Jimmy plunged from the frying pan of Nashville into the fire of Key West.Key West servicemen, and shrimpers populated the island that had a reputation for harboring those seeking a lifestyle somewhat to the left of norm.Michael took this band and formed The Dixie Flyers; backup band for Rita Coolidge.
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Michael’s musical introduction was the Bill Black Combo, a well known instrumental group in Memphis.
From there he was hired by Atlantic Records to be part of their studio band in Miami.
A weekend drive down the overseas highway (A1A) landed Jimmy in the town that would prove to be the biggest influence in his musical career, the town that would provide the catalyst for “Margaritaville,” the town that continues to play a large role in his life, Key West.
The Encyclopedia of Rock, compiled by Nick Logan and Bob Woffinden, states that, “Buffett’s talent was hardly the sort that could be straight-jacketed by Nashville’s orthodox music establishment.
`He worked this area as hard as anyone I’ve ever seen.’ He was selling 100,000 albums when nobody in the industry knew who Jimmy Buffett was,’ recalls Jack Tarver, Jr., a former concert promoter.
Says Tarver, who used to book Buffett into Atlanta’s Great Southeast Music Hall in the early 1970’s; `He could sell out the Music Hall three or four days running well before he had a hit.
Michael worked off and on with JB over the next several years, and became a full time Coral Reefer in 1982.
With the addition of Harry Daily, the original Coral Reefer Band was now complete.
I was the local harp player, and would play with everybody.
So I was just wandering through the Hub one night, and there was this guy with long blonde hair and a mustache playing `Why Don’t We Get Drunk and Screw’ to about five little old ladies on break from their night class. I enjoyed some of the songs I was hearing, and of course I wanted to sit in.
So we got up there and it was just sort of a chemistry, just one of those things. Between 19 there was nothing but serious roadwork, especially in the seventies.