A Sad Day in Margaritaville

9/3/20233 min read

A few days ago, I woke up only to hear the sad news that Jimmy Buffett, the quinnessential traveling troubadour, had died during the night. No way around it, this man was an enigma that can never be replaced. The Alabama mariner is best known for creating that magical place called Margaritaville, which will undoubtedly long outlive the Gulf Coast musical icon. No doubt Mr. Buffett is somewhere out there now, enjoying a Margarita or three and chowing down on a juicy Cheeseburger, while awaiting his next re-incarnation. In the meanwhile, here is a brief look at what Jimmy" did, when he was alive and kicking on planet Earth.

Born in Mississippi, raised in Alabama, James William Buffett commenced his musical career with several unheralded albums, recorded in Nashville during the early seventies. At the time, Jimmy Buffett, a recent graduate of Mississippi State, was living in New Orleans, where he was a street performer, who occasionally could get a gig in a small club or nightclub. These musical entities went largely unnoticed by the general public until Jimmy released his Margaritaville album in the late seventies. The album was actually called "Changes in Latitude, Changes in Attitude", as it not only put Jimmy on the map as a popular Nashville songwriter, but it also went a long way in connecting him to Key West, the place where Mr. Buffett now resided and felt much very at home within the laid-back, island lifestyle.

Jimmy Buffett Passes On at Age 76

Following is Buffett talking with Jerry Jeff Walker, his fellow musician, who enticed Jimmy to relocate to Key West. This slice of Key West life is priceless. The song, A Pirate Looks at Forty ain't bad either.

Mr. Buffett Writes a Book

For most songwriters, the story would end with a slew of successful, studio albums, but Jimmy Buffett was no ordinary writer, for some time as he approached 50, the aging 20th century pirate took up the typewriter and knocked out several books.

First up was a collection of short stories, called "Tales of Margaritaville", which sold quite well when it was released. Next came a series of novels, including "Where Is Joe Merchant" and "A Salty Piece of Land". Then there was his memoir, A Pirate Looks at Fifty, which became a major bestseller in 1998.

At one time, Jimmy had the number one fiction title and the one number one non-fiction title on the NY Times Bestseller list. Not bad for a history major from Mississippi State, whose main impetus for attending college was to avoid the draft.

The video here consists of Jimmy performing Hurricane Season, which just happens to be one of my personal favorites. This particular performance was recorded this year in Key West, just six months before Jimmy Buffett passed away from terminal skin cancer. At the time of this video, Buffett had been fighting the fatal disease for over three years and must've known that the end was near..

In later years, Jimmy Buffett turned out to be quite the entrepreneur. Nowhere is this more evident than in the chain of successful Margaritaville restaurants, hotels and casinos found across North America and the Caribbean. In a way, it all kinda got started when midway through his career Jimmy discovered that enterprising merchants were selling merchandise labeled Margaritaville and Cheeseburger in Paradise. Jimmy sued, won and inadvertently started a business that today is worth at least a billion.

Buffett opened the first T-shirt in Key West in 1985. That was the sole enterprise until 1999, when a series of cafes came into existence. In 2010, the first Margaritaville hotel opened in Pensacola, FL Since then the business has been very busy, because now there are dozens of hotel bearing the name Margaritaville. No doubt this business enterprise has a bright future, despite the recent death of Jimmy Buffett.

Buffett, the Entrepreneur

Margaritaville, Mexico, hotel, resort, vacation,
Margaritaville, Mexico, hotel, resort, vacation,

In recent years, Buffett has created a Hotel, Restaurant Hospitality Company called Margaritaville. At present, they have dozens of venues located all across North America and the Caribbean. Pictured above is Margaritaville in Cancun.

Watch Buffett and James Taylor perform Mexico and Changes in Latitude in Boston.