Margie Washichek Biography : The Woman Behind Early Buffett

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Margie Washichek was the first wife of famous singer-songwriter Jimmy Buffett between 1969 and 1972. Not much is known about her personal life or her marriage and subsequent divorce from Buffett, but she played an important role in the early years of the renowned artist’s life and career. In this article, we take a closer look at Margie Washichek and her history with one of America’s most beloved musical performers.

Margie Washichek Biography

Margie Washichek Biography

Detail Information
Full Name James William Buffett
Date of Birth December 25, 1946
Birthplace Pascagoula, Mississippi, USA
Parents James Delaney Buffett Jr. and Mary Lorraine Peets Buffett
Siblings 2 sisters (Laurie and Lucy) and 1 brother (Timothy)
Spouses Margie Washichek (1969–1972), Jane Slagsvol (1991–2002), Jane “JB” Buffett (2004–present)
Children Savannah Jane Buffett, Cameron Marley Buffett, Sarah Delaney Buffett
Genres Gulf and Western, Country, Folk, Pop, Rock
First Album Down to Earth (1970)
Biggest Hit Song “Margaritaville” (1977)
Total Albums 29 studio albums, 11 live albums
Concert Tours Over 40 tours, played over 700 shows at Red Rocks Amphitheatre
Notable Books 3 #1 New York Times Bestsellers
Business Ventures Margaritaville restaurants, hotels, casinos, retail stores, housing subdivisions
Estimated Net Worth $600–900 million

Early Life and Background

Margie Washichek was born and raised in Pascagoula, Mississippi. Not many details are available regarding her date of birth, upbringing, parents, or education. As the hometown of Jimmy Buffett, it is likely she became acquainted with the budding musician during their youth in Pascagoula.

At some point in the late 1960s, Margie and Jimmy began a romantic relationship that led to their marriage. During their courtship and marriage, Buffett was working to establish himself in the music industry.

Marriage to Jimmy Buffett

Jimmy Buffett released his first album, Down to Earth, in 1970. This indicates he was already pursuing his musical aspirations during his relationship with Margie in the late 1960s. The two wed sometime around 1969 when Buffett would have been 23 years old and Margie likely a similar age.

Not much is known about their marriage, which lasted approximately three years before ending in divorce in 1972 as Buffett’s star began to rise. It does not appear the couple had any children together during their brief union.

While details on their marital life are scarce, as Buffett’s fame grew after their split, Margie Washichek remained out of the public spotlight. Their relationship represents an interesting chapter in the early days of the renowned performer who would go on to become the musical icon he remains today.

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Jimmy Buffett’s Early Musical Pursuits

Jimmy Buffett’s early musical pursuits began when he relocated to Nashville, Tennessee in the late 1960s to pursue a country music career. However, unable to land a record deal, Buffett eventually shifted his sound toward the burgeoning popularity of rock music fused with Caribbean influences.

This created his signature “Gulf and Western” genre that incorporated elements of country, folk, rock, and coastal/tropical styles. His 1970 debut album Down to Earth embodied these early explorations into a new eclectic blend that would become his trademark sound.

Margie Washichek Biography

Rise to Fame in Key West

While Buffett’s early albums were not commercial smashes, he attracted a devoted regional following, particularly in the Key West region of Florida where he relocated in 1971. His popularity in Florida led to his first Billboard Hot 100 single “Come Monday” in 1974, followed by his breakthrough album Changes in Latitudes, Changes in Attitudes in 1977 which featured his smash hit “Margaritaville.”

From that point forward, Jimmy Buffett became a global superstar, touring extensively and releasing bestselling albums populated with beloved sing-along anthems. His fan base, known as “Parrotheads,” grew into one of music’s most loyal and passionate contingents.

Over an astonishing five-decade career, Buffett has released 29 studio albums, 11 live albums, eight compilation albums, and 71 singles. He has written three #1 bestselling books and appeared in several films. His Son of a Son of a Sailor tour in 1979 gross $10 million, an unheard of figure at the time. Clearly, between his marriage to Margie in the late 1960s and through the 1970s, Buffett rapidly ascended from an unknown songwriter to one of pop music’s most triumphant icons.

Later Personal Life and Continued Success

After divorcing Margie Washichek in 1972, Jimmy Buffett had a relationship with Sheryl Crow in the mid-1980s prior to his 11-year marriage to Jane Slagsvol from 1991 to 2002. In 2004, he married his current wife, Jane “JB” Buffett.

