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Buffett, Jimmy

Jimmy Buffett

Singer, songwriter, guitarist

For the Record…

Dreamt of Career in Music

Shot to Stardom with Changes in Latitudes

Literary Talents

Selected discography

Selected writings

Sources

Songster and storyteller Jimmy Buffett is adored by fans for his easy-going, infectious tunes that represent “escape from the humdrum world to a land of balmy breezes where frozen concoctions buzz in the blender, the beach is never crowded, and life is a perpetual party,” as described by Alanna Nash in Entertainment Weekly. A mix of pop, rock, country, and sometimes salsa or calypso, Buffett’s music motivates fans to show up at concerts in character, carrying lounge chairs and wearing Hawaiian shirts, flip-flops, and stuffed parrots perched on their shoulders, thus leading to their affectionate nickname “Parrot Heads.” His 1977 hit, “Margaritaville,” from the album Changes in Latitudes, Changes in Attitudes, established his trademark image of the humorous, laid-back, guitar-strumming wanderer, and his subsequent releases continued to play up this milieu, evoking scenes of coconut-heavy palms, tide-washed beaches, seaside watering holes, and the like. Buffett truly lives quite a bit of the life he sings of, enjoying toys like two seaplanes and a Citation II jet as well as a sailboat named after his daughter. His concerts attract a wide range of people drawn to his escapist music, from college frat boys to those bordering on retirement, and an array of ages and social classes in between.

Although he portrays himself as the perennial beach bum, Buffett perhaps has more capitalist in him than he lets on; it could be in his blood, since billionaire investor Warren Buffett is a distant cousin. In any case, he knew he had struck a chord with his pop-rock melodies of beachscapes, seafaring, and the good life in general. Consequently, he used this to lay the foundation for a business empire consisting of stores hawking his own Hawaiian shirts, Margarita mix, and salt shakers to an expanding family of Margaritaville Cafes and Cheeseburger in Paradise joints in cities like New Orleans, Louisiana, Orlando, Florida, and Indianapolis, Indiana. In addition, the former journalist has cracked the literature market as well, writing best-selling novels and memoirs as well as a couple of books for children. In 1998, Buffett released the autobiographical A Pirate Looks at Fifty, which hit number one on the New York Times’s best-seller list.

Buffett was born the son of James Delaney Buffett and Lorraine (Peets) Buffett on December 25, 1946, in Pascogoula, Mississippi, and raised in Mobile, Alabama. Early on, Buffett was enchanted with his nautical roots; his father worked as a naval architect in the Gulf of Mexico region and himself was the son of a sailor. His father wanted him to follow in his footsteps and become a naval officer, but Buffett forged a different path, enrolling at Auburn University to study journalism. Because he was attending college and failed a physical, he never served in Vietnam.

After attending Catholic schools throughout his youth, Buffett was itching to roam and see the world, so he left his college studies to venture to the party town of New Orleans. There, he performed folk songs in clubs and

For the Record…

Born James William Buffett on December 25, 1946, in Pascogoula, MS; son of James Delaney (a shipwright) and Lorraine (Peets) Buffett; married and divorced; married second wife, Jane Slagsvol, 1977; children: daughters Savannah Jane, Sarah Delaney, son Cameron Marley. Education: Attended Auburn University, 1964; University of Southern Mississippi, B.S., 1969.

Singer, songwriter, and author. Began performing as a folk singer in clubs in New Orleans and around the Gulf Coast, mid-1960s; country singer, Nashville, TN, c. 1969-71; released debut album, Down to Earth, Barnaby, 1970; formed Coral Reefer Band, 1975. Billboard publications, Nashville, TN, writer, c. 1969-73; author of novels, autobiography, and books for children, 1988-. Contributor to Inside Sports, Outside, Miami Herald, and Smart; appeared in films Rancho Deluxe, 1974, and FM, 1977; founder, Singing for Change charitable foundation, 1995; member, Greenpeace Foundation (honorary director), Cousteau Society, Save the Manatee Commission of Florida (chair).

