Jimmy Buffett (RIP) Performs His New Song “Margaritaville,” Live in 1978: The Birth of a Song That Later Became a Business Empire

Jim­my Buf­fett wrote “Mar­gar­i­taville” in 1977.  It end­ed up being his only song to reach the pop Top 10. But the song car­ried him for the next 45 years. When you think Mar­gar­i­taville, you think of an easy-breezy way of life. And that sim­ple idea infused the brand of Buf­fet­t’s Mar­gar­i­taville busi­ness empire. Between the song’s birth and the singer’s death this week­end, Buf­fett cre­at­ed a Mar­gar­i­taville busi­ness empire that includ­ed bars, restau­rants, casi­nos, beach resorts, retire­ment com­mu­ni­ties, cruis­es, pack­aged foods, appar­el, footwear, and beyond. This spring, Buf­fett improb­a­bly made Forbes’ list of bil­lion­aires. Above, you can watch a young Jim­my Buf­fet per­form “Mar­gar­i­taville” in 1978, right at the begin­ning of the song’s long jour­ney from hit, to brand, to com­mer­cial empire.

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Open Culture was founded by Dan Colman.