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A Guide to the Jimmy Buffett Papers

Finding aid created by Frank Orser

University of Florida Smathers Libraries - Special and Area Studies Collections

September 2011



Descriptive Summary

Creator: Buffett, Jimmy
Title: Jimmy Buffett Papers
Dates: 1975-1993
Abstract: Manuscripts, drafts and galleys of books written by Jimmy Buffett, accompanied by notes and related correspondence.
Extent: 5 Linear feet. 10 boxes.
Identification: MS Group 105
Language(s): English

Biographical/Historical Note

Musician, author. The grandson of a sea captain and son of a Navy shipbuilder, singer/songwriter Jimmy Buffett's music and writings are full of references to sea life also by way of his drunken-sailor persona. Raised in Mobile, Alabama, Buffett moved to New Orleans after his high school graduation to attend college where he worked as a guitarist and vocalist performing folk music and composing his own music. In the late 1960s he moved to Nashville, to enter the music business. While writing for Billboard magazine Buffett performed locally and signed a recording contract with Barnaby Records. He settled near Key West, Florida, living for a time aboard his ketch, island-hopping and smuggling marijuana.

In 1977 his gold record Margaritaville was released. Tales from Margaritaville, a collection of humorous short stories and personal anecdotes, was published in 1990. He had previously written a children's book, The Jolly Mon (1988), with his daughter Savannah Jane, but Tales from Margaritaville was his first full-length book. He followed it in 1992 with the novel Where is Joe Merchant? establishing his storytelling talents not only in music, but in literature. Although he still maintains his drunken-sailor persona in his work, he devotes a great deal of time and his work's proceeds to philanthropic activities.

Source: Contemporary Authors Online. The Gale Group, 2001. Reproduced in Biography Resource Center. Farmington Hills, Mich.: The Gale Group. 2002.


Scope and Content

Manuscripts, correspondence, videotapes, computer discs. The bulk of the papers, dated 1975-1993, are drafts and galleys of Tales from Margaritaville and Where is Joe Merchant?, accompanied by notes and some related correspondence. The papers also include five non-professional videotapes of performances, a contract for a concert at the Euphoria Tavern in Portland, Oregon, a list of fiction and non-fiction books with Buffett's favorites indicated, thank you letters for philanthropic activities, and a list of scholarship recipients at the Cincinnati Public Schools.


Access or Use Restrictions

Access

The collection is open for research.

Usage Restrictions

Literary rights are retained by Jimmy Buffett.


Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item], Jimmy Buffett Papers, Special and Area Studies Collections, George A. Smathers Libraries, University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida.

Acquisition Information

Gift of Jimmy Buffett, June 1, 1993.


Contents List

Tales from Margaritaville



Box Folder
11 Correspondence with editor Bonnie Ingber, Harcourt, Brace and Jovanovich. 1989
12 "Take Another Road", typescript, early draft, with numerous holograph collections.
13 "Take Another Road", revised typescript, two copies.
14 "Off to See the Lizard", three drafts, one with holograph corrections.
15 "Are You Ready for Freddy?", early draft, with numerous holograph corrections.
16 Drafts, additions to stories. 1989 April 27
17 Drafts, additions to stories. 1989 May 8
18 Copyedited typescript; some holograph notes by JB (red ink).
21 Uncorrected galleys with many editorial notes, queries, and JB's replies, corrections, etc. "A love traingle adrift in the Bermuda Triangle," by Terry McDonell and Jimmy Buffett. 109 pp.
22 Margaritaville, the Movie3, typescript, first draft. 1987 October 27
23 Two videotapes, non-professional: 1) Gerry Wood Introduces JB's video "Who's the Blond Stranger?"; 2) "Key West Picture Show" with JB at Austin City Limits.
24 Three videotapes, VHS format, non-professional: 1) "Orlando Arena Concert", 8/89, also marked "Orlando Concert with Nevilles," January 1991; "2) 1989 Orlando Concert Footage - Carnival World Madness," and "Parrothead Award Presentation," October 20, 1991; 3) "Jimmy Buffet in Concert," Christmas 1990, Tallahassee Correctional Institute. DVD (mp4) copy of Tallahassee concert (created December 2017). 1989-1991



Where is Joe Merchant? - Early Notes, Drafts, Working Notes



Box Folder
31 Early autograph and typed research notes, plot ideas, etc., dating from October 1990 through June 1991. Includes preliminary letters to publisher. 1990-1991
32 Plot outlines, character sketches, early drafts (typescripts and disks), various dates. 1989-1991
33 Plot outlines, character sketches, early drafts (typescripts and disks), various dates. 1989-1991
34 Nine variant drafts of original Chapter 1, "I Fly Boats," (later the Prologue) with differing titles. Dated March to October. 1990
35 Seven variant drafts of the original Chapter 2, with differing titles, dated September 1990 to February 1991. 1990-1991
36 Six variants of "See You in C-U-B-A", originally labeled Chapter 3 (but became Chapter 2 in Published book), dated September 1990 to February 1991. 1990-1991
37 Four variant drafts of the original Chapter 2, "under the Lone Palm," or "the Lady I Can't Explain," dated September to October 1990. 1990
38 Working notes: Revised Outline; "Down Island Dictionary"; Notes on characters and events, etc. 1991 March 24
39 Working notes: Notes on characters, places, events, etc.