Addresses: Office—c/o Margaritaville Records, 54 Music Sq. E., Ste. 303, Nashville, TN 37203, and 1880 Century Park E., Ste. 900, Los Angeles, CA 90067. Agent—Morton Janklow, 598 Madison Ave., New York, NY 10022. Website-Jimmy Buffett Official Website: http://www.margaritaville.com.

began to write his own material. Eventually, he went back to school at the University of Southern Mississippi and obtained his bachelor of science degree in 1969.

Dreamt of Career in Music

After graduating, Buffett moved to Nashville, Tennessee in 1969, with dreams of kickstarting his musical career. He landed a day job at Billboard magazine there in the late 1960s, suddenly finding himself thrust into a high-profile music industry career. As he recalled in his book, A Pirate Looks at Fifty, excerpted in Rolling Stone, “I had gone from just another nobody songwriter who couldn’t get his foot into a music publisher’s door into assistant Southern editor of Billboard. Hell, people took me to lunch, I had business cards. I flew to New York for editorial meetings.”

While working the only so-called real job he would ever hold, Buffett continued to perform in clubs around Nashville and managed to release an album in 1970 on the Barnaby label. This country-folk release was a sales dud, and his second album never even hit the shelves when the label misplaced the master tape. In about 1971, after a failed first marriage, he headed to Los Angeles for a while before ending up in Key West, Florida, which Eric Pooley in Time described as “then a lazy outpost for shrimpers, smugglers, gays and cosmic cowboys like singer Jerry Jeff Walker and novelist Tom McGuane, who ended up married to Buffett’s sister Laurie.”

Living on a ketch and tooling around the area’ islands, Buffett found his niche. He penned colorful tunes about life in the Keys that blended folk, rock, and country elements, and played in bars while hoping to snag another recording deal. Though he once remarked in a 1979 Rolling Stone cover story that he was also occupied with marijuana smuggling during this time, he later recanted the boast when the authorities questioned him. In 1973 Dunhill released his third album, A White Sport Coat and a Pink Crustacean. Despite the groan-inducing word play of the title, it enjoyed decent success, as did his next release, Living and Dying in 3/4 Time. Pooley in Time noted he was the “Prince of Key West” by this point, and by 1975 Buffett was well-known enough to provide the soundtrack for a film, Rancho Deluxe, in which he also appeared. Also that year he formed his backup group, The Coral Reefer Band.

Shot to Stardom with Changes in Latitudes

In 1977 Buffett shot to stardom with the platinum album Changes in Latitudes, Changes in Attitudes, which climbed both the country and pop charts. Its hit single, Margaritaville, with its lazy but catchy melody, related a story about drinking to forget a failed relationship, but its descriptive beach scenes tempered its melancholy aspects. The song’s refrain, “Wastin’ away again in Margaritaville / Searchin’ for my lost shaker of salt,” alternated with amusing lines like “I blew out my flip-flop / Stepped on a pop top.”

Surprisingly, despite Buffett’s ongoing popularity, Margaritaville would represent the only top ten single of his career. Other songs on the album similarly related anecdotes that sounded like they were transcribed from the journal of a beachcomber, peppered with lyrics about palm trees, sailing, parties, and sun worship. This would form the basis of his laid-back image which drew legions of fans to his concerts in the coming decades, and songs like “Cheeseburger in Paradise” solidified this. Buffett also would become a favorite of young party enthusiasts with favorites such as “Why Don’t We Get Drunk (and Screw)?” and “My Head Hurts, My Feet Stink, and I Don’t Love Jesus.” However, he ventured into more serious ballads with songs like “Son of a Son of a Sailor.”

By 1984, Buffett’s career was sagging, and searching for a gust of wind for his sails, he approached Corona beer to sponsor his concerts. With its fiesta-like image and appeal to young consumers, the deal was mutually beneficial. Corona boosted its chunk of the market from two percent to 17 percent between 1984 and 1988, and Buffett saw his popularity rebound as well. In 1992, his four-CD Boats, Beaches, Bars and Ballads, recorded on his own Margaritaville Records label which he founded that same year, became the best-selling boxed set in the history of MCA Records, which distributed the release. His concert dates often sold out, and he became one of the most successful live artists on the circuit, taking in about $25 million each year from his annual tours.

