|Released August 1974|
Genre Rock, Gulf and Western
|Format 7-inch 45rpm|
|B-side "Brand New Country Star"|
Recorded Woodland Sound Studio, Nashville, Tennessee, October 1973
"Pencil Thin Mustache" is a song written and performed by American popular music singer-songwriter Jimmy Buffett. It was released as a single (b/w "Brand New Country Star") on Dunhill D-15011 in August 1974.
It was first released on his 1974 album Living & Dying in ¾ Time. It "bubbled under" the Billboard Hot 100 at No. 101 and reached No. 44 on the Easy Listening chart.
The song narrative is a nostalgic look by Buffett back at the popular culture of his childhood. The title refers to the type of mustache worn by the film character, Boston Blackie. Buffett refers to a number of other persons, characters, and products of the period including Ricky Ricardo, Andy Devine, Sky (King)'s niece Penny, (American) Bandstand, Disneyland, Ramar of the Jungle, Bwana, flat top, dirty bop, Errol Flynn, the Sheik of Araby, and Brylcreem. It also mentioned that "only jazz musicians were smokin' marijuana".
Buffett states that, "the thing about writing a song like this is that the older you get, the more people there are who need an explanation of the characters in the song. I shudder to think how old Sky King's niece Penny is today. It all started with that two-toned Ricky Ricardo jacket. I can't wait for them to come back."
"Pencil Thin Mustache" is a popular song with Buffett fans and is often played at concerts but is not part of "The Big 8" that he has played at almost all of his concerts. Recorded live versions of the song appear on You Had to Be There and Buffett Live: Tuesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays.