Book Notes

  • This was Jimmy’s first songbook
  • It exists in two versions, the initial release featuring 79 pages, and a reissue adding more songs that moved the total to 104
  • All the photos of Jimmy Buffett used in this book were taken by Vince Marchiolo. The book was designed by Mckinzie.

The Jimmy Buffett Songbook




The Big 3 Music Corporation


79 or 104


This book features the voice, guitar, and piano chords for 19 Buffett songs. Those featured are:

1. Come Monday
2. Pencil Thin Mustache
3. Ringling, Ringling
4. Brahma Fear
5. Brand New Country Star
6. Livingston’s Gone to Texas
7. The Wino and I Know
8. West Nashville Grand Ballroom Gown
9. The Great Filling Station Holdup
10. Saxophones
11. He Went to Paris
12. Railroad Lady
13. Grapefruit-Juicy Fruit
14. Peanut Butter Conspiracy
15. Cuban Crime of Passion
16. They Don’t Dance Like Carmen No More
17. I Have Found Me a Home
18. My Lovely Lady
19. Death of An Unpopular Poet

“Jimmy Buffett”

Jimmy Buffett is a unique singer/songwriter with a knack for being able to completely defy categorization. He’s not really a country singer-although his voice has a distinct southern twang, his tunes like “Why Don’t We Get Drunk” are a little too off-beat for the stolid country establishment of Nashville. His role as a song satirist, in the vein of Martin Mull or Randy Newman, is cut short when he launches into songs like “He Went to Paris” or “Come Monday.” He’s too musically soft-spoken to be a rocker and the mad-cap, elliptical point of view in his lyrics wouldn’t really qualify him in the folk music camp. So where does that place the eclectic Mr. Buffett? Everywhere, evidently, and that seems to be a perfect pigeonholing for the sandy-haired, 26-year old Key Westerner.

Jimmy, who has spent most of his life being a professional misfit, grew up in Mobile, Alabama where, surprisingly enough, he managed to avoid the permeating country sounds that filtered out on the radio waves. After earning his wings as a college dropout, J.B. made the rounds of New Orleans and finally would up in Nashville, Home of Country Music.

His arrival in Nashville set him on a collision course with character-building disaster. Jimmy was never enough of a chameleon to fit into the aesthetic and socio-political confines of the Tennessee tune-town and his experience there could charitably be described as “unlucky.” “I finally signed with Barnaby Records and cut one LP called “Down to Earth.” The production wasn’t altogether flattering but the next album came off pretty well.” Here Jimmy pauses poignantly. “Unfortunately the master tapes were ‘misplaced’ and my career as a country artist was severely shortchanged.”

Hit with an overdose of artistic duress and existential panic, Jimmy packed off to Key West and settled on an island about three miles by five miles in size with a modest population of 20,000. The weird little pirate town was the mecca for a potpourri of types from poverty-stricken fishermen to eccentric millionaires with a respectable artist community caught in the middle. Jimmy found this environment extremely conducive to his musical creativity so he decided to forget his Nashville-phobia and forge ahead with something new. His Florida sabbatical produced results-Jimmy soon signed with ABC Records and shortly thereafter completed his first Dunhill LP, “A White Sport Coat and A Pink Crustacean.” The album was, ironically, recorded in Nashville, but Jimmy was on his own now and he was given free rein in the studio. And ABC didn’t lose the tapes.

“Crustacean” was a critical success-“Fusion” termed it an “altogether satisfying record” while “Stereo Review” described it as “a disarming and delightful surprise.” The LP served as a nice calling card when Jimmy visited the Troubadour in Hollywood, the trendy capital of the U.S. Daily Variety was overwhelmed by J.B.’s “auspicious L.A. debut with low-key charm and humor and superb original tunes.” “Billboard” was imprssed that “Buffett stands far above most (singer/songwriters) and should be a headliner next time around.” With these accolades to his credit, Jimmy booked more time in the studio and set about to create his second album. “Living and Dying in 3/4 Time” shows us again that the singer is capable of creating almost any musical mood, whether it be the melodic love lament of “Come Monday” or the whimsical “Saxophones” or the definitive interpretation of Lord Buckley’s “God’s Own Drunk,” enhanced by Jimmy’s enthusiasm and, more specifically, his inebriety.

A search for a new sound or a new approach to his sound led Jimmy to consider the options of forming a band for his college tours and major club dates. In concert Jimmy, armed only with his Martin guitar, has more than enough presence to captivate an audience, but he feels that people who have listened to the albums may miss the punch of the pedal steel or the throbbing beat of a bass guitar. The hassles that forming a touring band entail are infinite, although the singer is still committed to the idea on an exploratory basis. “This wouldn’t be my band per se,” remarked Jimmy, “just a group that was put together to fill out my sound in concert.” The obligation of feeding five or six mouths instead of one is not a proposition that appeals to Jimmy, especially since he is in line for numerous changes of scene in his life.

As Jimmy’s career of fame and fortune begins to snowball, the singer is constantly looking for ways in which to spend his well-earned leisure time. Film acting and film music scoring are two of Jimmy’s latest tangents. After negotiating with Arthur Penn to write music for his upcoming film, “The Dark Tower,” Jimmy wound up talking to Robert Altman about the possibility of a role in Altman’s next film, “Nashville.” The part would give Jimmy a chance to act as well as write soundtrack music and, while the opportunity is still in the embrionic stages, it indicates J.B.’s desire to expand into other forms of media. Already in the can is a film by Rick Trow Productions and ABC Records which features the singer in his natural Key West habitat. The 15-minute movie showcases Jimmy both on and off the stage and will be used in coordination with a “Best-of-In Concert” production now in the works.

Whether Jimmy Buffett is a film star, a pop star, or both in five years is anyone’s conjecture. What is not open to question is that fact that, given any artistic situation, Jimmy can be counted upon to brand his entire environment with his trademark wry/rustic sense of humor. Maybe the singer is “Living and Dying in 3/4 Time” but from our vantage point here at ABC, his life looks like a whirlwind than a waltz.

– ABC/Dunhill Records Publicity Department. This article is featured over the first few pages as seen below.