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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
1 1 Correspondence with editor Bonnie Ingber, Harcourt, Brace and Jovanovich. 1989
1 2 "Take Another Road", typescript, early draft, with numerous holograph collections.
1 3 "Take Another Road", revised typescript, two copies.
1 4 "Off to See the Lizard", three drafts, one with holograph corrections.
1 5 "Are You Ready for Freddy?", early draft, with numerous holograph corrections.
1 6 Drafts, additions to stories. 1989 April 27
1 7 Drafts, additions to stories. 1989 May 8
1 8 Copyedited typescript; some holograph notes by JB (red ink).
2 1 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.
2 2 Margaritaville, the Movie3, typescript, first draft. 1987 October 27
2 3 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.
2 4 Three videotapes, 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 "Parothead Award Presentation," October 20, 1991; 3) "Jimmy Buffet in Concert," Christmas 1990, Tallahassee Correctional Institute. 1989-1991


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


Box Folder
3 1 Early autograph and typed research notes, plot ideas, etc., dating from October 1990 through June 1991. Includes preliminary letters to publisher. 1990-1991
3 2 Plot outlines, character sketches, early drafts (typescripts and disks), various dates. 1989-1991
3 3 Plot outlines, character sketches, early drafts (typescripts and disks), various dates. 1989-1991
3 4 Nine variant drafts of original Chapter 1, "I Fly Boats," (later the Prologue) with differing titles. Dated March to October. 1990
3 5 Seven variant drafts of the original Chapter 2, with differing titles, dated September 1990 to February 1991. 1990-1991
3 6 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
3 7 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
3 8 Working notes: Revised Outline; "Down Island Dictionary"; Notes on characters and events, etc. 1991 March 24
3 9 Working notes: Notes on characters, places, events, etc.


Where is Joe Merchant? - 1990-1991 Variant Chapters


Box Folder
4 1 Seven versions of the original Chapter 4, "beyond the Low Water Mark," dated October 18 to November 15. 1990
4 2 Five versions of "Trying to resason with Hurricane Season," dated Nvoember 1990 to February 1991. 1990-1991
4 3 Four versions of "Colonel Cairo," dated November to December. 1990
4 4 Two versions of "Want What You Have" . 1991 November
4 5 From large folder labeled "Old Files to Key West": Early plot outlines, notes, many autograph corrections, fragments of chapters, etc. 1990-1991
4 6 From large folder labeled "Old Files to Key West": Early plot outlines, notes, many autograph corrections, fragments of chapters, etc. 1990-1991
4 7 From large folder labeled "Old Files to Key West": Early plot outlines, notes, many autograph corrections, fragments of chapters, etc. 1990-1991
4 8 "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
5 1 "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
5 2 Miscellaneous chapters, revised and replaced during 1991, many with notes and autograph corrections. 1991
5 3 Miscellaneous chapters, revised and replaced during 1991, many with notes and autograph corrections. 1991
5 4 Miscellaneous chapters, revised and replaced during 1991, many with notes and autograph corrections. 1991
5 5 Miscellaneous chapters, revised and replaced during 1991, many with notes and autograph corrections. 1991
5 6 Miscellaneous chapters, revised and replaced during 1991, many with notes and autograph corrections. 1991


Where is Joe Merchant? - "Big Book" Revisions


Box Folder
6 1 "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
6 2 "Big Book" (large black loose-leaf notebook version of Joe Merchant chapter outline and text as of October-November 1991). . 1991
6 3 "Big Book" (large black loose-leaf notebook version of Joe Merchant chapter outline and text as of October-November 1991). . 1991
6 4 "Big Book" (large black loose-leaf notebook version of Joe Merchant chapter outline and text as of October-November 1991). . 1991
6 5 Additions and changes to various chapters during fall of 1991. 1991
6 6 Additions and changes, many autograph notes, corrections. 1991 December
7 1 Corrections, additions, notes, outlines and autograph changes. 1991 December


Where is Joe Merchant? - Revisions to March 1992


Box Folder
7 2 Drafts of chapters, as above, dated January through March 1992. 1992
7 3 Drafts of chapters, as above, dated January through March 1992. 1992
7 4 Drafts of chapters, as above, dated January through March 1992. 1992
7 5 Drafts of chapters, as above, dated January through March 1992. 1992


Where is Joe Merchant? - Copy Edited Typescript


Box Folder
8 1 Photocopy of complete copyedited typescript, April ?, 1992. 1992
8 2 Photocopy of complete copyedited typescript, April ?, 1992. 1992
8 3 Photocopy of complete copyedited typescript, April ?, 1992. 1992
8 4 Photocopy of complete copyedited typescript, April ?, 1992. 1992
8 5 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
9 1 Successive sets of untrimmed, publisher's galleys; many with inserted corrections. 1992 May-June
9 2 Successive sets of untrimmed, publisher's galleys; many with inserted corrections. 1992 May-June
9 3 Successive sets of untrimmed, publisher's galleys; many with inserted corrections. 1992 May-June
9 4 Successive sets of untrimmed, publisher's galleys; many with inserted corrections. 1992 May-June
9 5 Complete set of "Confirmation Proofs," trimmed, printed. 1992 June 12-17
9 6 Complete set of "Confirmation Proofs," trimmed, printed. 1992 June 12-17
10 1 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
10 2 Trimmed, "revised" galley pages, etc. 1992
10 3 Trimmed, selected galley pages, with final corrections,. 1992 June 30
10 4 Proof pages with graphic layout/text for preliminary pages of book, late June, July 1992. Originals returned to author August 6, 1992. 1992
10 5 Two boxes (total 23 diskettes) of High-Density (1.44 MB) IBM-compatible diskettes, containing text of book. Circa 1992


Miscellaneous Materials


Box Folder
10 6 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
10 7 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



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