Will The Coral Reefer Band Continue Without Jimmy Buffett?
Photo Credit: Tim Mosenfelder / Contributor / Getty Images
Jimmy Buffett passed away on September 1 at the age of 76, leaving behind a legacy of music, as well as his band, the Coral Reefers.
In 1974, Jimmy Buffett formed the Coral Reefers with Ralph McDonald, Roger Bartlett, and Doyle Grisham. Over the next 49 years, band members came and went including Mac McAnally, Barry Chance, Josh Leo, Tim Krekel, Peter Mayer, Michael Utley, Jim Mayer, Roger Guth, Robert Greenidge, Sammy Creason, and others.
Jimmy’s final performance was actually as a surprise guest at Mac McAnally’s shows back in July. It was a surprise because it was his first performance after he was hospitalized for a bit, which forced him to cancel shows.
McAnally was singing “It’s 5 O’Clock Somewhere” on stage at Sunset Cove, a popular cafe in the waterfront town. When he sang the familiar line, “At a moment like this, I can’t help but wonder, what would Jimmy Buffett do?” the man in question walked up on the stage, strapped on his guitar and began to sing. Buffett stayed on stage and performed six songs.
McAnally joined the Coral Reefers in 1994 and was a member until Jimmy’s death. He and the late legend grew very close over the years, so much so that McAnally was asked to be part of the CMA Awards’ tribute to Jimmy Buffett, which will take place at the November 8th Awards show.
Speaking with Billboard on Monday (Oct. 30), McAnally revealed that just before he passed away, Buffett had told the band to “keep the party going” after he is gone. The members of the Coral Reefers intend to do that.
“The Coral Reefer Band is second family to all of us. We are a family. And Jimmy wants us to continue and we want to continue,” McAnally says. “There’s ongoing discussions about the best way to do that, the most practical way to do that and how to do it in a way that is worthy of the legacy that we’re part of.”
He says there will be discussions between all the band members to figure out how best to move forward.
McAnally said, “I can’t wait until we [figure it out] because we miss being out there, playing his songs to people and feeling that alternating current go back and forth from the stage to the crowd. I don’t know who’s got more energy, them or us.”
Parrot Heads, this is exciting news. As musicians who toured with Buffett for years and years, we know that the band will make Jimmy proud and do him justice! We will be waiting for an announcement. In the meantime, check out one of their March 2023 concerts!