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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: 1975-2005
Abstract: Manuscripts, drafts and galleys of books and movie scripts written by Jimmy Buffett, accompanied by notes and related correspondence.
Extent: 5.8 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

The Jimmy Buffett Papers, dated 1975-2005, are primarily drafts, notes, correspondence, and galleys of Jimmy Buffett's books and movies.

Books include Tales from Margaritaville (a collection of short stories published in 1989), Where is Joe Merchant? (a novel published in 1992), A Pirate Looks at Fifty (autobiography released in 1998), and A Salty Piece of Land (novel published in 2004).

Also included are notes, story summaries, and drafts for the unreleased movie adaptation of Buffett's novel Where is Joe Merchant?, which was also known as "Daybreak on the Equator." Drafts and the shooting script for the movie Hoot with Jimmy Buffett serving as Executive Producer, actor, and provided music for the movie which was an adaptation of Carl Hiaasen's novel, with a screenplay written and directed by Wil Shriner. Finally, there are drafts for the short-lived Miami based Stage Play/Musical Don't Stop the Carnival produced by Herman Wouk (author of the novel) in conjunction with Jimmy Buffett who released an album of the same name.

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.

Processing Notes

Additional accession processed and added to the collection in April 2019.


Contents List

Tales from Margaritaville - Book of short stories.



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).
19 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.
110 Margaritaville, the Movie, typescript, first draft. 1987 October 27



Where is Joe Merchant? - Novel.



Early Notes, Drafts, Working Notes.


Box Folder
21 Early autograph and typed research notes, plot ideas, etc., dating from October 1990 through June 1991. Includes preliminary letters to publisher. 1990-1991
22 Plot outlines, character sketches, early drafts (typescripts and disks), various dates. 1989-1991
23 Plot outlines, character sketches, early drafts (typescripts and disks), various dates. 1989-1991
24 Nine variant drafts of original Chapter 1, "I Fly Boats," (later the Prologue) with differing titles. Dated March to October. 1990
25 Seven variant drafts of the original Chapter 2, with differing titles, dated September 1990 to February 1991. 1990-1991
26 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
27 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
28 Working notes: Revised Outline; "Down Island Dictionary"; Notes on characters and events, etc. 1991 March 24
29 Working notes: Notes on characters, places, events, etc.
210 Working notes: notes and research on character, places, events, etc.. 1989
31 Working notes: Cuba. 1990
32 Working notes: Colonel Cairo background. 1989
33 Working notes: Frank Bama Vietnam. 1990 March 6
34 Working notes: Charlies Fabian background. undated
35 Working notes: Outline, dialogue, plot ideas. 1989
36 Working notes: Handwritten book notes. 1990-1991


Revisions and variant chapters.


Box Folder
37 Seven versions of the original Chapter 4, "beyond the Low Water Mark," dated October 18 to November 15. 1990
38 Five versions of "Trying to resason with Hurricane Season," dated Nvoember 1990 to February 1991. 1990-1991
39 Four versions of "Colonel Cairo," dated November to December. 1990
310 Two versions of "Want What You Have". 1991 November
311 From large folder labeled "Old Files to Key West": Early plot outlines, notes, many autograph corrections, fragments of chapters, etc. 1990-1991
312 From large folder labeled "Old Files to Key West": Early plot outlines, notes, many autograph corrections, fragments of chapters, etc. 1990-1991
313 From large folder labeled "Old Files to Key West": Early plot outlines, notes, many autograph corrections, fragments of chapters, etc. 1990-1991
314 "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
315 "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
316 Miscellaneous chapters, revised and replaced during 1991, many with notes and autograph corrections. 1991
41 Miscellaneous chapters, revised and replaced during 1991, many with notes and autograph corrections. 1991
42 Miscellaneous chapters, revised and replaced during 1991, many with notes and autograph corrections. 1991
43 Miscellaneous chapters, revised and replaced during 1991, many with notes and autograph corrections. 1991
44 Miscellaneous chapters, revised and replaced during 1991, many with notes and autograph corrections. 1991
45 "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
46 "Big Book" (large black loose-leaf notebook version of Joe Merchant chapter outline and text as of October-November 1991).. 1991
47 "Big Book" (large black loose-leaf notebook version of Joe Merchant chapter outline and text as of October-November 1991).. 1991
48 "Big Book" (large black loose-leaf notebook version of Joe Merchant chapter outline and text as of October-November 1991).. 1991
49 Additions and changes to various chapters during fall. 1991
51 Additions and changes, many autograph notes, corrections. 1991 December
52 Corrections, additions, notes, outlines and autograph changes. 1991 December
53 Drafts of chapters, as above, dated January through March. 1992
54 Drafts of chapters, as above, dated January through March. 1992
55 Drafts of chapters, as above, dated January through March. 1992
56 Drafts of chapters, as above, dated January through March. 1992
57 Photocopy of complete copyedited typescript, April ?. 1992
58 Photocopy of complete copyedited typescript, April ?. 1992
59 Photocopy of complete copyedited typescript, April ?. 1992
61 Photocopy of complete copyedited typescript, April ?. 1992
62 Correspondence between JB and editors re copyediting changes, schedule for publication, proposed cover blurb, etc. 1992 April-May


Galleys, Proofs and Miscellaneous.


