Jimmy Buffett (born James William Buffett on December 25, 1946 in Pascagoula, Mississippi) is a singer,songwriter, and recently a film producer best known for his "island escapism" lifestyle and music including hits such as "Margaritaville" (No. 234 on the list of 'Songs of the Century'), and "Come Monday." He has a devoted base of fans known as "Parrotheads".
Early life of Jimmy Buffett
The son of James Delaney "J.D." Buffett Jr. and Mary Loraine "Peets" Buffett, Buffett grew up in Daphne, Alabama, where he attended McGill-Toolen Catholic High School. He only began playing guitar during his college years at Auburn University and The University of Southern Mississippi in Hattiesburg, Mississippi, where he received a bachelor's degree in journalism in 1969. While at Southern Miss, he was also initiated in to the fraternity Kappa Sigma (ΚΣ). He later married his first wife, Margie Washichek, at Spring Hill College in Mobile.
After graduating from college, Buffett worked as a correspondent for Billboard magazine in Nashville.
Buffett began his official musical career in Nashville during the late 1960s as a country artist and recorded his first album, Down to Earth, in 1970. He then moved to Key West and began establishing the easy-going beach bum persona for which he is known.
Buffett's third album was A White Sport Coat and a Pink Crustacean, now acclaimed as his best though it achieved only moderate sales. Havana Daydreamin' appeared in 1976, followed by 1977's Changes in Latitudes, Changes in Attitudes, which featured the breakthrough hit song "Margaritaville".
During the 1980s Buffett made far more money off his tours than albums and became known as a popular concert draw. He released a series of albums during the following twenty years, primarily to his devoted audience, and also branched into writing and merchandising. In 1985, Buffett opened the first of the "Margaritaville" restaurants in Key West, bringing new visibility and life to the Margaritaville name.
Two of the more unusual albums were Christmas Island, a collection of holiday songs, and Parakeets, a collection of Buffett songs sung by children and containing "cleaned-up" lyrics (like "a cold root beer" instead of "a cold draft beer").
In 1997, Buffett collaborated with novelist Herman Wouk to create a short-lived musical based on Wouk's novel, Don't Stop the Carnival. Broadway showed little interest for the play, so it was instead run for six weeks in Miami. He released the soundtrack for the musical in 1998.
In 2003, he partnered in a partial duet with Alan Jackson for the country hit "It's Five O'clock Somewhere," a number one hit on the country charts.
Buffett's most recent album, License to Chill, released on July 13, 2004, sold 238,600 copies in its first week of release according to Nielsen SoundScan. With this, Buffett topped the U.S. pop albums chart for the first time in his three-decade career.
Buffett continues to tour throughout the year although recently he has shifted to a more relaxed schedule of ~20-30 dates, and never on back to back nights. In fact, he tries to play only on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays. Ticket purchasing is becoming harder and harder each year. All of his concerts sell out in a matter of minutes.
Buffett co-owns the "Margaritaville" and "Cheeseburger In Paradise" restaurants (the latter of which is a part of the Outback Steakhouse family of restaurants). He loves baseball and is part-owner of two minor league teams: the Fort Myers Miracle and the Madison Black Wolf. Between his restaurants, album sales, and tours, he makes an estimated 60-70 million dollars a year.
In 2006, Buffett plans a cooperative project allegedly with Anheuser-Busch to produce his own beer called Lone Palm. Lone Palm was also the title of a song from his 1994 album Fruitcakes. The label of the beer bottle will most likely feature a Pirate's map. The seaplane airport at the Orlando Margaritaville restaurant is also called Lone Palm.