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Buffett Pays Tribute to Herman Wouk

September 11th, 2008

On Wednesday night, Jimmy Buffett was at the Library of Congress in Washington, DC to honor his friend, author Herman Wouk:

Jimmy Buffett showed up at the library’s Coolidge Auditorium last night to sing the praises of his old pal — along with Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, ABC correspondent Martha Raddatz, New York Times columnist William Safire and Librarian of Congress James Billington, who announced that the new award would bear Wouk’s name.


it was the sockless Buffett — bounding onstage, he promptly shed his shoes as well — who offered the evening’s most startling change of pace.

“People have asked me for years, ‘How the hell did you and Herman Wouk get together?’ ” Buffett said. Long story short, he’d somehow gotten the idea of turning Wouk’s “Don’t Stop the Carnival” — in which a New York PR guy plays out midlife fantasies on a tropical isle — into a Broadway musical.

So Buffett wrote Wouk a letter. “Who are you?” the author replied. But he eventually signed on, despite the fact that he didn’t know what reggae was. “Don’t Stop the Carnival” ran for a few weeks in Miami in 1997.

“We never made it to Broadway, but the carnival is still happening,” Buffett said. Then he proved it with a medley of songs from their collaboration. Seated onstage, Wouk smiled and mouthed the lyrics.

Read the entire Washington Post article here. Buy Buffett’s album “Dont Stop The Carnival.”

photo: Gerald Martineau / Washington Post

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