Wicker, Hyde-Smith Honor Jimmy Buffett

Miss. Senators Introduce Resolution for Late Singer

September 29, 2023

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Roger Wicker, R-Miss., and Cindy Hyde-Smith, R-Miss., today introduced a resolution in honor of the late singer-songwriter, James “Jimmy” William Buffett, who passed away earlier this month.

“One of the great Mississippi-born musicians, Jimmy Buffett taught a generation of Parrotheads how to pass time in Margaritaville and enjoy paradise,” Wicker said. “Jimmy was a generational talent and entrepreneur who made his native state proud. With this resolution, we raise a glass to honor the life and legacy of this musical pioneer.”

“Jimmy Buffett was a true Southern storyteller who was generous enough to share his piece of paradise with the world,” Hyde-Smith said.  “In honoring him, we celebrate the man who, through his music, brought us with him on many of his adventures around the sun, from the Pascagoula Run, to the shores of paradise, and we are all the better for it. I have no doubt his legacy will continue to inspire generations to come.”

Buffett was born in Pascagoula, Mississippi on Christmas Day, 1946, and he graduated from the University of Southern Mississippi in 1966. Over his 50-year career, Buffett released over 30 albums, wrote three books, was nominated for two Grammys, and opened over 30 restaurants.

See the full text of the resolution here or below:

Honoring the life, legacy, and contributions of James William Buffett.

Whereas, James William ‘‘Jimmy’’ Buffett was born on Christmas Day, 1946, in Pascagoula, Mississippi, the first of James Delaney Buffett, Jr., and Mary Lorraine Peets Buffett’s three children;

Whereas, Mr. Buffett grew up in Mobile, Alabama, attending grade school at St. Ignatius Catholic School and the McGill Institute, an all-boys school, where he served as an altar boy;

Whereas, Mr. Buffett acquired a love of music, sailing, and aviation, a child of the sights and sounds of south Mississippi;

Whereas, in 1964, Mr. Buffett attended Auburn University for one year, was initiated into Kappa Sigma Fraternity, Epsilon-Nu Chapter, learned how to play the guitar from a fellow student, and then transferred to Pearl River Community College in Poplarville, Mississippi;

Whereas, in 1966, Mr. Buffett transferred to the University of Southern Mississippi in Hattiesburg, Mississippi, and, in 1969, graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in history and journalism;

Whereas, in 1970, Mr. Buffett moved to Nashville, Tennessee, carrying with him his dream to be a country singer and releasing his first album, ‘‘Down to Earth’’;

Whereas, Mr. Buffett pioneered his own ‘‘Gulf and Western’’ genre of music, blending country, folk, and pop to celebrate life by the sea;

Whereas, in 1975, Mr. Buffett formed his touring group of singers and songwriters, The Coral Reefer Band;

Whereas, in 1977, Mr. Buffett released the hit song, ‘‘Margaritaville,” and his first platinum album, ‘Changes in Latitudes, Changes in Attitudes’’;

Whereas, in 2003, Mr. Buffett received his first Country Music Award for his song, ‘‘It’s 5 O’clock Somewhere’’;

Whereas, Mr. Buffett contributed songs to the films ‘‘Summer Rental,” ‘‘Fast Times at Ridgemont High,’’ ‘‘Urban Cowboy,’’ and ‘‘FernGully: The Last Rainforest’’;

Whereas, Mr. Buffett appeared in films and television shows, including ‘‘Repo Man,’’ ‘‘Hook,” ‘‘Sesame Street,’’ ‘‘Hawaii Five-O,’’ ‘‘Jurassic World,’’ ‘‘NCIS: New Orleans,’’ and ‘‘The Beach Bum’’;

Whereas, Mr. Buffett’s commercial success brought ‘‘Gulf and Western’’ into mainstream country music, shaping the styles of stars like Kenny Chesney, Alan Jackson, and Zac Brown;

Whereas, along the way, Mr. Buffett opened the first Margaritaville Cafe on Duval Street in Key West, Florida, which was so successful it led to 23 Margaritavilles, one JWB Prime Steak and Seafood, and seven 5 o’clock Somewhere Bar and Grills;

Whereas, Mr. Buffett extended his business activity, investing in beer brands, partnering with casino companies, owning sports teams, releasing a video game, and building retirement communities, among other endeavors;

Whereas, Mr. Buffett had a third career as a writer, authoring best-selling books, including—

(1) ‘‘Tales from Margaritaville’’;

(2) ‘‘Where is Joe Merchant’’; and

(3) ‘‘A Pirate Looks at Fifty’’;

Whereas, over the course of his 50-year recording career, Mr. Buffett gave life to over 30 studio albums that sold over 20,000,000 copies worldwide;

Whereas, Mr. Buffett was nominated twice for Grammy Awards by the Recording Academy of the United States;

Whereas, Mr. Buffett’s entrepreneurial spirit created thousands of jobs and led to levels of financial success rare among musicians;

Whereas, Mr. Buffett’s songs, restaurants, and stories resonated with generations of grateful fans, ‘‘Parrotheads,’’and casual listeners alike;

Whereas, Mr. Buffett offered escapist experiences that helped fans worldwide delight in life’s simple pleasures;

Whereas, Mr. Buffett was philanthropic, giving his time, finances, and music to support the troops of the United States, disaster relief efforts, conservation activities, and more;

Whereas, Mr. Buffett died on September 1, 2023, and is preceded in death by his parents, Mary Lorraine Peets Buffett and James Delaney Buffett, Jr.; and

Whereas, Mr. Buffett is survived by his wife, Jane Slagsvol Buffett, and three children, Cameron Marley Buffett, Sarah Delaney Buffett; and Savannah Jane Buffett:

Now, therefore, be it

Resolved, that the Senate—

(1) honors the life and legacy of James William ‘‘Jimmy’’ Buffett for his contributions to music, his State, and his country;

(2) extends its heartfelt condolences to the family and friends of Mr. Buffett; and

(3) respectfully requests that the Secretary of the Senate transmit a copy of this resolution to the family of Mr. Buffett as a token of the United State Senate’s respect and admiration for his life’s work.