Although he has produced a few gold and a couple of platinum albums, Buffett is generally not a chart-topper, but has a core group of admirers and pounced on this to create a Buffett-themed multimillion dollar empire. With the birth of his Margaritaville Cafe in Key West, he combined his musical wares, a restaurant/bar, and retail goods. In addition to the requisite T-shirts, tapes, and CDs, he also sold clothing, books, and souvenirs, like the “lost shaker of salt” referred to in “Margaritaville” and pillows in the shape of cheeseburgers. Sales from his Margaritaville Cafes were estimated at $6 million in 1998.

All in all, Buffett is one of the wealthiest entertainers in business, but in addition to spending freely on leisure items, he also gives generously to charity. He is involved in environmental groups such as the Greenpeace Foundation (he serves as their honorary director), the Cousteau Society, and the Save the Manatee Commission of Florida (for which he acts as chair). In addition, in 1995 he founded Singing for Change, which is funded with $1 from each concert ticket sold. The foundation returns one half of the money raised from each venue to small nonprofits in concert cities, puts one quarter aside for organizations in other regions, and sets aside one quarter for future use. The project generally tries to fund groups relating to children and families, disenfranchised people, and environmental causes.

Literary Talents

In 1989, realizing that he had a treasure trove of ideas and experiences to draw upon, Buffett decided to compose a book. The result was Tales from Margaritaville: Fictional Facts and Factual Fictions, which combined short stories and autobiographical anecdotes. Most of the inclusions were fictional and centered on life on the ocean, but four of the pieces dealt with Buffett’s life from his upbringing through his celebrity stage. This release clung to the New York Times best-seller list for seven months. Subsequently, Buffett tried his hand at a full-length novel in 1992 titled Where Is Joe Merchant?, about a rock star who disappears in the Caribbean and his sister, who tries to track him down with the help of her ex-boyfriend, a swashbuckling pilot. This, too, reached best-seller status.

In 1995, Buffett began working with Pulitzer Prize winner Herman Wouk, known for epic novels like The Caine Mutiny and The Winds of War, to create a musical adaptation of Don’t Stop the Carnival, the author’s 1965 work about a philandering New York agent who moves to the Caribbean to run a hotel. In May of 1997 the collaboration opened at the Coconut Grove Playhouse in Miami, Florida, and its accompanying album was released in 1998. While the show was deemed not quite ready for Broadway, it enjoyed a decent run in Florida, and the book became the most commercially successful of Wouk’s career.

Scoring yet another coup as a writer, Buffett in 1998 released a full-length memoir, A Pirate Looks at Fifty, which was a best-seller for five weeks with half a million hardcovers sold. During the book’s second week on the charts, it hit the number one spot, making Buffett one of only six writers to reach the top peg on the New York Times’ fiction and nonfiction charts (in the company of others like Ernest Hemingway and John Steinbeck, not to mention Dr. Seuss). In addition to all of these projects, Buffett was also credited, along with his eldest daughter, Savannah Jane, with writing the children’s books The Jolly Mon, 1988, and Trouble Dolls, 1991. Both contain the familiar tropical settings that are his trademark and tell tales of adventure sprinkled with folkloric and fantasy elements. He also continued releasing albums during the 1990s, which included the live album Feeding Frenzy, boxed set Boats, Beaches, Bars and Ballads, Fruitcakes, Barometer Soup, Banana Wind, holiday album Christmas Island, Don’t Stop the Carnival, Beach House on the Moon, and Buffett Live: Tuesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays. In 2002, Buffett released Far Side of the World.

