About the song

If you’re feeling stressed out at work and longing for a tropical escape, you might find yourself humming along to Alan Jackson and Jimmy Buffett’s hit song “It’s Five O’Clock Somewhere”. This catchy tune, released in 2003, became a career song for both artists, earning them the Vocal Event of the Year award at both the CMA and ACM Awards, and giving Buffett his first-ever No. 1 hit on the country charts .

But how did this song come to be? Who wrote it and what inspired it? And how did Jackson and Buffett end up collaborating on it? In this blog post, we’ll explore the history of “It’s Five O’Clock Somewhere” and why it resonated with so many listeners.

The song was written by Jim “Moose” Brown and Don Rollins, two Nashville songwriters who were relatively unknown at the time. Brown had been playing keyboards for Bob Seger, while Rollins had been working as a schoolteacher in Texas before moving to Nashville to pursue his dream of writing songs .

The idea for the song came to Brown one day when he was stuck in traffic on his way to a writing session with Rollins. He noticed a bumper sticker that said “It’s Five O’Clock Somewhere” and thought it would make a great song title. He called Rollins and told him about it, and they agreed to work on it together .

They wrote the song in about an hour, using a simple chord progression and a catchy chorus. The lyrics tell the story of a man who is fed up with his job and decides to quit early and go to a bar, rationalizing that it’s five o’clock (quitting time) somewhere in the world. The song also references Buffett’s signature drink, the margarita, and his famous song “Margaritaville” .

Brown and Rollins pitched the song to several artists, but none of them showed interest. They were about to give up on it when they heard that Alan Jackson was looking for songs for his Greatest Hits Volume II album. They sent him a demo tape of the song, hoping he would like it .

Jackson loved the song and decided to record it, but he felt that it needed something more. He thought of Jimmy Buffett, who was one of his musical heroes and influences. He called Buffett and asked him if he would be interested in singing on the song with him. Buffett agreed, saying that he liked the song and that he was a fan of Jackson’s music .

The two singers met in Indianapolis in June 2003, where Buffett was performing at a concert. They recorded the song live on stage, with Jackson’s band backing them up. They also filmed some clips for the official music video, which shows them having fun at a beach bar .

The song was released as the lead single from Jackson’s album in June 2003, and quickly became a smash hit. It spent eight weeks at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart, and also crossed over to the pop charts, reaching No. 17 on the Billboard Hot 100. It sold over one million copies and was certified platinum by the RIAA. It also became one of the most requested songs on country radio and at karaoke bars.

“It’s Five O’Clock Somewhere” is more than just a catchy song; it’s also a cultural phenomenon. It captures a universal feeling of wanting to escape from the pressures of everyday life and enjoy some relaxation and fun. It also celebrates the friendship and collaboration between two iconic artists who share a love for country music and tropical vibes.

So next time you’re feeling stressed out at work, just remember: it’s five o’clock somewhere!

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