This was written by comedian and musician Jim Stafford together with David Bellamy. It was one of the first songs Bellamy wrote - the lyrics are a humorous retelling of his experiences growing up on a farm in rural Darby, Florida. Along with his brother Howard, David went on to great success as The Bellamy Brothers. Their best known song is "Let Your Love Flow."
This was produced by singer songwriter Lobo who in the early 1970s enjoyed transatlantic Top 10 hits with "Me And You and a Dog Named Boo" and "I'd Love You To Want Me." In the 1960s Jim Stafford and Lobo played together in a Florida band called The Legends along with future country-rock legend Gram Parsons.
In 1975 Jim Stafford hosted his own prime time TV series where he met singer Bobbie Gentry. They married in 1978 and divorced two years later.
James from BeamerMy favorite track of Jim's (it's the same as Joanne's) is also NONE OF US ARE HERE from his NOT JUST A PRETTY FOOT album - a beautiful and hypnotic track - this is a cool video of the track https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tWl7TN7qCuM I can listen to it over and over again.... I love it !
Ronald L. Volbrecht from Melbourne, FloridaThe story goes that Jim Stafford & his bandmates were in competition with 2 guys in the battle of the bands that were held quite a lot in the Florida bars and niteclubs. On many occasions, the 2 guys, 1 of which was my brother-in-law, Mike Ocello, they won. As a way of getting his ego back in place, Jim wanted them to play on this album. Mike says it really happened, but I've never bedn able to hear Jim's side of the story. I have reached out to him in Branson, but never got any responce. I would love to find out how much truth there is to this story.
Moanin' Lisa from Chillicothe Mo.In '74 I first hear Jim Stafford's song when they became big hits. I loved his first album too. I had his singles: Swamp Witch, Spiders & Snakes, My Girl Bill and that evil Wildwood Weed!! haha! What fun! I used to see commercials for the big Branson, Missouri entertainment complex where there are many concert halls & Stafford was at one of them. I don't know if he still does that or not, since I don't see those commercials on TV any more. Does anyone know? He was quite an entertainer.
Joanne from Long Island, Ny, UsaJim Stafford has said that the melody of the song, when it was first written, had more of a Beatles style and feel to it ... but he played around with it for several weeks until it became the song we all know from his recordings. This was Jim Stafford's 2nd (and biggest selling) 45rpm release on a major record label (he released one or two LPs of LIVE performances on a private label before this). His first 45 rpm was SWAMP WITCH.
SWAMP WITCH ... his first single made it onto the Billboard Top 40 and spent 12 weeks on the Billboard HOT 100 chart. This follow up SPIDERS AND SNAKES spent 28 weeks on the HOT 100 chart and peaked at #3. It was an impressive #16 for the ENTIRE YEAR of 1974 according to Billboard. All in all 7 Jim Stafford songs/singles would make it onto the HOT 100 during the 1970s (and one additional song in the 1980s).
In the 1960s Stafford was in a high school band 'THE LEGENDS' in Winter Haven FL (the area where he grew up) - with Roland Kent LaVoie (aka Lobo) and Ingram Cecil Connor, III (aka Gram Parsons) - it was one of the earliest bands to play R'n'R in that area of Florida (covering Ray Charles, Chuck Berry, Little Richard, the Everly Brothers, Duane Eddy and the Ventures).
This web link is for a business card for the band The Legends circa 1962ish ... http://www.dizzyrambler.com/features/PolKats/GParsons/63%20Legends%20crd.gif Jim Stafford is 2nd from Left ( Gram Parsons is far left ... I do not believe Lobo was in the band at this time and is not pictured here).
This web link is for a photo of the band The Legends performing circa 1962-3-ish ... http://www.dizzyrambler.com/features/GarageBands/Blazers/stafford_lacert.jpg Jim Stafford is the one holding the guitar.
Jim's first single SWAMP WITCH was actually a song Jim was trying to get fellow former Legend band member, Lobo, to record. But Lobo suggested Jim record it instead .... and as they say ... the rest is history (Lobo produced the record).
To add to what Edward Pearce said above about Jim Stafford's marriage to Bobbie Gentry ('Ode to Billie Joe' fame) their marriage produced a son named Tyler Stafford ...and... it was reported at the time of their wedding that they were working on an album together ... (but none has ever been released). Web Link to photo of the two together at the 16th Annual Academy of Country Music Awards on April 30, 1981... http://www.gettyimages.com/detail/news-photo/jim-stafford-and-bobbie-gentry-attend-16th-annual-academy-news-photo/115579730
Oh and my personal favorite of Jim Stafford's songs is 'NONE OF US ARE HERE' from his 'Not Just Another Pretty Foot' LP (with Spiders and Snakes coming in close behind)
Barry from Sauquoit, NyOn February 24th 1974, "Spiders and Snakes" by Jim Stafford peaked at #3 (for 1 week) on Billboard's Hot Top 100 chart; it entered the chart on November 4th, 1973 at position #97 and spent almost a half-year on the Top 100 (23 weeks)... And on March 9th, 1974 it reached #1 (for 1 week) on the Canadian RPM Top Singles chart... Between 1973 and 1977 he had eight records on the Top 100 chart; with two making the Top 10 (his other Top 10 record was "Wildwood Weed", it peaked at #7 also in 1974) Mr. Stafford celebrated his 70th birthday last month on January 16th (2014).
Norman from South Mills, Ncmy favorite song by jim stafford is swamp witch.
B.l. from Barry, TxGreat song, and I'd love to read the Songfacts on "My Girl Bill," too.
Thomas from Somerville, AlJim Stafford had several cute songs during this era. One, I think, was My Girl Bill. He had a quiet Southern charm that made this song and everything he ever did enjoyable. And, bound to raise a smile if not an eybrow or two..Love Stafford.
Allen from Chicago, IlJim Stafford was the co-host of "Those Amazing Animals" in the 70's
Alan from Sault Ste. Marie, OnReally enjoy this song. It has a certain innocence and charm about it. When you get to my age, 61, songs reflect time and stir memories as this one does.