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Former Coral Reefer Tim Krekel Dies

June 25th, 2009

Tim Krekel, Nashville songwriter and former lead guitarist for Jimmy Buffett, has died after a short battle with cancer. He was 58 years old.

Tim Krekel, a musician whose career started in Louisville before he was a teenager and soared to two stints as lead guitar for Jimmy Buffett’s band and a reputation in Nashville as a hit songwriter, died Wednesday afternoon at his Louisville home. He was 58.

Krekel died of cancer, which he had been fighting since a diagnosis and surgery in March, according to his family.


[His] talent twice landed Krekel a touring gig as lead guitarist with Jimmy Buffett, first in the mid-1970s. Krekel told The Courier-Journal in 1978 that he was proud of his work on the singles “Cheeseburger in Paradise” and “Livingston Saturday Night” on Buffett’s “Son of a Son of a Sailor” album.

Soon after that album’s release, Krekel focused more on establishing a solo career. He recorded on two major labels: His first album, “Crazy Me,” was released in 1979 by Capricorn as it went bankrupt.

He started another band, the Sluggers, which released two albums, including “Over the Fence” on Arista in 1986. When that band broke up, he hooked back up with Buffett, including for a 1987 appearance on “Saturday Night Live.”

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