We Like Spiders & Snakes!

Hey kids- it’s flashback time! Close your eyes for a second and let the clock in your mind wander backwards through the 90s, then through the 80s and as you approach the 70’s, slow down when you get to December of 1973.

Can you remember what we’re you doing 35 years ago? Maybe you were in grade school or high school or were off working in the world. And even if you were just a glint in your parent’s eyes, keep reading, a little history never hurt anyone!

It’s been asserted that music has always been a measure of the times. So let me ask you this. Who would you have heard if you’d turned on your car radio back then?

In December 1973 Marvin Gaye, Gladys Knight and Sly & the Family Stone all recorded soulful popular songs. There was Jim Croce, Stevie Wonder and the one-and-only John Lennon. His good Beatle chum Paul McCartney (and Wings) charted a hit that month, as did Helen Reddy and Barbara Streisand. But do you want to know who caught everybody’s ears with a song that just seemed to come out of nowhere?

Well …drum roll, please……. On December 29, 1973 Branson’s very own resident funny man, Jim Stafford, rose to #3 on the Billboard Magazine Music Charts with his runaway hit- ‘Spiders and Snakes.’

Come on, admit it! You remember these classic lyrics:

She said, “I don’t like spiders and snakes
And that ain’t what it takes to love me you fool, you fool
I don’t like spiders and snakes
And that ain’t what it takes to love me
Like I want to be loved by you”

It was a silly coming-of-age song that just happened to go Gold for Jim and put a smile on everyone’s face.

And now, Billboard Magazine once again recognizes ‘Spiders and Snakes’ as #43 on The Billboard Hot 100 Country Songs during the magazine’s First 50 Years.

That innocently provocative song was written by Jim and his good friend, David Bellamy of the Bellamy Brothers. They played together in Florida in a band that also claimed another music legend destined for stardom, Gram Parsons.

‘Spider and Snakes’ was a whimsical retelling of Bellamy’s true life romantic experience growing up in rural Florida. It was produced by singer/songwriter Lobo (yep, just one name) who went on to pen ‘Me and You and a Dog Named Boo’.

Jim continued recording quirky hits such as ‘My Girl Bill’, ‘Wildwood Weed’ and ‘Your Bulldog Drinks Champagne’. He appeared in Clint Eastwood’s movie “Any Which Way You Can”, from which his bovine classic ‘Cow Patti’ was born.

Jim entered into the variety television arena as the host of the Jim Stafford Show on the ABC network in 1975 and then co-hosted “Those Amazing Animals” with Burgess Meredith of Batman fame and Priscilla Presley- of Elvis fame.

Jim also wrote three songs for the Walt Disney animated film, The Fox And The Hound, has performed in Las Vegas and around the nation and done more than we can mention here.

But best of all, here in 2008, you can see Jim Stafford LIVE in his own theatre in Branson. The marquee says ‘Comic Genius at Work’ and guess what? It’s true! Even if you don’t like spiders and snakes, Jim Stafford has what it takes – to get you to laugh out loud! Congratulations, Jim!

Visit www.BransonTourismCenter.com for more information about the Jim Stafford Show.

Spiders and Snakes (c) Jim Stafford / David Bellamy / Sony ATV Harmony

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