Donald's Encyclopedia of Popular Music

A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

BUFFETT, Jimmy

(b 25 Dec. '46, Mobile AL) Contemporary country-rock singer/songwriter. Studied journalism, which comes across in his songs. Recorded in Nashville '70 for Barnaby Records: Down To Earth LP flopped; follow-up High Cumberland Jubilee tapes lost, but mysteriously turned up when he hit the big time in '76. Feature writer for Billboard '72; signed to Dunhill records '73 (later ABC, then MCA) for highly praised LP A White Sport Coat And A Pink Crustacean, country hit 'The Great Filling Station Holdup'. First crossover hit with 'Come Monday' '74 (made no. 30 USA pop chart) from LP Living And Dying In 3/4 Time, first to make pop album chart. Songs reflect lifestyle in Florida Keys where he spends much time on his boat, though 'Gulf & Western' country style comes through in songs like 'Brand New Country Star', 'Please Bypass This Heart', 'Cowboy In The Jungle'. 'Margaritaville' no. 8 on pop chart '77, from LP Changes In Latitudes, Changes In Attitudes; 'Cheeseburger In Paradise', 'Fins' all made top 40; two LPs went platinum: Son Of A Son Of A Sailor, You Had To Be There (two-disc live set), both '78. Other albums incl. A1A '74 (named for beach access road off US1 in Florida), Havana Daydreamin' '76, Volcano '79, Coconut Telegraph '80, Somewhere Over China '81, One Particular Harbour '82, Riddles In The Sand '84, Last Mango In Paris '85, Floridays '86, Hot Water '88, Off To See The Lizard '89, Live Feeding Frenzy '91; formed own Margaritaville label '92, followed by Fruitcakes '94. Songs You Know By Heart '86 and Boats, Beaches, Bars, Ballads '94 were multi-disc greatest hits boxes, also huge sellers. Talking about his biggest year in concert grosses '85 he said, 'I go onstage with the attitude that this is going to be my last concert, so let's all have fun and party till we drop.' Fans wear parrot-billed or shark-finned caps and are known as parrotheads; a Buffett concert is often preceded by a cheeseburger party, at which one fan said, 'Buffett isn't just a singer. He's an attitude.' He has written unproduced TV scripts; talked to Michael Nesmith about a musical film Margaritaville, 'a rock'n'roll Robinson Crusoe fantasy'. Wrote lyric for a Brian Wilson album '98.