Jim Stafford

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Jim Stafford
Jim Stafford 1975.JPG
Stafford in 1975
Background information
Birth name James Wayne Stafford
Born (1944-01-16) January 16, 1944 (age 71)
Origin Winter Haven, Florida, U.S.
Genres Country, pop
Occupation(s) Singer-songwriter
Instruments Vocals, various instruments
Years active 1974–present
Website Jim Stafford Theatre

James Wayne "Jim" Stafford (born January 16, 1944) is an American comedian, musician, and singer-songwriter. While prominent in the 1970s for his records "Spiders and Snakes", "Swamp Witch", "Under The Scotsman's Kilt", "My Girl Bill", and "Wildwood Weed", Stafford has headlined at his own theater in Branson, Missouri, since 1990. Stafford is self-taught on guitar, fiddle, piano, banjo, organ and harmonica.

Early years[edit]

Stafford was raised in Winter Haven, Florida. In high school, he played in a band along with friends Bobby Braddock, Kent LaVoie (also known as Lobo) and Gram Parsons (of the Byrds and The Flying Burrito Brothers).

Recording history[edit]

Stafford's first chart hit was "Swamp Witch", produced by Lobo,[1] which cracked the U.S. Top 40 in July 1973. On March 2, 1974 his biggest hit, "Spiders & Snakes", peaked at No. 3 on the Billboard Hot 100, selling over two million copies, earning a gold disc by the R.I.A.A. that month.[1] Stafford continued to have moderate chart success through most of 1975.

Television work[edit]

Although Stafford's first televised appearance was not until 1974 on a show called Rock Concert that aired in the United Kingdom, many remember him from The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour revival show, which aired on NBC in 1975, for which he was credited with being the supervising writer.

The Jim Stafford Show was a six-week summer variety series shown on ABC from July 30, 1975 (1975-07-30) to September 3, 1975 (1975-09-03). It featured Valerie Curtin, Richard Stahl, Deborah Allen, Cyndi Wood and Gallagher, and was co-produced by Tony Scotti. Stafford, Rod Warren, April Kelly, and Pat Proft were among the writers on the series.

Stafford appeared numerous times on music specials, variety shows, and talk shows. He was a frequent guest on The Tonight Show. He co-hosted Those Amazing Animals with Burgess Meredith and Priscilla Presley from 1980 to 1981, and also hosted 56 episodes of Nashville on the Road.

In 1976, Stafford guest-starred in two episodes of Gemini Man, which were later combined into a TV movie titled Riding with Death. He also guest-starred in the episode "The Understudy" on The Love Boat.


Stafford contributed to several movie soundtracks. He received a gold record for his work on the Disney movie, The Fox and the Hound. He wrote "Cow Patti" for the Clint Eastwood movie Any Which Way You Can and appeared in the movie. His work has been covered by George Jones and Jerry Reed. His second classical guitar album, Somewhere in Time appeared in March 2002. His most recent comedy album was Don't Tell Mama I'm A Guitar Picker, She Thinks I'm Just In Jail. In 2010, he produced and recorded his first Christmas album, A Guitar For Christmas.

Live performances[edit]

Stafford has operated and performed at the Jim Stafford Theatre in Branson, Missouri since 1990. His children, Sheaffer and GG, accompany him on stage. Stafford also currently tours during the winter months. As of April 2015 Jim Stafford is back playing at the Jim Stafford Theatre (www.jimstaffordtickets.com)

Personal life[edit]

In the late 1970s, Stafford was married briefly to singer-songwriter Bobbie Gentry and they have a son, Tyler. Stafford was also married to Ann Britt Stafford for 24 years. She co-owned the Jim Stafford Theatre in Branson, Missouri, until December 2013.



Year Album Peak chart positions Label
US US Country CAN
1974 Jim Stafford 55 6 48 MGM
1975 Not Just Another Pretty Foot
1993 New Deal Strats Publishing


Year Single Peak chart positions R.I.A.A..[1] Album
US US Country CAN CAN Country CAN AC UK
1973 "Swamp Witch" 39 46 Jim Stafford
1974 "Spiders & Snakes" 3 66 1 9 14 Gold
"My Girl Bill" 12 64 7 16 18 20
"Wildwood Weed" 7 57 3 2
1975 "Your Bulldog Drinks Champagne" 24 46 Not Just Another Pretty Foot
"I Got Stoned and I Missed It" 37 78
1976 "Jasper" 69 singles only
1977 "Turn Loose of My Leg" 98
1978 "One Step Ahead of the Law"
1980 "Don't Fool Around"
1981 "Cow Patti" 102 65 31
"Isabel and Samantha"
1982 "What Mama Don't Know" 61
1984 "Little Bits and Pieces" 67


  1. ^ a b c Murrells, Joseph (1978). The Book of Golden Discs (2nd ed.). London, UK: Barrie and Jenkins Ltd. p. 336. ISBN 0-214-20512-6. 
  • Roland, Tom. (1998). "Jim Stafford." In The Encyclopedia of Country Music. Paul Kingsbury, Ed. New York: Oxford University Press. p. 500.

External links[edit]