Buffett was married for the second time in 1977 to Jane Slagsvol, a woman he met in a bar in Key West when she was on spring break from the University of South Carolina. The Eagles played their wedding reception, and the two had their first daughter, Savannah Jane, and lived the high life for five years until Jane decided to take a break, sober up, and find her own way in life for a while. They got back together in 1991 and had two more children—another daughter, Sarah Delaney, and a son, Cameron Marley. They have homes in Palm Beach, Florida (they moved out of Key West in the late 1990s); Sag Harbor, New York; and Nashville, Tennessee; as well as a 500-acre plantation in southern Georgia bordering on 6,000 more acres of land where Buffett likes to hunt. Though he enjoys hobnobbing with other notables, Buffett’s wife told Pooley in Time, “If I didn’t force him to go out, he would be a total recluse. He is self-contained: up early, writing or fishing or boating or flying, making pancakes for the kids, driving them to school or camp, playing tennis or working out. That’s the life he loves.”

Selected discography

Down to Earth, Barnaby, 1970.

High Cumberland Jubilee, Barnaby, 1972.

A White Sport Coat and a Pink Crustacean, Dunhill, 1973.

A-1-A, Dunhill, 1974.

Living and Dying in 3/4 Time, Dunhill, 1974.

Rancho Deluxe (soundtrack), United Artists, 1975.

Havana Daydreamin’, ABC, 1976.

Changes in Latitudes, Changes in Attitudes, ABC, 1977.

You Had to Be There: Jimmy Buffet In Concert, MCA, 1978.

Son of a Son of a Sailor, ABC, 1978.

Volcano, MCA, 1979.

Coconut Telegraph, MCA, 1981.

Somewhere over China, MCA, 1981.

One Particular Harbour, MCA, 1983.

Riddles in the Sand, MCA, 1984.

Last Mango in Paris, MCA, 1985.

Songs You Know by Heart: Jimmy Buffett’s Greatest Hits, MCA, 1985.

Floridays, MCA, 1986.

Hot Water, MCA, 1988.

Off to See the Lizard, MCA, 1989.

Feeding Frenzy (live album), MCA, 1990.

Boats, Beaches, Bars and Ballads (four-CD boxed set), Margaritaville/Polygram, 1992.

Before the Beach (reissue of Down to Earth and High Cumberland Jubilee), Margaritaville, 1993.

Fruitcakes, Margaritaville/Polygram, 1994.

Barometer Soup, MCA, 1995.

Banana Wind, MCA Nashville, 1996.

Christmas Island (holiday music), MCA, 1997.

Don’t Stop the Carnival, Margaritaville/Polygram, 1998.

Beach House on the Moon, Margaritaville/Polygram, 1999.

Buffett Live: Tuesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays, Mailboat, 1999.

Far Side of the World, Mailboat, 2002.

Selected writings

(With daughter, Savannah Jane Buffett) The Jolly Mon (for children), illustrated by Lambert Davis, Harcourt, 1988.

Tales from Margaritaville: Fictional Facts and Factual Fictions (short story and autobiographical sketch collection), Harcourt, 1989.

(With daughter, Savannah Jane Buffett) Trouble Dolls (for children), Harcourt, 1991.

Where Is Joe Merchant? A Novel Tale (novel), Harcourt, 1992.

Daybreak on the Equator, Random House Large Print, 1997.

A Pirate Looks at Fifty, Random House, 1998.

(With Jeffrey Cardenas) Sea Level: Adventures of a Saltwater Angler, Meadow Run, 2002.

Sources

Books

Mote, Dave, editor, Contemporary Popular Writers, St. James Press, 1997.

Newsmakers 1999, Issue 3, Gale Group, 1999.

Periodicals

Billboard, July 22, 1995, p. 10; September 12, 1998, p. 9.

Entertainment Weekly, July 13, 1990, p. 50.

Forbes, January 16, 1995, p. 84.

Indiana Business Manager, September 2002.

Knight Ridder/Tribune News Service, December 6, 2002.

Newsday August 28, 1995, p. B3.

New Yorker, August 15, 1977, p. 23.

New York Times, July 26, 1998; February 21, 1999, p. AR44.

People, November 11, 1996, p. 39; October 19, 1998, p. 15.

Playboy, February 1998, p. 80.

Publishers Weekly, June 22, 1998, p. 24.

Rolling Stone, October 4, 1979, p. 36; March 19, 1998, p. 53.

Tampa Tribune, December 4, 1998.