Now in his mid-70s, Buffett shows no signs of slowing down. He just finished a massive 2022 tour including a show at the iconic Red Rocks Amphitheatre in Colorado that marked his 700th career concert at that famed venue. He also has a string of tour dates booked through 2023.

Additionally, Jimmy Buffett’s empire outside the recording industry is massive. He owns the absurdly popular Margaritaville restaurant chain along with hotels, casinos, merchandise, and a SiriusXM Radio Margaritaville channel. He also co-developed several housing subdivisions branded with his Margaritaville identity.

By any measure, Jimmy Buffett stands tall not just as an icon in American music but as a wildly successful businessman with an instantly recognizable brand. While his beginnings involved the support of his wife Margie Washichek, his ascent since those early days has been simply staggering.

Questionable Buffett Family Connection

An interesting footnote is that in 2013 Jimmy Buffett took a DNA test with billionaire tycoon Warren Buffett that disproved a rumored family connection between the two famous Buffetts. While they share a surname, the DNA results showed no discernable family relationship.

However, the two men appear to have an amicable friendship. In Warren Buffett’s 2016 letter to shareholders of his company Berkshire Hathaway, he amusingly referred to Jimmy as his “Cousin Jimmy” who would be performing at the upcoming annual shareholders meeting. So while biological evidence proves they are not actually related, the famous businessmen seem content to claim a kinship nonetheless.

Margie Washichek Biography

Net Worth Comparison

While Jimmy Buffett is wildly wealthy in his own right, his net worth is dwarfed by billionaire Warren Buffett’s fortune. Current estimates place Jimmy Buffett’s net worth between $600 million to $900 million, reflecting his lengthy musical career and extensive business empire under the Margaritaville umbrella.

Meanwhile, Warren Buffett’s net worth as of 2023 is estimated to be around $121 billion according to Forbes, making him the seventh-wealthiest man in the world. So while “Cousin” Jimmy is doing just fine, Warren’s personal fortune absolutely blows him out of the water. But money aside, the two Buffetts share a famous name and seem happy to play up their family connection whether it truly exists or not.

Margie Washichek Today

Very little information exists about where Margie Washichek is today or what she has been doing since her divorce from Jimmy Buffett in the early 1970s. Given her complete retreat from any public notoriety for the past 50 years, she likely desires her privacy related to her post-Buffett life and activities. While curiosity about her current status is understandable given her notable ex-husband, tracking down private citizens without public profiles is difficult if not impossible in the digital age.

Suffice to say, Margie was married to one of music’s most legendary performers in that figure’s fledgling days prior to unimaginable levels of money, fame, and success. Their paths split just as Jimmy Buffett began turning into a pop culture institution, leaving Margie to her own quiet existence while her ex-husband sailed onto lifetime superstardom. Wherever she is today, if still living, she can certainly look back with perspective on her unique former role in Buffett’s early trajectory toward becoming an American treasure.

Frequently Asked Questions About Margie Washichek Biography

Who is Margie Washichek?

Margie Washichek is known primarily for being the first wife of acclaimed singer-songwriter Jimmy Buffett. They were married from 1969 until their divorce in 1972.

When and where was Margie Washichek born?

Details on Margie’s birthdate and hometown have not been made publicly available. Reportedly she was born and raised in Pascagoula, Mississippi where Buffett also grew up.

What does Margie Washichek do for a living?

Very little is known about Margie’s current or past professional life. During her marriage to Jimmy Buffett, she would likely have been a homemaker supporting his early musical efforts.

Did Margie and Jimmy Buffett have any children?

Margie and Jimmy did not have children during their three-year marriage from 1969 to 1972. Buffett went on to remarry and have children with later wives.

What was Margie’s relationship like with Jimmy Buffett?

Details on their romantic history and marriage remain scarce. They met in Pascagoula as young adults and married when Buffett was embarking on his early music career in the late 1960s.

Why did Margie Washichek and Jimmy Buffett get divorced?

The reason for their 1972 divorce after a three-year marriage has not been revealed publicly. It was still early in Buffett’s career prior to his fame and fortune.

Where and what is Margie Washichek doing today?

Margie’s current status and activities are unknown. Given her retreat from any public visibility after divorcing Buffett, it is assumed she prefers privacy related to her post-Buffett life.