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Buffett, Jimmy

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Buffett, Jimmy, one of the most amusing singersongwriters to emerge in the 1970s, appealed to country and rock audiences with an intriguing variety of songs, alternately silly and sentimental, about sailing, partying, and womanizing, all portraying his unique, laidback lifestyle; b. Mobile, Ala., Dec. 25, 1946.

Achieving only one major hit in 25 years of recording (1977’s “Margaritaville”), Buffett nonetheless established himself as one of the most popular touring acts of the 1980s and 1990s.

Jimmy Buffett began sidelining as a folk singer while attending the Univ. of Southern Miss., from which he was graduated with a degree in history and journalism. After working in New Orleans he moved to Nashville in 1969, ultimately settling in Key West, Fla., in 1971. Recording two obscure albums for the Barnaby label, Buffett assembled the Coral Reefers as his backup band and switched to Dunhill Records (absorbed by MCA, as was his later label, ABC). He gained his first recognition with songs such as “Railroad Lady,” cowritten with Jerry JeffWalker, and “Why Don’t We Get Drunk and Screw” from his debut album. His first moderate hit, the ballad “Come Monday,” came in 1974.

Throughout the 1970s Buffett recorded best-selling albums that featured fun ditties such as Lord Buckley’s “God’s Own Drunk,” “My Head Hurts, My Feet Stink and I Don’t Love Jesus,” “Margaritaville” (his only major hit), “Livingston Saturday Night,” “Cheeseburger in Paradise,” “Fins,” and “Volcano,” and moving ballads such as “A Pirate Looks at Forty,” “Havana Day-dreamin’,” and “Treat Her Like a Lady.” He also recorded songs by excellent contemporary songwriters such as Jesse Winchester (”Defying Gravity”) and Steve Goodman (”Door Number Three” and “Banana Republics”). Buffett appeared in and performed the music for the 1975 film Rancho Deluxe . He toured tirelessly and established himself with legions of fans who made him one of the best-drawing pop acts of the 1980s and 1990s.

During the 1980s Buffett continued to record his own compositions, including fan favorites such as “Coconut Telegraph,” “It’s My Job,” “Growing Older but Not Up,” “Where’s the Party,” and “Gypsies in the Palace,” as well as Rodney Crowell’s “Stars on the Water” and Van Morrison’s “Brown Eyed Girl.” In 1989 he published a collection of short stories, Tales from Margaritaville, followed by the novel Where Is Joe Merchant? in 1992, the year he founded Margaritaville Records, distributed by MCA, for subsequent recordings.

Buffett, Warren - Overview, Personal Life, Career Details, Social and Economic Impact, Chronology: Warren Buffett [next] [back] Buffalo Springfield

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