‘Not Just Another Pretty Foot:’ Blowing the lid off Jim Stafford’s mid-’70s MGM tenure

Jim Stafford details the three golden years of his staggering 50-year career in a behind the scenes interview. Signed to MGM Records in 1972 on the advice of soft rock purveyor Lobo, the country songwriter became a crossover pop phenomenon with six consecutive Top 40 pop hits — “Swamp Witch”, “Spiders & Snakes,” “My Girl, Bill,” “Wildwood Weed,” “Your Bulldog Drinks Champagne,” and “I Got Stoned and I Missed It.” The accompanying still displays the vinyl rear jacket of Stafford’s self-titled debut album, which first appeared March 16, 1974 in Billboard magazine and charted at No. 55 POP and No. 6 C&W during its 33-week chart run. The natural entertainer looks downright trendy in blue jeans, a rhinestone-encrusted belt, and black floral shirt. Image Credit: Luigi’s ’50s ’60s Vinyl Corner [blog] / Universal Music Group
In a gray newsboy cap, black vest, and light lavender shirt, clever singer-songwriter Jim Stafford furiously leans over a piano with pencil in hand checking the lyrics of his latest hit record on the vinyl rear jacket of “Not Just Another Pretty Foot,” the second and ultimately final album he released on MGM Records. Featuring “Making Love with the Headphones On,” the No. 24 POP “ Your Bulldog Drinks Champagne,” and a No. 37 POP rendition of Shel Silverstein’s “I Got Stoned and I Missed It,” the well-crafted 11-song LP nevertheless failed to see any Billboard chart action upon its February 1975 debut. Image Credit: 45Worlds user Rustical / Universal Music Group

The Jim Stafford Interview, Part Three

“Rings” b/w a Beatles cover of “I’m Only Sleeping” marked Lobo’s 13th single. Distributed in July 1974, the artist, real name Kent LaVoie, watched it peak just shy of the Top 40 at No. 43 POP but climb much higher into the Adult Contemporary chart at No. 8. Both sides later appeared on the “Just a Singer” album for Big Tree Records. Image Credit: 45Cat user Rock-Ola / Warner Music Group
NASCAR racing champion and Mountain Dew sponsor Darrell Waltrip, Curb Records founder and 42nd Lieutenant Governor of California Mike Curb, and Jim Stafford’s record producer Phil Gernhard celebrate Waltrip’s victory at the Goody’s 300 race, part of the NASCAR Busch Grand National Series held at Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Florida, on February 18, 1984. Image Credit: The Mike Curb Collection
A German single 45 pressing combining “Dancin’ Cowboys” and “Sugar Daddy,” the Bellamy Brothers’ third and fourth number ones distributed in March 1980 and also part of the “You Can Get Crazy” album. Incidentally, that’s younger brother David on the left, guilty as charged for penning both tunes, and a mustachioed Howard in the gray fedora. Image Credit: 45Cat user Quicksilver / Warner Music Group
The vinyl front jacket of Jim Stafford’s self-titled debut album, which first appeared March 16, 1974 in Billboard magazine and charted at No. 55 POP and No. 6 C&W during its 33-week chart run. Image Credit: Universal Music Group
A maxi single, aka a 7-inch vinyl single featuring one A-side and two B-sides, of “Your Bulldog Drinks Champagne,” “Spiders & Snakes,” and “Swamp Witch” distributed in 1975 in the Netherlands. Stafford composed “Swamp Witch” and co-wrote the other two with David Bellamy of the Bellamy Brothers — all three were ubiquitous Top 30 pop singles. Image Credit: 45Cat user Leonard / Universal Music Group
With a cigarette calmly held by a left foot, the vinyl cover of “Not Just Another Pretty Foot,” the second album distributed by Jim Stafford on MGM Records in February 1975. Featuring “Making Love with the Headphones On,” “ Your Bulldog Drinks Champagne,” and a rendition of Shel Silverstein’s “I Got Stoned and I Missed It,” the well-crafted 11-song LP nevertheless failed to see any Billboard chart action. Image Credit: 45Worlds user Rustical / Universal Music Group
A German 7-inch vinyl single coupling two of comedy singer-songwriter Jim Stafford’s career-defining songs, “My Girl, Bill” and “Wildwood Weed,” released in 1974. Image Credit: 45Cat user Leonard / Universal Music Group
Produced by Lobo aka Kent LaVoie as well as Phil Gernhard is the single 45 cover of Jim Stafford’s “Spiders & Snakes” b/w “Undecided,” dropped in September 1973 on MGM Records. Stafford co-wrote the No. 3 POP, No. 66 C&W, No. 28 Adult Contemporary smash hit with David Bellamy of the Bellamy Brothers and penned the B-side all by himself. Image Credit: 45Cat user Scarlatti / Universal Music Group
The 45 cover of “Satin Sheets,” the third single dropped by the Bellamy Brothers [Howard at left and David at right]. It barely dented Billboard’s Pop chart at No. 73 in August 1976. Image Credit: 45Cat user Leonard / Curb Records

Retro pop culture interviews & lovin’ someone fierce sustain this University of Georgia Master of Agricultural Leadership alum. Email: jeremylr@windstream.net

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