The Story Behind Jimmy Buffett’s Signature Song, “Margaritaville”

The Story Behind Jimmy Buffett’s Signature Song, “Margaritaville” | Classic Country Music | Legendary Stories and Songs Videos

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How Jimmy Buffett Established His Tropical Legacy With “Margaritaville”

After reaching the eighth spot on the Billboard Hot 100, the 13th spot on the Hot Country Songs chart, and the top spot on the Easy Listening chart, Jimmy Buffett‘s “Margaritaville” was an undisputed hit.

It was his highest-charting solo single, and is known as his signature song.

Many of you have surely relaxed by the pool or soaked in the sun while listening to “Margaritaville.” But do you know the real-life story that inspired the song?

Buffett started writing “Margaritaville” in a place you likely never imagined…Austin, Texas. Legend has it that while he was visiting the city in 1976, Buffett enjoyed his first margarita, and was hooked.

The Story Behind “Margaritaville”

After throwing back a few more drinks, Buffett and his buddies went to stay at their friend’s house while they had shows scheduled there. On the same night that Buffett had his first margarita, he sat on the deck of that house and started writing what eventually became “Margaritaville.”

That friend was Victoria Reed, whose name has often popped up in the famous tale of how “Margaritaville” came to be. But it wasn’t until March 2018, 41 years after the song was released, that Buffett finally revealed that she was the secret inspiration behind the song.

Taking to Instagram, Buffett shared a photo of himself and Reed with a simple caption. But that short caption revealed the previously untold piece of the story that led to the creation of “Margaritaville.”

Victoria made many of the margaritas that inspired the song,” Jimmy wrote.

Jimmy Buffett Owed Victoria For The Song’s Success

At last, one previously puzzling piece of the story finally makes sense. Years ago, Reed shared how Buffett always said that he owed her for the success of “Margaritaville.”

“Jimmy sometimes jokes that, ‘I guess I owe you some royalties,'” she said.

It’s true that Buffett had a lot of credit to give to Reed. After “Margaritaville” hit it big, his entire empire was built on the song, with short stories, a restaurant chain, and of course, alcoholic drinks being named after it.

Jimmy Buffett
Jimmy Buffett / Instagram

Fans flooded the comments of Buffett’s photos with words of thanks for Reed and the role she played in inspiring his famous song. “Thank goodness for Victoria!” wrote one fan. We couldn’t agree more!

Now that you know the story behind it, escape to paradise by listening to “Margaritaville” below!

Buffett passed away on September 1, 2023, leaving behind an extraordinary legacy…thanks in large part to “Margaritaville.”

Jimmy Buffett was devoted to philanthropy. He founded two charitable organizations, Singing for Change and Save the Manatee Club. He also had a company called Last Mango Boatworks that sells apparel and accessories. Items sold from Last Mango benefit Singing for Change and Freedom Fighter Outdoors. Learn more about Jimmy’s philanthropic efforts or donate to one of the above-mentioned organizations here.

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