March 17, 1996 – Terry LaVerne Stafford was born on November 22, 1941. A native of Hollis, Oklahoma, he is best remembered for his 1964 hit song, ‘Suspicion.’ The song, written by Doc Pomus and Mort Shuman, and originally recorded by Elvis Presley, became Stafford’s only hit song and a Top Ten single. He sounded uncanningly like Elvis.
Stafford grew up in Amarillo, Texas, and then moved to Los Angeles, California, after high school, so that he could pursue a music career. Stafford began performing at social events and local dances, until he got his break in 1964, to record the single, ‘Suspicion.’
The song was remastered by a local Disc Jockey and the song was released, going to number three on the pop chart. Although he was never able to duplicate his first success, he did have a Top 30 with his follow-up recording, ‘I’ll Touch A Star.’ He later turned to acting and writing, he appeared in the film, “Wild Wheels,” and wrote the song, ‘Big In Vegas,’ for country singer Buck Owens.
In 1973, Stafford signed with the Atlantic Record Company and released a country album entitled, “Say, Has Anybody Seen My Sweet Gypsy Rose,” with the title track landing on the Top 40. He also the wrote the song, ‘Amarillo By Morning,’ which was later a major hit for country singer George Strait. In 1974, after a year or so with the Atlantic Record Label, Stafford left music. Stafford’s other recordings include, ‘If You Got The Time,’ ‘Am I Fooling Myself,’ ‘Kiss Me Quick,’ ‘For Your Love,’ ‘Pocket Full Of Rainbows,’ ‘Hoping,’ ‘Sospeto,’ and ‘Soldier Boy.
Stafford passed away in Amarillo, Texas, on March 17, 1996, from the effects of liver problems at age 54.