Where is Joe Merchant? - 1990-1991 Variant Chapters



Box Folder
41 Seven versions of the original Chapter 4, "beyond the Low Water Mark," dated October 18 to November 15. 1990
42 Five versions of "Trying to resason with Hurricane Season," dated Nvoember 1990 to February 1991. 1990-1991
43 Four versions of "Colonel Cairo," dated November to December. 1990
44 Two versions of "Want What You Have" . 1991 November
45 From large folder labeled "Old Files to Key West": Early plot outlines, notes, many autograph corrections, fragments of chapters, etc. 1990-1991
46 From large folder labeled "Old Files to Key West": Early plot outlines, notes, many autograph corrections, fragments of chapters, etc. 1990-1991
47 From large folder labeled "Old Files to Key West": Early plot outlines, notes, many autograph corrections, fragments of chapters, etc. 1990-1991
48 "Pictures from the Past," 7/28/91; "Dream Body," 7/18/91; "Where Has the Time All Gone?" 7/12/91; "Find Your Ship, Find Your Oar," 7/12/91; "Bless Me Father," 6/21/91. 1991



Where is Joe Merchant? - 1991 Revisions



Box Folder
51 "Pray for Me, Pablo Neruda," 4/15/91; "What Has Four Eyes and Two Barrels?" 4/19-22/91; "Suntans and Percodans," 3/26/91; "I'm Clean," 4/8/91; "God, Don't Let Him Forget the Meatloaf," 4/4/91; "I'll Be Your Pizza Tonight," 4/15-18/91; "Stand by Your Passenger," 4/15-18/91; "Living and Dying in 3/4 Time," 4/24/91; "First Things First," 7/28/91. 1991
52 Miscellaneous chapters, revised and replaced during 1991, many with notes and autograph corrections. 1991
53 Miscellaneous chapters, revised and replaced during 1991, many with notes and autograph corrections. 1991
54 Miscellaneous chapters, revised and replaced during 1991, many with notes and autograph corrections. 1991
55 Miscellaneous chapters, revised and replaced during 1991, many with notes and autograph corrections. 1991
56 Miscellaneous chapters, revised and replaced during 1991, many with notes and autograph corrections. 1991



Where is Joe Merchant? - "Big Book" Revisions



Box Folder
61 "Big Book" (large black loose-leaf notebook version of Joe Merchant chapter outline and text as of October-November 1991). Note: Chapters removed from notebook for archival preservation. 1991
62 "Big Book" (large black loose-leaf notebook version of Joe Merchant chapter outline and text as of October-November 1991). . 1991
63 "Big Book" (large black loose-leaf notebook version of Joe Merchant chapter outline and text as of October-November 1991). . 1991
64 "Big Book" (large black loose-leaf notebook version of Joe Merchant chapter outline and text as of October-November 1991). . 1991
65 Additions and changes to various chapters during fall of 1991. 1991
66 Additions and changes, many autograph notes, corrections. 1991 December
71 Corrections, additions, notes, outlines and autograph changes. 1991 December



Where is Joe Merchant? - Revisions to March 1992



Box Folder
72 Drafts of chapters, as above, dated January through March 1992. 1992
73 Drafts of chapters, as above, dated January through March 1992. 1992
74 Drafts of chapters, as above, dated January through March 1992. 1992
75 Drafts of chapters, as above, dated January through March 1992. 1992



Where is Joe Merchant? - Copy Edited Typescript



Box Folder
81 Photocopy of complete copyedited typescript, April ?, 1992. 1992
82 Photocopy of complete copyedited typescript, April ?, 1992. 1992
83 Photocopy of complete copyedited typescript, April ?, 1992. 1992
84 Photocopy of complete copyedited typescript, April ?, 1992. 1992
85 Correspondence between JB and editors re copyediting changes, schedule for publication, proposed cover blurb, etc. 1992 April-May



Where is Joe Merchant? - Galleys, Proofs and Miscellaneous



Box Folder
91 Successive sets of untrimmed, publisher's galleys; many with inserted corrections. 1992 May-June
92 Successive sets of untrimmed, publisher's galleys; many with inserted corrections. 1992 May-June
93 Successive sets of untrimmed, publisher's galleys; many with inserted corrections. 1992 May-June
94 Successive sets of untrimmed, publisher's galleys; many with inserted corrections. 1992 May-June
95 Complete set of "Confirmation Proofs," trimmed, printed. 1992 June 12-17
96 Complete set of "Confirmation Proofs," trimmed, printed. 1992 June 12-17
101 Trimmed galley pages, dated June 3, 1992, etc., with note: "Copy of what was messengered [sic] to C. Holmes, 6/19." With autograph corrections. 1992 June 9
102 Trimmed, "revised" galley pages, etc. 1992
103 Trimmed, selected galley pages, with final corrections,. 1992 June 30
104 Proof pages with graphic layout/text for preliminary pages of book, late June, July 1992. Originals returned to author August 6, 1992. 1992
105 Two boxes (total 23 diskettes) of High-Density (1.44 MB) IBM-compatible diskettes, containing text of book. Circa 1992



Miscellaneous Materials



Box Folder
106 Biographical materials. Contract for concert, Portland, Oregon, 1975, at the Euphoria Tavern; List of books, fiction and non-fiction, with JB's favorite books indicated. 1975 and Not dated
107 Philanthropic Activities. Thank-you letters to JB for financial assistance in hurrican relief for the Bahamas, and for Seacamp; Scholarships given to students of the Cincinnati Public Schools. 1992-1993



Selected Subjects and Access Terms

Buffett, Jimmy -- Correspondence
Musicians -- Correspondence
Novelists, American -- Florida -- Correspondence
Philanthropists -- United States -- Florida




For further information, please contact: Special Collections Access Services.

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