The term “One Hit Wonder” refers to a singer who made it into the top Billboard list with one hit song. Some songs had staying power like Jim Stafford’s “Spiders and Snakes” (1974), but most came and went like Rick Dees’ “Disco Duck” or Larry Croce’s “Junk Food Junkie.”
Stafford turned his hit into a goldmine for 24 years at the Jim Stafford Theater in Branson, Missouri. Years ago when I met Stafford, his theater was generating an average of $1MM a month, thanks to its 3,000 seats and great publicity. To accomplish the nice paycheck, Stafford had to perform regularly each year. It’s no wonder that he’s decided to move into semi-retirement.
“I feel like it’s time to try something else,” Stafford said. “You do a show just about every day. The least number of shows I ever did there was five days a week.”
Semi-retirement means he’ll be taking a show on the road this year. It’ll be the first bus tour of his career, which started in the early 70’s. His show will be family oriented, filled with nostalgic songs and the comedic humor he’s known for.
Stafford’s success never took off like many in the industry, but it did allow him to perform and have fun throughout his career. He loved performing and touching the lives of those with similar wholesome and moral entertainment taste. That’s not to say he didn’t face hard times. He did. There were days when he’d play for a small handful of people – One show only had six people in the audience.
While Stafford never had more than one hit, he certainly knew how to entertain. His show had great musicians and singers, wonderful costumes and time for the artist to share a conversation with his audience. No matter what performance you’d attend, whether he was working that day or not, you could always expect great performances and good wholesome fun and laughter.
Keep a lookout for Stafford coming to your area over the next couple of year.