Margaritaville – Jimmy Buffett – 1977

“Searchin’ for my lost shaker of salt…” Ah, even the middle of winter feels like summer wihen Jimmy Buffett’s 1977 hit, Margaritaville blasts from the airwaves!

70s fo’ sho’

But it’s not winter!  It’s the beginning of summer down this part of the world and my drive around the waterfront the other day, (enjoying the sunshine, warm breeze whistling in through the open window) was made perfect by Jimmy Buffett’s Margaritaville. Thinking it had its origins firmly in the 80s, my first thought was, “I wish this was a 70s music song. I could feature it on seventiesmusic.”

How wrong I was – 1977!  It’s a seventies song for sure.

turns out jimmy’s loaded

I knew James William Buffett is a successful author and businessman, but I didn’t realise how successful.

Turns out he has dibs in two restaurant chains named after two of his best known songs, “Cheeseburger in Paradise” and “Margaritaville”. He was part owner of two minor league baseball teams, has two record companies, a beer brewing company. He has also leveraged the fame of Margaritaville for all it’s worth with a casino and video game named after it.

So, in all Margaritaville has been used to promote:

  • a restaurant chain
  • a casino
  • tourist destination and chain of stores (shops) selling Buffett-themed franchise merchandise in Jamaica, Mexico and the U.S.
  • Margaritaville Chips and Salsa
  • Margaritaville frozen seafood
  • Margaritaville Frozen Concoction Maker
  • Margaritaville Chicken Wings
  • Margaritaville margarita mix (manufactured by Mott’s)
  • Margaritaville bottled malt beverages
  • Margaritaville tequila
  • Margaritaville branded LandShark Lager
  • Radio Margaritaville, a radio station that broadcasts on the Internet and Sirius XM Radio
  • Margaritaville Soles of the Tropics Footwear
  • Margaritaville Outdoor & Beach Furniture
  • Margaritaville Apparel for Men and Women

All in all, it adds up to an income of about $US100million a year, or a net worth of around $400,000,000! That’s not bad, eh?

something about jimmy – the big 8

Up to 2003, amidst a few other tunes, Jimmy played the same eight songs at virtually every gig he gave. They came to be known as The Big 8.

The “Big 8” were:

  • Margaritaville
  • Come Monday
  • Fins
  • Volcano
  • A Pirate Looks at Forty
  • Cheeseburger in Paradise
  • Why Don’t We Get Drunk
  • Changes in Latitudes, Changes in Attitudes

something else about jimmy – the big fall

On January 26, 2011 Jimmy was performing in Sydney, Australia (as opposed to Sydney, Alaska), when he fell from the stage.

One concert-goer said;

He just went over to the edge of the stage, like he had numerous times through the night, just to wave, and people were throwing stuffed toys and things at him. And he just took one step too many and just disappeared in a flash. He didn’t have time to put his arms out to save himself or anything, he just dropped.

Fortunately, Dr Gordian Fulde, one of Australia’s leading trauma surgeons was at the concert and close to the stage. He said;

I thought he’d broken his neck. I heard the clunk of his head on a metal ledge. He has a deep gash on his scalp, which is all right now. But at first I thought, ‘this guy is going to be a spinal injury.’

Jimmy regained consciousness within a few minutes, was taken to hospital and released the next day – shaken but not stirred (oh, that’s not a Margarita is it…).

margaritaville fax

  • Released in 1977, Margaritaville is lifted from Jimmy’s album Changes in Latitudes, Changes in Attitudes.
  • Jimmy wrote Margaritaville in Florida.
  • Margaritaville peaked at #8 on the US singles charts and #1 on the US Adult Contemporary chart.
  • The song has become part of pop-culture in the USA and was listed at #234 on the Recording Industry Association of America’s list of the Top Songs of the 20th Century.
  • Jimmy once said that Margaritaville was supposed to be recorded by Elvis Presley, but Elvis died the year it was to be recorded.
  • There is verse to the song which doesn’t appear on any album or single, although Jimmy sometimes sings it live. It goes;

Old men in tank tops,

Cruisin’ the gift shops,

Checkin’ out chiquitas, down by the shore

They dream about weight loss,

Wish they could be their own boss

Those three-day vacations can be such a bore.

Margaritaville lyrics.

margaritaville – jimmy buffett – 1977 – live video

margaritaville – jimmy buffett – 1977 – studio version


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One Response to Margaritaville – Jimmy Buffett – 1977

  1. Lloyd Hamilton says:

    Everybody in Florida knows Jimmy Buffett wrote Margaritaville while staying at one of the Bungalows on cabbage key

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