Time, August 17, 1998, p. 68.

Variety, May 19, 1997, p. S37.

Online

“Jimmy Buffett,” All Music Guide,http://www.allmusic.com (March 20, 2003).

Jimmy Buffett Official Website, http://www.margaritaville.com (March 19, 2003).

Geri Koeppel

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"Buffett, Jimmy." Contemporary Musicians. 2003. Encyclopedia.com. 28 May. 2016 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Buffett, Jimmy." Contemporary Musicians. 2003. Encyclopedia.com. (May 28, 2016). http://www.encyclopedia.com/doc/1G2-3496000016.html

"Buffett, Jimmy." Contemporary Musicians. 2003. Retrieved May 28, 2016 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/doc/1G2-3496000016.html

Buffett, Jimmy

JIMMY BUFFETT

Born: Pascagoula, Mississippi, 25 December 1946

Genre: Country, Folk, Rock

Best-selling album since 1990: Boats, Beaches, Bars, and Ballads (1992)


Singer/songwriter Jimmy Buffett specializes in relaxed, country-influenced musical tales with a humorous twist. He has set himself apart from hoards of similar artists by parlaying his imageas a pleasure-seeking tropical-beach slackerinto tremendous commercial success. No artist has profited as much from one song as Buffett has from his 1977 hit, "Margaritaville," which spawned an entire entrepreneurial empire and made him one of music's wealthiest performers. Buffett also enjoys a successful second career as a writer.

Buffett grew up along the Gulf of Mexico near Mobile, Alabama, and his roots in the sea extend many generations back. His father was a naval architect and his grandfather a sailor. He chronicled his maritime heritage and attitude in the title song of his release Son of Son of a Sailor (1978). Buffett traveled to the eastern edge of Alabama to study journalism at Auburn University, where he began writing his own songs and performing in coffeehouses and clubs. As many country and folk singer/songwriters at that time did, Buffett traveled to Nashville, Tennessee, to begin a music career. However, instead of toiling in menial occupations while waiting for a break, as is the common practice, Buffett used his journalism experience to land a job with Billboard magazine. He rose to assistant editor at the publication while continuing to push his own songwriting and performing career. It turned out to be the only nine-to-five job Buffett ever worked.

Although he had two previous releases, Buffett's first major album success arrived after he began living on his own boat, soaking up and writing songs about the sights, sounds, characters, and lifestyle of Key West, Florida. His third album, A White Sport Coat and a Pink Crustacean (1973), was a charm and started a sequence of successful albums that brought Buffett into prominence. "Come Monday" from Living and Dying in 3/4 Time (1974) received extensive airplay, and other songs such as "Cheeseburger in Paradise," "Why Don't We Get Drunk," and "My Head Hurts, My Feet Stink and I Don't Love Jesus" became infamous, especially in rowdy college circles. However, "Margaritaville," his first and only major hit, defined Buffett. The song is about a happy-go-lucky beachcomber who sorts through the harebrained details of an alcohol-blurred summer to reach the gradual realization that his relationship problems are his own fault. While the three-chord song's subject matter is the stuff of country music tragedy, "Margaritaville" comes across as an appealing calamity, and it jump-started the phenomenon of Buffett's fans wearing tropical gear and perching stuffed parrots on their shoulders at his concerts. Consequently, Buffett's fans earned the label Parrotheads. The album containing "Margaritaville," Changes in Latitudes, Changes in Attitudes (1977), went platinum, and Buffett became a major star. Soon after, he used the Margaritaville branding for a series of stores that sell song-related items, a chain of Margaritaville Cafes, an on-line radio station called Margaritaville Radio, and even a fictional paradise in his first book, Tales from Margaritaville (1989). Within Buffett's laid-back beach dude persona rests a cunning businessman.

