Michael Utley
Utley Performing With The Coral Reefer Band, June 2009
Background information
Birth nameMichael Edward Utley
Born1947 (age 73–74)
Blytheville, Arkansas
  • Keyboard player
  • Producer
  • Keyboard
Associated actsJimmy Buffett · Coral Reefer Band · Robert Greenidge · Rita Coolidge · Kris Kristofferson · Jerry Jeff Walker · Jackson Browne Gene Clark

Michael Edward Utley is an American musician, songwriter, and record producer for Jimmy Buffett's Coral Reefer Band. He is the musical director of the band. Born in Blytheville in Mississippi County, Arkansas, he graduated from the University of Arkansas where he was initiated into the Sigma Chi Fraternity. He was recognized by Sigma Chi as a Significant Sig in 2017.

Early in his career, Utley worked with the house band for Atlantic Records in Miami, Florida's Criteria Studios backing performers such as Aretha Franklin, Jerry Jeff Walker, and the Allman Brothers and in California playing with Rita Coolidge and Kris Kristofferson.

Jerry Jeff Walker recruited Utley to play keyboard instruments on Buffett's first major label album, A White Sport Coat and a Pink Crustacean, in 1973. Utley continued to work with other performers in the mid-1970s while appearing on Buffett's subsequent albums until Buffett's 1977 breakout Changes in Latitudes, Changes in Attitudes when he joined the Coral Reefer Band full-time.

Utley has title credit on several albums, the first being an instrumental record with fellow Coral Reefer Band member Robert Greenidge titled Mad Music.

Utley has gone on to produce or co-produce a number of Buffett albums beginning with One Particular Harbour in 1983. He has toured with the Coral Reefers ever since.

During the song "Volcano," Utley's name is mentioned. Right before the first solo, Jimmy Buffett says "Mr. Utley." This leads into the solo.


See also


On June 25, 2019, The New York Times Magazine listed Michael Utley among hundreds of artists whose material was reportedly destroyed in the 2008 Universal fire.[1]


  1. ^ Rosen, Jody (June 25, 2019). "Here Are Hundreds More Artists Whose Tapes Were Destroyed in the UMG Fire". The New York Times. Retrieved June 28, 2019.