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“Margaritaville” Included in Grammy Hall of Fame 2016

posted June 8th, 2016 at 10:47 am

2 Comments »
by Josh Martin

Jimmy Buffett’s iconic tune “Margaritaville” is one of 26 songs being included in the 2016 Recording Academy’s Grammy Hall of Fame Class 2016.

Part of the reason Jimmy Buffett’s iconic hit “Margaritaville” has stood the test of time is that it’s a song everyone can relate to, Shoals bassist, producer and former recording studio owner Norbert Putnam said.
Putnam should know.

He produced the track in 1977 with Buffett and his Coral Reefer Band.

“Margaritaville” is also connected with a restaurant chain, a chain of hotels, and a variety of other products such as “frozen concoction makers,” commonly known as blenders.

“It has every element for a good story,” Putnam said.

The singer refers to sitting on his front porch swing, strumming his six string. He’s noticing tourists covered in suntan oil, smelling shrimp beginning to boil, and cuts his foot on a pop top.

And like all good stories, Putnam said, the song has that element of drama or conflict.

“Some people claim that there’s a woman to blame, but I know, it’s nobody’s fault,” the chorus goes. Later in the song, however, the chorus changes and he laments, “… it’s my own … fault.”

Putnam said he agreed to produce a new Buffett album in the late 1970s after being approached by Buffett’s producer, Don Gant. According to Putnam, Buffett wanted to record his next album with his touring band, but Gant preferred recording with his favorite Nashville, Tennessee, session musicians.

So Putnam agreed to meet with Buffett at his favorite Nashville restaurant.

Putnam said Buffett told him “my band is more like the Rolling Stones than Nashville studio musicians.”

“I thought that was a pretty profound statement,” Putnam said.

He caught the band live and just like Buffett said, they came out “like a big heavy rock band.”

“And the crowd went wild,” Putnam said. “I thought, this must work. I met with Jimmy the next week and said, play me some songs. Everything he played had saltwater in it.”

Putnam had been in Miami, Florida, the year before with the Pousette-Dart Band, so he thought getting Buffett out of Nashville and into some Miami salt air might be good for the recording sessions.

About a week later, Buffett came to Putnam with “Changes in Latitudes, Changes In Attitudes,” and they were off to the beach.

One morning over breakfast, Buffett told Putnam he had a new song he titled “Margaritaville.” Putnam asked what “Margaritaville” was.

He said Buffett replied,”It’s a day in my life in Key West.”

“I’m sitting there thinking, I don’t know if this is a song or not,” Putnam said. “About the second week, he comes in and throws his legal pad down, grabs his guitar and said, listen to this. We gathered around and he sang ‘Margaritaville’ from start to finish.”

It appeared on “Changes In Latitudes, Changes in Attitudes,” which was recorded at Criteria Recording Studios in Miami and Putnam’s Quadrophonic Recording Studios in Nashville.

The song became Buffett’s highest charting solo single, reaching number eight on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, and number one on the Hot Adult Contemporary Chart.

Read more here.


Tagged in Awards, Singles



Buffett is Planning to Slow Down

posted June 7th, 2016 at 5:35 pm

5 Comments »
by Josh Martin

In an interview with the Houston Chronicle, Jimmy Buffett reveals that he’s planning to take some time off:

“I’m not working as much as I used to work. I turn 70 this year, and I’m going to take some time off and enjoy myself. I have some other projects in mind, though. I’ll be doing things and bringing a camera along to take fans places that aren’t so easy for them to get to,” he said.

The rest of the article is a good read and includes a wrap of the Houston Show on Saturday night, how he came up with the “I Don’t Know” name for the tour, and how he got Jeff Bridges to voice a talking cartoon coconut:

“We always have a meeting when a tour ends to start planning the next one. ‘OK, now what are we going to do?’ We were joking around, and everybody kept saying, ‘I don’t know.’ It got humorous and we just followed that trail,” he said.

Buffett is letting fans help create the concert set list this year. They can go online and vote for songs they want him to play. The catch: Fans can only request songs that Buffett hasn’t performed live in the past 10 years.

“I’m liking what they’re picking,” Buffett said. “They’re voting for some interesting things. We did ‘Barefoot Children in the Rain’ in Atlanta. I’m still tweaking how to get more of those songs in the show.”

For Houston, Buffett played “In the Shelter,” a song originally recorded in 1971. It’s as far back as Buffett goes.

OK, that’s one song. There are nine songs – the hits like “Margaritaville,” “Come Monday,” “Volcano” and “Fins” – that he has to play or fans would revolt.

That leaves 654 more songs on his jukebox according to buffettnews.com, the mind-boggling compendium of Buffett facts and figures.

How does he pick and choose?

“I can’t tell you that … that’s part of the mystery,” he said.

“Without rehearsing, we can do 105 songs. That gives me a lot of room to move around and call audibles. I still read crowds to see what would work that night.”

Another twist for this year’s tour: a talking cartoon coconut that kibitzes with Buffett throughout the concert. The voice behind the coconut: Jeff Bridges. How’d that happen?

“I asked him, that’s how,” Buffett said. “We’re old friends. The coconut needed a voice. So I asked Jeff and he said yes. Warren Buffett once told me, ‘Ask for what you want, but be prepared for somebody to say no.’ Well, Jeff didn’t say no.”


Tagged in Personal/Family



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