The Story of How Jimmy Buffett’s ‘Margaritaville’ Began in the Hill Country

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Oh Jimmy Buffett, that elusive sailor musician that’s been making summers better since the 1970s. Would you believe that his iconic “Margaritaville” has surprising roots in the Hill Country?

Austinites, it seems as though we’re forever doomed to search for our lost shaker of salt since Lung’s Cocina Del Sur closed down. But what do those famous margaritas that used to be there have to do with Jimmy Buffet? Well, he was inspired to write his first big and everlasting hit, “Margaritaville”, after tasting one of Mrs. Anna Lung’s famous summer cocktails.

On Anderson Lane in that hot Texas sun in 1976, Buffet soothed his weary heart with a margarita and was immediately inspired to write an ode to the song. He and his Coral Reefer band, clad in Hawaiian shirts before it was cool, sat back at a friend’s duplex on Shadow Valley Drive that night and began the chords to the song.

The song has one more Texas root, too. Officially released in 1977, it became a hit, reaching No. 8 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. The video below is of Glenn Frey performing Margaritaville with ol’ Jimmy Buffett in 1977 in Colorado. That mystery man in the background? Steven Weisberg, a “Dallas native and graduate of St. Mark’s and UT-Austin”, and future lead guitarist for John Denver.

Looks like we don’t even need to go to the coast to find our own “Margaritaville!”