Like many contemporary songwriters possessing humor and substance, Buffett suffered a career slump in the 1980s. He abated this by arranging a concert sponsorship with Corona Beer, which hiked popularity for both entities. Buffett's live release, Feeding Frenzy (1990), went platinum, and he maintained his strong album sales without scoring major hits. Almost all of his work has a tropical theme, and the comical and catchy wordplay of his song and album titles sets the mood even before one hears the music. In the 1980s he released albums titled Last Mango in Paris (1985) and Off to See the Lizard (1989). The platinum-selling Banana Wind (1996) contained "Jamaica Mistaica," "Mental Floss," and "Happily Ever After (Now and Then)." Beach House on the Moon (1999) featured a song about pregnancy in "Permanent Reminder of a Temporary Feeling" and the title, "Altered Boy," from Far Side of the World (2002), may have reflected Buffett's Catholic school upbringing.

In concert Buffett usually accompanies himself on guitar and his folksy, midrange voice is more that of a storyteller or song interpreter than that of a classic country singer. He is a master showman, and few performers handle a live audience more deftly than Buffett. In 2003 he released a thirty-eight-song compilation album, Meet Me in Margaritaville (2003), which chronicled thirty years and thirty-three albums of work. The album's accompanying information sheds light on Buffett's life, which incorporates a concert and recording schedule, business responsibilities, the championing of environmental causes, world travel via his yacht or seaplanes (which he pilots), a passion for family responsibilities, and a career as a best-selling author.

Spot Light: Buffett as Author

Despite his many-faceted life, Jimmy Buffett somehow finds time to write books. His first, Tales from Margaritaville: Fictional Facts and Factual Fictions (1989), a collection of fictional and autobiographical short stories, remained on the New York Times best-seller list for seven months. He scored another New York Times best-seller with his first novel, Where Is Joe Merchant? (1992). Buffett's highly acclaimed memoir, A Pirate Looks at Fifty (1998), also earned best-seller status and in its second week hit the number one spot in the nonfiction genre. Buffett became one of only six writers in history to have reached number one on both the fiction and nonfiction bestseller lists of The New York Times. Additionally, he collaborated with his daughter, Savannah Jane, to pen two children's books, The Jolly Mon (1998) and Trouble Dolls (1991).


Few musical artists manage to combine Buffett's balance of leisure and commercial success. Yet, while many herald his entrepreneurial accomplishments, it is the sincerity and wisdom found in his massive volume of songs that earn him a rank of distinction among American songwriters of the past quarter century.

SELECTIVE DISCOGRAPHY:

Down to Earth (Barnaby, 1970); A White Sport Coat and a Pink Crustacean (Dunhill, 1973); Living and Dying in 3/4 Time (Dunhill, 1974); Havana Daydreamin' (ABC, 1976); Changes in Latitudes, Changes in Attitudes (ABC, 1977); You Had to Be There: Jimmy Buffett In Concert (MCA, 1978); Son of a Son of a Sailor (ABC, 1978); Volcano (MCA, 1979); Coconut Telegraph (MCA, 1981); Riddles in the Sand (MCA, 1984); Last Mango in Paris (MCA, 1985); Floridays (MCA, 1986); Hot Water (MCA, 1988); Off to See the Lizard (MCA, 1989); Fruitcakes (Margaritaville/MCA, 1994); Barometer Soup (Margaritaville/MCA, 1995); Banana Wind (Margaritaville/MCA, 1996); Christmas Island (Margaritaville/MCA, 1997); Don't Stop the Carnival (Margaritaville/Island, 1998); Beach House on the Moon (Margaritaville/Island, 1999); Far Side of the World (Mailboat, 2002); Meet Me in Margaritaville (Mailboat/MCA, 2003).

BIBLIOGRAPHY:

J. Buffett, Tales from Margaritaville: Fictional Facts and Factual Fictions (San Diego, 1989): J. Buffett, Where Is Joe Merchant? (San Diego, 1992); J. Buffett, Daybreak on the Equator (New York, 1997); J. Buffett, A Pirate Looks at Fifty (New York, 1998); S. Eng, Jimmy Buffett: The Man from Margaritaville Revealed, (New York, 1997); M. Uscher, Jimmy Buffett (Kansas City, 2001).

donald lowe

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Lowe, Donald. "Buffett, Jimmy." Baker's Biographical Dictionary of Popular Musicians Since 1990. 2004. Encyclopedia.com. 28 May. 2016 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

