April 19th is the first U.S tour date of the year for Jimmy Buffett. On that day, you’ll find Jimmy in Tampa, Florida for a gig at the MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheatre. The last concert on his itinerary is Aug. 21 in New York City at Nikon at Jones Beach Theatre.
All of Buffett’s April shows (Tampa, Raleigh, Charlotte, and West Palm Beach) are part of his “Songs from St. Somewhere Tour”—a venture that began in 2013. This trek is dedicated to his latest album, Songs From St. Somewhere.” The album dropped Aug. 30, 2013.
Beginning May 24 in Virginia Beach, Virginia at Farm Bureau Live, Buffett launches his “This One’s For You Tour 2014.” The outing is set to visit several cities including Houston, Cleveland, Chicago, Mansfield, and Philadelphia. After a month off, Buffett returns to the concert stage in Paris, France for two shows at La Cigale. Including the Parisian gigs, Buffett has a total of 19 concerts planned for the rest of 2014.
Jimmy Buffett is without a doubt a legend; he’s one of the all-time greats. Below, Musicologly-101 looks at Buffett’s seven biggest achievements. These accomplishments range from the tangible (i.e. album sales) to the intangible (creating a massive army of fans), but each is a testament to the popularity and longevity of the “Son of a Son of Sailor.”
18 Platinum & Gold Albums
As of 2013, Jimmy Buffett has nine Platinum and nine gold albums to his name. That’s an amazing accomplishment since for a large majority of Buffett’s career he received little airplay—he didn’t have a number one album until 2004 (more on that later).
A parrot head refers to a hardcore Jimmy Buffett fan in the same way a “Deadhead” is a fervent supporter of the Grateful Dead. The term was coined by former Coral Reefer Band member, and current member of The Eagles, Timothy B. Schmit. Yes, parrot heads like to party (a lot), but as an organization they’ve contributed tens of millions of dollars to charity and worked thousands of hours of community service. Buffett should be proud that his fans have embraced both his beach lifestyle and generosity.
“Margaritaville” is one of the most popular songs ever written. It’s like “Happy Birthday,” “For He’s A Jolly Good Fellow,” and “Baby’s Got Back” in that everyone knows the lyrics. There’s a very good reason why “Margaritaville” anchors the greatest hits collection Songs You Know By Heart. Few composers have had the fortune of writing such a catchy and well-known song.
The Buffett Brand
Jimmy Buffett is just as good of a businessman as he is a singer-songwriting and that’s saying something. Over the years, “Buffett Enterprises” has included The Margaritaville Café, Cheeseburger in Paradise restaurant chain, Land Shark Lager, two minor league baseball teams, and a record label. Buffett may lack the glamour of a traditional rock star but he has parlayed his brand into big bucks. After all, the Jimmy Buffet Facebook page has over 1.4 million likes.
The Buffet Mythology
Like KISS, Jimmy Buffett has created a mythology around his image and music. While KISS takes the fantasy offered by rock and roll to the extreme, Buffett’s mythos involves beaches, boat drinks, cheeseburgers, and relaxing in the sun. This mythos strikes a major chord with middle-management types—those who work in cubicle farms and have the resources to vacation in the tropics. KISS fans love the face paint and the pyrotechnics; parrot heads love the sand under their feet and umbrellas in their drinks.
Jimmy Buffett In Concert
A Jimmy Buffett concert is always better than a Jimmy Buffett album. When his career first began, Buffett sold more concert tickets than records. Buffett’s live shows are in high demand for more than the party atmosphere he and the parrot heads create. Buffett is an energetic and dynamic performer. He’s funny, charming, and makes sure everyone has a good time. It’s not an accident that Buffett has successfully toured every year since 1976.
“It’s Five O’Clock Somewhere”
In 2003, Buffett teamed with Alan Jackson to record and release “It’s Five O’clock Somewhere.” The single went to number one on the U.S. country charts and won the Country Music Association Award for Vocal Event of the Year. Amazingly, it was the first major award Buffett had ever won. The following year, his album License to Chill debuted at number one on the Billboard 200 giving Buffett his first chart-topper. Just when did his career begin? Well, Buffett released his first album, Down to Earth, in 1970.