USM to Honor Buffett and Fingers Taylor

Posted on Friday, November 20th, 2015 at 6:58 am
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From “University to honor legendary musicians

Two legendary musicians that met on The University of Southern Mississippi’s Hattiesburg campus 40 years ago will be commemorated Nov. 21 at the very spot they first encountered each other. Jimmy Buffett and Greg “Fingers” Taylor, who together created the famous Coral Reefer Band, met at Shoemaker Square in the early 1970s.

The ceremony will honor the musicians with a bronze marker outside The Hub at 10 a.m. Saturday, prior to the USM and Old Dominion football game.


Some say it was destiny that the two musicians met and became one of America’s most prized musical collaborations. Buffett graduated from USM in 1969. Shortly after, he met Taylor, who was still enrolled at the time. This meeting occurred on the front steps of The Hub. Buffett was on campus to play his guitar for a group of students in between classes, and Taylor, known for his confidence, asked if he could join in.

Their chemistry sparked a friendship that led to their renowned collaboration, which created the band’s hit songs, including “Margaritaville” and “Cheeseburger in Paradise.” Fervent fans of the Coral Reefer Band are named “parrotheads” who continue to support and be inspired by their music. The legacies of Buffett and Taylor will be recognized on Saturday by a platoon of groups associated with Southern Miss, including the Kappa Sigma fraternity. Buffett was a member of Kappa Sigma during his undergraduate career.

Buffett was said to be thrilled about the ceremony and has sent a video for audiences to view during the football game. Speculation claimed that Buffett would attend the ceremony, but his schedule conflicts with the event.


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