doug Wintch
Douglas Hendrix
Earl Casey
Ed Cooper
Edward Baran
Elizabeth Anderson
Elizabeth Leszczuk
Eric J. Murphy
Eric VanSickel
Greg Libby
Gregory Henry
Ian Gordon
Jack Neville
James Palana
Jamie O’Brien
Jay Francis
Jeff Edward Taylor
Jeff Standifer
Jeff Stone
Jerry Michael Montgomery
Jerry Riordan
Jim Brady
Jim Lass
Joe Swift
John Agan
John Danforth
John Key
John Long
John Moore
John Phelagti
Joseph Mazzotti
Julie Rogers
Karen Stevenson
Karla Swasey
Kate Sparks
Kathy Stoikes
Keith Lossen
Kent Marsh
Kent Riddle
Kevin Haggard
Kevin Lewis
Larry Wade
Laura Darby Noonan
Lee Cox
Lee Ramsey
Lee Sweet
Leonard Jardine
Lesley Lorenz
Linda Garland
Linda Morris
Lowell Matchett
Lynn McCarthy
Lynnea Horton
Mark E Hurtt
Martin Brooks Smith
Marty Corey
Mason Weinrich
Mathew Murphy
Mathew Slack-Smith
Meade Hufford
Mel Finkenberg
Michael Bright
Michael Dunham
Michael Sarki
Michael Shaw
Michael W. Nelson
Michele Tomiak
Nancy Kramer
Nancy Shindler
Nick Rogakis
Pete Ballard
Peter Lemonias
Randall Taylor-Craven
Raymond Allen Ray
Richard and Judith Shatter
Rick Jaeger
Ricky Wayne Sprague
Rob Hood
Robert Johnsen
Robert Sanders
Rodney and Tommie Smith
Ron Heck
Rosemary Fraine
Ross Bates
Sandra Johnson
Sara Kuykendall
Scott Edward Scheele
Scott Flynn
Stephen Britt
Stephen Osburn
Steve Felson
Steve Hall
Steve Page
Steve Tuck
Steven Steinberg
Stewart Adam
Susy Hensel
Suzanne Bowes
Tal Feagins
Teri Coker
Terry P. Casey
Terry Trautloff
Tim Eismei er
Tim Gaffney
Timothy Fass
Todd Leffler
Todd Montgomery
Tracy Howard
Wayne Jenkins
William C. Buckles
William Grover


Jerry Jeff Walker 

An upstate New Yorker named Ronald Crosby, became Jerry Jeff Walker in 1966, embarking on a fifty year (and counting) career of musical and personal highs and lows that can only be described as “legendary.” During his early busking days, Walker landed in a New Orleans jail cell with a down-on-his-luck drunken tap dancer known as Bojangles; Jerry Jeff turned the experience into one of the most recognized songs of the last half-century, “Mister Bojangles.” That experience and that song has colored Jerry Jeff’s career ever since. However, it was the decision to make Austin, Texas his home base that thrust Walker into the forefront of the outlaw country movement, along with Waylon Jennings, Willie Nelson and Ray Benson’s Asleep At the Wheel. Suddenly, the wayward troubadour found himself on the major label treadmill, cranking out an album (or two) a year for MCA and, later, Elektra, throughout the ’70s and early ’80s. During this time, an angel named Susan came into his life, grounding and stabilizing the wild life Walker had led for most of his adult life. As the grind of being a major label recording artist began to take its toll, Jerry Jeff, with Susan’s blessing, walked away from the insanity in 1982. In 1986, Jerry Jeff and Susan Walker formed Tried and True Music, an independent label dedicated to releasing new music from Jerry Jeff, on their own terms. Always being a man who believed in causes and, looking for a way to give back, the couple eventually founded the Tried and True Foundation, which is a reflection of their commitment to the fostering of young musicians’ talents.