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'It opened lots of doors' | Jimmy Buffett's first award-winning song was written by a Texas native

The track 'It's 5 O'clock Somewhere', sung by Alan Jackson and Jimmy Buffett, was cowritten by Vidor native, Don Rollins, 61.

VIDOR, Texas — The famous country song, 'It's 5 O'clock Somewhere,' coined a phrase that people didn't use two decades ago. 

The duet sung by Alan Jackson and Jimmy Buffett, was cowritten by Vidor native, Don Rollins, 61. 

The song spent eight weeks at number one on the Billboard and R&R charts and won a Grammy Award for Best Country song of 2003, according to the Museum of the Gulf Coast website.

 "From a practical standpoint, it opened lots of doors," Rollins said. 

The award bears his name but the song he won it for, doesn't.    

"It doesn't even sink in, it's like oh really, that's neat, how about them Astros," he said. 

Rollins wrote the lyrics to anyone's go-to excuse for enjoying an untimely drink. 

"People use that phrase now, in a way they didn't used to 20 years ago," he said. 

In 2001 while living in Nashville, Rollins was writing songs for Warner Bros, when he received a call from his cowriter, Jim Brown. 

"He said man they just put that (the song) on hold for Alan Jackson, and my first thought was, has he lost his mind? that song is not nearly country enough for Alan Jackson, what are they doing, he laughed, and said well, they want to do it as a duet with Jimmy Buffett, and I said okay, well that makes a little more sense."

5 O'clock Somewhere became an instant hit.    

Not just for Rollins but for Jimmy Buffett himself, earning his first industry award. 

"The fact that it was totally accidentally the perfect duet song for Alan Jackson and Jimmy Buffett," Rollins said. 

After years of writing song after song, Rollins now held the pen responsible for a number one hit.    

"The idea of, I'm standing in the middle of 30-thousand people who are screaming the lyrics I had written in a little room in a couple hours, yeah that's pretty overwhelming," he said.       

The laid-back, beach-bum tunes will live on forever, just like Jimmy Buffett's legacy. 

"He really took care of his audience and he was still going," Rollins said. 

Just like the words of Dan Rollins, especially when it's time for a drink.    

"I never expected to do that," Rollins said.  



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