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 & 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.
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).
Stafford's first chart hit was "Swamp Witch", produced by Lobo, 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. Stafford continued to have moderate chart success through most of 1975.
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 to September 3, 1975. 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.