Jimmy Buffett’s Margaritaville. A state of mind is now a state of being. But how did Margaritaville come into a “state of being?” Better yet, how did Margaritaville become a “state of mind?” How could some guy armed only with writers instruments; a pen and a legal pad, create all that is “Margaritaville?”
The answer is simple: Imagination.
Jimmy Buffett arrived in Nashville in 1969 prepared to embark on a recording career. Gerry Wood, an old JB associate and currently a writer for Billboard Magazine recalls that, “Barnaby Records signed the artist to a two-album contract–and Jimmy went into the studio to record Down to Earth.”
“Unfortunately, the album didn’t sell well. Undaunted, Jimmy went back into the studio to record his second album. Daunted, Barnaby Records “lost” the master tapes for this album titled High Cumberland Jubilee. A convenient excuse for a fledgling label that didn’t want another no play/ no pay LP.”
“In a miracle that makes Lourdes look like a carnival shell game, these “lost” Buffett tapes were “found” years later, after Jimmy had become a star, and released on Janus Records. These first two albums show all the potential and promise that was soon to be realized.”
In a story told many times, Jimmy headed for Miami for an alleged booking date. However, when he got there, no job. Settling in at old friend Jerry Jeff Walker’s house allowed him time to regroup. A weekend drive down the overseas highway (A1A) landed Jimmy in the town that would prove to be the biggest influence in his musical career, the town that would provide the catalyst for “Margaritaville,” the town that continues to play a large role in his life, Key West.
What's Up at the Belly Up podcast this week features Jimmy Buffett. It was a short but sweet talk with him as he prepared to go on stage for his very sold out show at the venue. We talked about him being a sound geek, his musical debut in "Escape to Margaritaville", and dogs that fish!