Some Things Never Change (But Most Things Do): The Enduring Magic of Margaritaville with Ryan White

Billboard’s 14th biggest hit of 1977 was a happy-sounding sad song that arrived from a specific time in an extremely specific space. Five decades later, “Margaritaville” is included in the National Recording Registry at the Library of Congress and Jimmy Buffett is being inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.

But Buffett wasn’t always the pied piper of beaches, bars, and laid-back living. Born on the Gulf Coast, the son of a son of a sailing ship captain, Buffett scuffed around New Orleans in the late sixties, flunked out of Nashville (and a marriage) in 1971, and found refuge among the artists, dopers, shrimpers, and genuine characters who’d collected at the end of the road in Key West. And it was there, in those waning outlaw days at the last American exit, where Buffett found his voice and eventually brought to life the song that would launch a lifestyle.

Today, Margaritaville is a mall and Key West is packed. Can you see what was from what it all became? Sure you can.

About the Presenter:

Once upon a time, Ryan White was twice named one of the top writers in the country by the Society for Features Journalism. He spent nearly 16 years at the Oregonian newspaper covering sports, music, and culture. He’s appeared here and there, including on the public radio show Live Wire, as both an essayist and an interviewer. The author of Jimmy Buffett: A Good Life All the Way and Springsteen: Album by Album, he lives in Ann Arbor, Michigan and currently spends his days at the same Detroit ad agency that once employed Elmore Leonard. That’s all they have in common.

Funding for this program was sponsored in part by Aloys & Carol Metty and The John & Marilyn Rintamaki Family Charitable Fund.

  • Date: August 30
  • Time: 2:00pm - 3:00pm
  • Cost: $12.00 to $15.00
  • Location: Tropic Cinema
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