James Wayne "Jim" Stafford (born January 16, 1944, Eloise, Florida) is an American comedian, musician, and singer-songwriter, prominent in the 1970s. Stafford is self-taught on guitar, fiddle, piano, banjo, organ and harmonica.
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).
Stafford's first chart hit was "Swamp Witch", produced by Lobo, which barely cracked the U.S. Top 40 in July 1973. By early 1974 he had charted his biggest hit, "Spiders and Snakes", which peaked at #3 on the Billboard Hot 100 that March. It sold over two million copies, and was awarded a gold disc by the R.I.A.A. in March 1974. Stafford continued to have moderate chart success through most of 1975.
In 1967 and 1968, Stafford performed regularly and served as head writer/producer for the Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour.
The Jim Stafford Show appeared on ABC in 1975. He appeared as well 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, and also hosted 56 episodes of Nashville on the Road.
In 1976, Stafford guest starred in 2 episodes of the TV show Gemini Man, which were later combined into a television movie titled "Riding with Death".
Stafford contributed to several movie soundtracks, including The Fox and the Hound and Any Which Way You Can, in which Stafford appeared. His work has been covered by George Jones and Jerry Reed. His second classical guitar album, Somewhere in Time appeared in March 2002.
Stafford has operated and performed at The Jim Stafford Theatre in Branson, Missouri since the 1990s. His children accompany him on stage.
Stafford hosted, co-wrote, and produced a nationally syndicated radio show, "Branson USA".
In the late 1970s, Stafford was married briefly to singer-songwriter Bobbie Gentry and they have a son, Tyler. Stafford and his present wife/business partner Ann have two children, and live outside of Branson, on Table Rock Lake.
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