On This Day: Alan Jackson & Jimmy Buffett Release Smash Hit, ‘It’s Five O’Clock Somewhere,’ in 2003

by Jim Casey
(Photo by R. Diamond/WireImage via Getty)

Alan Jackson teamed with Jimmy Buffett to release “It’s Five O’Clock Somewhere” on June 2, 2003. The smash hit reached No. 1 on the country chart and became a Top 20 hit on the pop chart.

Technically speaking, it is always within the 5 o’clock hour somewhere in the world. For frequenters of Jimmy Buffett’s Margaritaville restaurants, that means every hour is a good hour to indulge in a cocktail or beer. And you also don’t have to “worry” about 5 p.m. local time, which typically signifies the end of the workday.

Jimmy and Alan made the “anytime is a good time for a drink” theme a winner when they released “It’s Five O’Clock Somewhere” on June 2, 2003.

Alan Says It’s Time to Party

Penned by Jim Brown and Don Rollins, “It’s Five O’Clock Somewhere” was featured as a new track on Alan’s 2003 compilation album, Greatest Hits Volume II.

“I had the idea from a guy that I used to teach school within Texas,” said Don Rollins to Country Weekly in 2004. “He would want to get a beer in the early afternoon after class and he would always say, ‘Well, it’s five o’clock somewhere.’ I remembered that as being a good line.”

Don got together with his friend, studio musician Jim Brown, for a songwriting session. Jim came up with the island melody, evoking Buffett’s trademark sound, while Don worked on the lyrics. The songwriting tandem completed the breezy tune and pitched it around Nashville until Alan Jackson’s management team bit.

“Alan was actually looking for something he could sing with Jimmy Buffett,” also added Don. “They took it to Alan in March [2003], and he and Jimmy cut it. What a twist of fate.”

Five O’Clock to No. 1

“It’s Five O’Clock Somewhere” served as the lead single to Alan’s Greatest Hits Volume II. The single, which dropped on June 2, 2003, shot to No. 1 on the Billboard Country Airplay chart after only two months. The tune spent eight weeks at No. 1 on the country chart. Interestingly enough, the single spent seven consecutive weeks at No. 1 before being dethroned by Dierks Bentley’s “What Was I Thinkin’.” However, the following week, “It’s Five O’Clock Somewhere” returned to No. 1.

In addition, “It’s Five O’Clock Somewhere” peaked at No. 17 on the all-genre Billboard Hot 100 chart.

The tune earned Jimmy and Alan the CMA Award for Vocal Event of the Year in 2003. The RIAA certified the single as Gold for sales of 500,000 units in March 2005.