Jim Stafford Biography

16 January 1944, Eloise, Florida, USA. Stafford had a series of novelty hits in the mid-70s, but his career began as a member of the Legends, which also included Gram Parsons and Lobo (Kent Lavoie). Working with Miami producer Phil Gernhard, Stafford signed to MGM Records as a solo singer, releasing ‘Swamp Witch’ in 1973. A minor hit, it was followed by the million-selling ‘Spiders And Snakes’, which used a swamp-rock sound reminiscent of Tony Joe White to tell a humorous tale. The song was composed by David Bellamy of the Bellamy Brothers. In 1974, Stafford tried a soft ballad with a twist, ‘My Girl Bill’ (his biggest UK hit) and another zany number, ‘Wildwood Weed’, which reached the US Top 10. Both were co-produced by Lobo. The same strand of humour ran through Stafford’s 1975 singles ‘Your Bulldog Drinks Champagne’ and ‘I Got Drunk And Missed It’. By now a minor celebrity, Stafford hosted a networked summer variety show from Los Angeles, where he met and married Bobbie Gentry. Such later records as ‘Jasper’ (Polydor 1976), co-written with Dave Loggins, and ‘Turns Loose Of My Leg’ (Curb/ Warner Brothers Records 1977) were only minor hits, but Stafford continued to record into the 80s for labels such as Elektra Records, Town House and CBS Records.

Source: The Encyclopedia of Popular Music by Colin Larkin. Licensed from Muze.

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