Lowe, Donald. "Buffett, Jimmy." Baker's Biographical Dictionary of Popular Musicians Since 1990. 2004. Encyclopedia.com. (May 28, 2016). http://www.encyclopedia.com/doc/1G2-3428400085.html

Lowe, Donald. "Buffett, Jimmy." Baker's Biographical Dictionary of Popular Musicians Since 1990. 2004. Retrieved May 28, 2016 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/doc/1G2-3428400085.html

Buffett, Jimmy

Jimmy Buffett

Singer, songwriter, guitarist

For the Record

Writings

Compositions

Selected discography

Sources

The grandson of a sea captain and son of a Navy shipbuilder, singer/songwriter Jimmy Buffett has also embraced the seagoing life in his singular way, celebrating its easy charms in his songs. A lifetime resident of the Gulf Coast and frequent Caribbean traveler in his fifty-foot ketch, Euphoria II, Buffett affectionately and humorously chronicles his adventures on land and sea, his vivid portraits of people and placesand his own genial drunken-sailor personataking him from local cult figure to international pop and country star. The once-starving artist (who recalls his secret supermarket raids in the early song Peanut Butter Conspiracy) scored his first big success with the 1977 gold record Margaritaville, introducing the nation to his fine songwriting and unique folk-country-rock-Caribbean sound. From that point on, Buffett has enjoyed steady success as a performing and recording artist. His music, like his life-style, is a gentle blend of folksy Southern rock and infatuation with the Caribbean, observed one critic in Time magazine. Buffett writes, often puckishly, of Gulf Stream idyls, Latin crimes of passion, and tequila-filled days. His themes, presented in simple rhythms and sung in an engaging baritone, have the languorous appeal of a fishnet hammock. A bit of reggae here. A little Beach Boys there. A dash of country and a pinch of rock, detailed People reviewer Ralph Novak. That is the basic Buffett recipe, which is cooked up... to good effect.

Raised in Mobile, Alabama, and educated in Catholic schools, Buffett felt the need to bust out after high school graduation. The pleasures of New Orleans beckoned, distracting him from his journalism studies at a nearby university; a decent guitarist with a good voice, Buffett began to perform folk music in local clubs, and to compose original folk songs. In the late 1960s he moved to Nashville, intent on entering the music business. While writing for Billboard magazine Buffett performed on the side, eventually obtaining a recording contract with Barnaby Records. His Down to Earth, a country-oriented album, appeared in 1972 and sold poorly; in another bad break, Barnaby Records misplaced the master tape to his second album before its release. Discouragedand stricken by the familiar wanderlustBuffett moved to Los Angeles to pursue other music opportunities, but succumbed to life in the fast lane once again. He finally settled near Key West, Florida, living for a time aboard his ketch, island-hopping and smuggling marijuanato support himself. Feeling at home around the Caribbean, the singer explained in Time: There are a lot of incredible characters down there, as migratory and gypsy-souled as I am.

Buffett performed his folk-rock-country songs at local shrimpers bars as he struggled to obtain new recording contracts. Dunhill released his moderately successful

For the Record

Surname is sometimes cited Buffet; born December 25, 1946, in Pascagoula, Miss.; raised in Mobile, Ala.; son of James Delaney (a naval architect) and Loraine (Peets) Buffett; first marriage ended in divorce; married Jane Slagsvol, August 27, 1977. Education: Attended Auburn University; Bachelor of science degree in history and journalism, University of Southern Mississippi, 1969. Politics: Democrat. Religion: Roman Catholic.

Worked as a writer for Billboard magazine and as a free-lance journalist for Inside Sports and Outside.

Vocalist, songwriter, and guitarist, mid-1960s; began as folksinger in New Orleans and Gulf Coast clubs; country singer in Nashville, c. 1969-72, country-folk-rock performer based in Key West, Fla., and Caribbean, 1972; assembled backup group, Coral Reefer Band, 1975. Appeared in motion pictures Rancho Deluxe, 1974, and FM, 1977.