Box Folder
63 Successive sets of untrimmed, publisher's galleys; many with inserted corrections. 1992 May-June
64 Successive sets of untrimmed, publisher's galleys; many with inserted corrections. 1992 May-June
65 Successive sets of untrimmed, publisher's galleys; many with inserted corrections. 1992 May-June
66 Successive sets of untrimmed, publisher's galleys; many with inserted corrections. 1992 May-June
67 Complete set of "Confirmation Proofs," trimmed, printed. 1992 June 12-17
68 Complete set of "Confirmation Proofs," trimmed, printed. 1992 June 12-17
69 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
610 Trimmed, "revised" galley pages, etc. 1992
71 Trimmed, selected galley pages, with final corrections. 1992 June 30
72 Proof pages with graphic layout/text for preliminary pages of book, late June, July 1992. Originals returned to author August 6, 1992. 1992
73 Two boxes (total 23 diskettes) of High-Density (1.44 MB) IBM-compatible diskettes, containing text of book. Circa 1992



Where is Joe Merchant? (Daybreak on the Equator) - Movie Adaptation.



Box Folder
74 Letter and outline for Joe Merchant Movie based on meeting in Los Angeles. 1993 December 6
75 Story summarries by Jimmy Buffett and Terry McDonell. 1993-1994
76 Movie Notes: Jimmy Buffett's Comments on First Draft of Screenplay by Terry McDonell (includes annotations and letter). 1994 October 28
77 Screenplay First Draft by Jimmy Buffett and Terry McDonell. 1994 November 14
78 Revised notes by Jimmy Buffett and Terry McDonell. 1994 December 13
79 Movie synopsis by Jimmy Buffett. 1995 May 10
710 Movie outline by Jimmy Buffett. 1995 July 28
711 Notes on the adaptation of "Where is Joe Merchant? Including a summary of story elements sent to Kathleen Kennedy, Frank Marshall, Jonathan Zimbert and Jimmy Buffett from Donald Todd (2 copies). 1996 April 1
712 Screenplay draft by Jimmy Buffett and Don Todd with revision by Jimmy Buffett. 1999 March 16



A Pirate Looks at Fifty - Autobiography.



Box Folder
81 Draft. 1997 July 7
82 Copyedited manuscript (1 of 4). 1998 February 4
83 Copyedited manuscript (2 of 4). 1998 February 4
84 Copyedited manuscript (3 of 4). 1998 February 4
85 Copyedited manuscript (4 of 4). 1998 February 4
86 First pass revisions (1 of 2). 1998 April 3
87 First pass revisions (2 of 2). 1998 April 3
88 Draft (on Iomega ZIP drive). undated



Hoot - Movie.



Box Folder
91 Edited draft of screenplay (with handwritten notes by Jimmy Buffett). 2003 September 13
92 Oneline shooting schedule. 2004 January 22
93 Revised draft. 2004 November 9
94 Revised draft. 2005 April 27
95 Third revised draft. 2005 May 6



A Salty Piece of Land - Novel.



Box Folder
96 Edited drafts of chapters. 2003 August 3
97 Outline and edited draft (1 of 3). 2004 January 4
98 Outline and edited draft (2 of 3). 2004 January 4
99 Outline and edited draft (3 of 3). 2004 January 4
910 Original manuscript (edited) (1 of 2). undated
101 Original manuscript (edited) (2 of 2). undated
102 Research on the schooner "When and If". undated



Don't Stop the Carnival (The Legend of Norman Paperman) - Stage Play/Musical.



Box Folder
103 Draft. 1995 July 26
104 Draft. 1996 May 1
105 Draft. 1997 July
106 Draft revision. 2001 January 30



Miscellaneous Materials.



Box Folder
107 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
108 Three videotapes, VHS format, non-professional;1 DVD: 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
109 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
1010 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.



Selected Subjects and Access Terms

Buffett, Jimmy
correspondence
Florida.
Motion pictures.
Musicians.
Novelists, American.
Philanthropists.




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

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