Jim Stafford

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Jim Stafford
Stafford in 1975
Stafford in 1975
Background information
Birth nameJames Wayne Stafford
Born (1944-01-16) January 16, 1944 (age 77)
OriginWinter Haven, Florida, U.S.
GenresCountry, pop
Occupation(s)Musician, comedian
InstrumentsVocals, guitar, fiddle, piano, banjo, harmonica
Years active1974–present

James Wayne Stafford (born January 16, 1944) is an American singer-songwriter, musician, and comedian. While prominent in the 1970s for his recordings "Spiders & Snakes", "Swamp Witch", "Under the Scotsman's Kilt", "My Girl Bill", and "Wildwood Weed",[1] Stafford has headlined at his own theater in Branson, Missouri, since 1990.[2] 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 called the Legends, along with friends Bobby Braddock, Kent LaVoie (also known as Lobo) and Gram Parsons (of the Byrds, and The Flying Burrito Brothers).[3]


Recording history[edit]

Stafford's first chart hit was "Swamp Witch", produced by Lobo,[4] which cracked the U.S. top 40 in July 1973. On March 2, 1974, his biggest hit, "Spiders & Snakes", peaked at number three on the Billboard Hot 100 and number 14 in the BBC Top 50 in the UK, selling over two million copies, earning a gold disc by the RIAA that month.[4] Stafford continued to have moderate chart success through most of 1975 with an additional minor hit called My Girl Bill which reached number 20 in the BBC Top 50 chart a year earlier in 1974.

Television work[edit]

Stafford's first televised appearance was in 1974 on a show called Rock Concert that aired in the United Kingdom.

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.

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 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.

Stafford was credited with being the supervising writer for The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour revival show, which aired on CBS in 1988.[5]


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.[2] His children, Sheaffer and GG, accompany him on stage. Stafford also currently tours during the winters. As of 2019, he is performing Thursday and Saturday nights at 7:30 pm at The Jim Stafford Theatre in Branson.[6]

Personal life[edit]

In the late 1970s, Stafford was married briefly to singer-songwriter Bobbie Gentry,[3] and they have a son, Tyler Gentry Stafford.[7] Stafford was also married to Ann Britt Stafford for 24 years. She co-owned the Jim Stafford Theatre in Branson until December 2013.




Year Album Peak chart positions Label
US US Country AUS[8] CAN
1974 Jim Stafford 55 6 27 48 MGM
1975 Not Just Another Pretty Foot
1993 New Deal Strats Publishing


Year Single Peak chart positions R.I.A.A.[4] Album
US US Country CAN AUS[8] CAN Country CAN AC UK
1973 "Swamp Witch" 39 46 21 Jim Stafford
1974 "My Girl Bill" 12 64 7 12 16 18 20
"Spiders & Snakes" 3 66 1 19 9 14 Gold
"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 Non-album release
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. ^ "Jim Stafford and the "Wildwood Weed"". Chimesfreedom. December 6, 2016. Retrieved December 6, 2016.
  2. ^ a b "Jim Stafford Theatre | Jim Stafford and Parrotville | Come see the best entertainment shows in Branson, Missouri!". Jimstaffordtickets.com. Retrieved September 27, 2019.
  3. ^ a b Colin Larkin, ed. (1997). The Virgin Encyclopedia of Popular Music (Concise ed.). Virgin Books. p. 1127. ISBN 1-85227-745-9.
  4. ^ 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.
  5. ^ "Jim Stafford". IMDb.com. Retrieved September 27, 2019.
  6. ^ "SHOW SCHEDULE | Jim Stafford Theatre | Jim Stafford and Parrotville". Jimstaffordtickets.com. Retrieved December 28, 2018.
  7. ^ Weisbard, Eric. Listen Again: A Momentary History of Pop Music. New York: 2007, Duke University Press Books, ISBN 978-0822340416
  8. ^ a b Kent, David (1993). Australian Chart Book 1970–1992 (illustrated ed.). St Ives, N.S.W.: Australian Chart Book. p. 290. ISBN 0-646-11917-6.


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