Ray Stevens recalled the story behind this saga of a guitar playing jungle king during an interview with Bart Herbison of Nashville Songwriters Association International
"'Guitarzan' was a title given to me by Bill Justice. A lot of people probably don't remember Bill Justice. He was a wonderful musician and arranger. ... I (was staying) at the Continental Hotel on Sunset across from the apartment Bill rented to live and work. He found out I was staying across the street and called and said, "Let's have breakfast in the morning." At that breakfast he said, 'I've got a great song title for you, man. You need to write this song.' I said, 'What is it, Bill?' He said, 'Guitarzan, man. Ha-ha-ha.' I thought, 'Well, this is a funny thing.'"
"On the plane back to Nashville, I scribbled some notes, got home and finished writing the song, and we recorded it out at Bradley's Barn. It was one of the first records cut out there."