- Down to Earth, Barnaby, 1972.
- A White Sport Coat and a Pink Crustacean, Dunhill, 1974.
- Living and Dying in 3/4 Time, Dunhill, 1974.
- A-1-A, Dunhill, 1974.
- Rancho Deluxe, United Artists, 1975.
- Havana Daydreamin’, ABC, 1976.
- High Cumberland Jubilee, Barnaby, 1976.
- Changes in Latitudes, Changes in
- Attitudes, ABC, 1977.
- Son of a Son of a Sailor, ABC, 1977.
- You Had to Be There, MCA, 1978.
- Volcano, MCA, 1979.
- Coconut Telegraph, MCA, 1981.
- Somewhere Over China, MCA, 1981.
- Our Particular Harbour, MCA, 1983.
- Fast Times at Ridgemont High, Full Moon /Asylum, 1982.
- 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.
- Always, MCA, 1990.
- Live Feeding Frenzy, MCA, 1990.
- Boats, Beaches, Bars, and Ballads, Margaritaville/MCA, 1992.
- Before the Beach, Margaritaville/MCA, 1993.
- Songs You Know by Heart: Jimmy Buffett’s Greatest Hits, MCA, 1985.
Hear audio clips by Jimmy Buffet on Itunes (it also includes a biography)
- Swine Not? (2008)
- License to Chill (2005)
- A Salty Piece of Land (2005)
- A Pirate Looks at Fifty (1998)
- Trouble Dolls with Savannah Jane Buffett (1997)
- Where is Joe Merchant? (1992)
- Tales from Margaritaville: Fictional Facts and Factual Fiction (1989)
- The Jolly Mon with his daughter Savannah Jane Buffett (1988)
by Terri Jenkins (SHS) 1997
Popular singer/songwriter Jimmy Buffett was born on December 25, 1946 in Pascagoula, Mississippi. The son of a naval architect, Buffett was raised in Mobile, Alabama. As a young child, he acquired a taste for sailing, due to his experiences alongside his father. Buffett attended Catholic school throughout both his elementary and high school years. He states that this upbringing was the cause of a yearning to “bust out” after graduation (Contemporary Musicians 27). Although Buffett graduated from the University of Southern Mississippi in 1969, he was often distracted by the more appealing scene of New Orleans. This was where he found his musical beginnings as he performed folk songs in local night clubs.
Jimmy Buffett’s musical experiences in New Orleans encouraged him to set his sights upon a full-time musical career. The first step in this pursuit was Buffett’s relocation to Nashville, where he obtained a job writing for Billboard magazine. He also earned a recording contract with Barnaby Records. He completed his first album, Down to Earth, under the Barnaby label. Down to Earth was a country-oriented album, which failed to earn Buffett any musical recognition. Buffett then worked as a singer in Florida and the Caribbean. However, these areas also produced nothing but additional failures for the musician (Guinness Encyclopedia 611).
In 1973, Buffett relocated again. This time he would search for success in Los Angeles. Los Angeles held many temptations for Buffett, which distracted him from his career. Therefore, he decided to return to Key West, Florida. This environment was the one in which Buffett felt most comfortable. He once stated in Time magazine, “There are a lot of incredible characters down there, as migratory and gypsy-souled as I am,” (Contemporary Musicians 28).. Buffett felt that Key West was the place where he could best market his style of music, which could only be described as a generous blend of folk, rock, and country music. Buffett’s next two albums increased his following considerably. He also appeared in the motion picture Rancho Deluxe. Although Jimmy Buffett’s success was steadily beginning to climb, one event catapulted him to stardom. This event was his chart-topping single “Margaritaville.” This song enabled his album Changes in Attitudes, Changes in Latitudes to become his first platinum recording. After this success, Buffett encountered additional triumphs with concert tours and albums. In 1975, Jimmy Buffett organized his own band, known as the Coral Reefer Band (Guinness Encyclopedia 612, People 48).
In addition to his talents as a musician, Jimmy Buffett is also a writer. He has written three books, two of which have been bestsellers: Tales from Margaritaville: Fictional Facts and Factual Fiction and Where is Joe Merchant? According to the Atlanta Journal and Constitution, “You don’t have to be a parrothead to enjoy his wacked-out tale” called Where is Joe Merchant? He has also written A Pirate Looks at Fifty and two others Jolly Mon and Trouble Dolls (both with his daughter Savannah Buffett).
Some critics argue over Buffett’s true worth as a musician. Some refer to him as “predictable” (Contemporary Musicians 28), while others criticize his fascination with the life of a wanderer and drinker. However, many critics and fans alike agree on Buffett’s skill as a crafty songwriter. Jimmy Buffett’s astonishing success, which has spanned a more than twenty-five years, can certainly be attributed to this magnificent talent.
Jimmy Buffett has added four more books to his credit: a novel Swine Not? (2008), License to Chill a songbook (2005), A Salty Piece of Land (2005) and A Pirate Looks at Fifty (1998).
Timeline to 1997
- 1946: Jimmy Buffett is born in Pascagoula, Mississippi.
- 1950’s-1960’s: Jimmy Buffett is raised in Mobile, Alabama.
- 1969: Buffett earns Bachelor of Science degree in history and journalism from the University of Southern Mississippi.
- 1969-1972: Jimmy Buffett moves to Nashville, Tennessee, hoping to find success in the music industry.
- 1972: Buffett begins working as a singer in Key West, Florida, and the Caribbean.
- 1973: Barnaby records misplaces the master tape of Buffett’s second album release. He then relocates to Los Angeles.
- 1974: Jimmy Buffett appears in the feature film Rancho Deluxe.
- 1975: Buffett forms the Coral Reefer Band. They record their first album together, Havana Daydreamin‘.
- 1977: Changes in Latitudes, Changes in Attitudes becomes Buffett’s first platinum album. He also scores his first single success with “Margaritaville.” Buffett appears in another feature film, FM. In August, he marries Jane Slagsvol.
- 1978: Buffett earns a spot on the US Top 10 Chart with Son of a Son of a Sailor.
- 1985: Buffett records his greatest hits compilation, Songs You Know By Heart.
- 1988: Buffett completes the album Hot Water. This album includes guest appearances by favorites James Taylor, Steve Winwood, the Neville Brothers, and Rita Coolidge.
- 1997: Buffett publishes his book A Pirate Looks at Fifty
- Brief bio of Buffett and photo at his Margaritaville Cafe site and list of Buffett’s tour dates
- BuffetWorld – tour info, merchandise, forum, media, etc.and info about Buffett supporting two Florida amendments
- Jimmy Buffet’s Twitter Account
- Biography about Jimmy Buffet
- News about Jimmy Buffet
- LaBlanc, Michael, ed. Contemporary Musicians. Michigan: Gale Research, Inc., 1991.
- Larkin, Colin, ed. The Guinness Encyclopedia of Popular Music. England: Guinness Publishing, 1993.
- “Name Claim.” People. 14 Apr. 1997: 48.