Tropical rock (also known as trop rock or Gulf & Western) is a genre of popular music that incorporates elements and influences of rock, reggae, country, folk, calypso, zydeco, and pop music, with themes and musical compositions inspired by an island style.
Although today tropical rock is usually associated with southern Florida and the Gulf Coast of the United States, tropical rock has its roots in calypso, rock, and country by artists such as Jerry Jeff Walker. Jimmy Buffett and his Coral Reefer Band helped create a tropical sub-culture beginning in the early to mid-1980s, along with other artists including Bertie Higgins.
Instrumentation is usually based around an acoustic guitar (as well as electric instrumentation), and often includes steel drums, congas, marimbas, vibraphones, steel guitars, or other percussion instruments to create an "island sound". While country and other musical styles focus on falling in love/falling out of love themes, Trop Rock's main focus is on "escapism"—a laid back lifestyle, tropical places, boating, simplifying and having fun. Buffett is often referred to as the "Pop of Trop Rock" alongside his Coral Reefer Band and other artists like Higgins helped create a tropical sub-culture beginning in the early to mid-1980s. Mainstream artists Jack Johnson, Zac Brown Band, Alan Jackson and Kenny Chesney also have songs in the genre as well.
Trop Rock Radio
In 2000, WBWC, Dennis King of Island Time Radio began programming this format on the air in Cleveland, Ohio and streaming worldwide on Monday nights. Radio Margaritaville, available on Sirius XM Radio, also plays many of the genre's hits. As the genre flourished with the guidance of the Trop Rock Music Association independently owned internet radio stations began to rise to popularity within the "trop rock" genre to include Radio Trop Rock, Beachfront Radio, Songwriter's Island Radio, Tiki Pod Radio, Tiki Man Radio, Permanent Vacation Radio, Beach Bar Radio, Shore Life Radio, and Oyster Radio.
- Melada, Jeffrey (October 10, 2019). "Review: Jimmy Buffett's 'Escape to Margaritaville' at The National Theatre". DC Metro Theater Arts. Retrieved November 10, 2019.
- Barnett, Sheena (January 2, 2014). "Tupelo singer-songwriter releases trop rock album". Daily Journal. Retrieved September 18, 2019.
- "Trop Rock Artists". Beach Front Radio. Retrieved August 16, 2014.
- BERTIE HIGGINS BRINGS IT HOME - Tampa Bay Times
- Bertie Higgins “Just Another Day in Paradise” - SFSC Performing Arts
- A Parrot Head is...
- "Radio Margaritaville". Retrieved August 16, 2014.