Member: Chairman of Save the Manatee Commission, Florida; honorary director of Greenpeace Foundation; member of Cousteau Society.

Addresses: Office 80 Universal City Plaza, 4th Floor, Universal City, Calif. 91608-1002.

third album, A White Sport Coat and a Pink Crustacean, in 1973. Living and Dying in 3/4 Time added to the singers small circle of fans, as well as earning him the chance to score and appear in the motion picture Rancho Deluxe. His first platinum album, Changes in Attitudes, Changes in Latitudes (with its runaway hit single Margaritaville) appeared in 1977, and illustrated Buffetts crossover appeal as it climbed both pop and country charts. More gold and platinum recordings followed; the performers infrequent tours and concerts were also successful. In 1975 Buffett had formed his own backup group, the Coral Reefer Band, with Roger Bartlett on guitar, Greg Fingers Taylor on harmonica, Harry Dailey on bass, and Phillip Fajardo on drums (Tim Krekel and Keith Sykes later replaced Bartlett and Fajardo; Jay Spell joined on keyboard). While a handful of critics have frowned on Buffetts preoccupation with strong drink and American camp (with tunes like My Head Hurts, My Feet Stink and I Dont Love Jesus and Cheeseburger in Paradise), he is generally regarded as a superior songwriter, his albums distinguished by exceptional moments. Buffett is predictable, concluded Novak in a review of Riddles in the Sand, but hes predictably entertaining too.

Writings

(With Savannah Jane Buffett and illustrator Lambert Davis) The Jolly Mon (juvenile), Harcourt, 1988.

Tales From Margaritaville: Fictional Facts and Factual Fictions (short story and autobiographical sketch collection), Harcourt, 1989.

Compositions

Has written and co-written numerous songs, including Peanut Butter Conspiracy, Havana Daydreamin, Margaritaville, Cheeseburger in Paradise, and Whos the Blonde Stranger? Scored motion picture Rancho Deluxe; contributed to soundtrack of motion picture Going West.

Selected discography

Dawn to Earth, Barnaby, 1972.

A White Sport Coat and a Pink Crustacean, Dunhill, 1973.

Living and Dying in 3/4 Time, Dunhill, 1974.

A-1-A, Dunhill, 1974.

Rancho Deluxe (soundtrack), United Artists, 1975.

High Cumberland Jamboree, Barnaby, 1976.

Havana Daydreamin, ABC, 1976.

Changes in Latitudes, Changes in Attitudes, ABC, 1977.

Son of a Son of a Sailor, ABC, 1978.

Jimmy Buffett Live, ABC, 1978.

You Had to Be There, MCA, 1978.

Volcano, MCA, 1979.

Somewhere Over China, MCA, 1981.

Coconut Telegraph, MCA, 1981.

One Particular Harbor, MCA, 1983.

Riddles in the Sand, MCA, 1984.

Last Mango in Paris, MCA, 1985.

Songs You Know by Heart: Jimmy Buffetts Greatest Hits, MCA, 1986.

Floridays, MCA, 1986.

Hot Water, MCA, 1988.

Sources

Books

The New Rolling Stone Record Guide, edited by Dave Marsh and John Swenson, Random House, 1983.

The Rolling Stone Encyclopedia of Rock n Roll, edited by Jon Pareles and Patricia Romanowski, Summit Books, 1983.

The Encyclopedia of Folk, Country, and Western Music, St. Martins, 1983.

Periodicals

Library Journal, October 1, 1989.

People, November 5, 1984; April 15, 1985.

Publishers Weekly, February 12, 1988.

Time, April 18, 1977.

Nancy Pear

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Pear, Nancy. "Buffett, Jimmy." Contemporary Musicians. 1991. Encyclopedia.com. 28 May. 2016 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

Pear, Nancy. "Buffett, Jimmy." Contemporary Musicians. 1991. Encyclopedia.com. (May 28, 2016). http://www.encyclopedia.com/doc/1G2-3492200017.html

Pear, Nancy. "Buffett, Jimmy." Contemporary Musicians. 1991. Retrieved May 28, 2016 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/doc/1G2-3492200017.html

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