Coconut Telegraph

Coconut Telegraph[2] is the tenth studio album by American popular music singer-songwriter Jimmy Buffett. It was released in February 1981 as MCA 5169 and was produced by Norbert Putnam.

Coconut Telegraph
Coconut Telegraph
Studio album by
ReleasedFebruary 1981
RecordedSeptember 1980
StudioMuscle Shoals Sound Studio, Sheffield, Alabama
GenreRock, Gulf and Western
MCA-5169 (U.S., 12")
ProducerNorbert Putnam
Jimmy Buffett chronology
Coconut Telegraph
Somewhere over China
Professional ratings
Review scores
Allmusic3/5 stars[1]


In addition to songs written or co-written by Buffett (including one with J.D. Souther), the album includes the 1934 jazz standard "Stars Fell on Alabama" penned by Mitchell Parish and Frank Perkins and "It's My Job" written by Mac McAnally, the beginning of a long-term collaboration that would lead to McAnally becoming a member of Buffett's Coral Reefer Band.

Chart performance

Coconut Telegraph reached #30 on the Billboard 200 album chart. The song "It's My Job" hit #57 on the Billboard Hot 100 singles and would be Buffett's last appearance on that chart for over 20 years until his 2003 duet with Alan Jackson, "It's Five O'Clock Somewhere."

Track listing

Side 1:

  1. "Coconut Telegraph" (Jimmy Buffett) – 2:57
  2. "Incommunicado" (Jimmy Buffett, Deborah McColl, M.L. Benoit) – 3:39
  3. "It's My Job" (Mac McAnally) – 3:10
  4. "Growing Older But Not Up" (Jimmy Buffett) – 3:23
  5. "The Good Fight" (Jimmy Buffett, J.D. Souther) – 3:25

Side 2:

  1. "The Weather is Here, Wish You Were Beautiful" (Jimmy Buffett) – 4:06
  2. "Stars Fell on Alabama" (Mitchell Parish, Frank Perkins) – 4:12
  3. "Island" (Jimmy Buffett, David Loggins) – 3:54
  4. "Little Miss Magic" (Jimmy Buffett) – 4:00


The Coral Reefer Band:

  • Jimmy Buffett - vocals, acoustic guitar
  • Barry Chance - electric guitar
  • Josh Leo - electric guitar
  • Andy McMahon - organ, Fender Rhodes
  • Harry Dailey - bass, background vocals
  • Matt Betton - drums
  • M.L. Benoit - congas and percussion, background vocals
  • Greg "Fingers" Taylor - harmonica
  • Michael Utley - organ
  • David Briggs - piano
  • Mac McAnally - background vocals on "It's My Job"
  • J.D. Souther - background vocals on "It's My Job"
  • Dr. Kino Bachellier - Shakers and French
  • Freddie Buffett[3] - background vocals
  • Norbert Putnam - upright bass
  • Dominic Cortese - accordion
  • Deborah McColl - background vocals


  • "It's My Job" b/w "Little Miss Magic" (Released on MCA 51061 in January 1981; his only Hot 100 single of the 80s, peaking at #57)
  • "Stars Fell on Alabama" b/w "Growing Older But Not Up" (Released on MCA 51105 in April 1981)


  1. ^
  2. ^ In Live by the Bay, Buffett describes "coconut telegraph" as the Caribbean version of the grapevine.
  3. ^ A pseudonym of Jimmy Buffett.

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