Spar Music

123½ E. Tennessee St., Florence, AL

SPAR (Stafford Publishing and Recording) was located above the City Drug Store in downtown Florence at the intersection of Seminary and Tennessee streets. Tom Stafford, whose father owned the drug store, opened the studio in 1959 with a $300 investment from Tune Records founder James Joiner. As manager of the Princess Theater, Stafford had developed friendships with several young, aspiring musicians, including such future luminaries as Dan Penn, Spooner Oldham, David Briggs and Norbert Putnam.

“We were just kids who hung out at the theater and the drug store. We’d go to the drug store, buy a hot dog, see a pretty girl… then go upstairs and write a song about it.” –David Briggs

“Tom was the kind of guy who encouraged you to continue writing. And he brought you together with all these wonderful people.” –Spooner Oldham

“SPAR Music was the ‘in place’ to be. Musicians, writers, wannabe soul men, all swigging cough syrup, chasing it with coca cola and having a lot of fun!” –Norbert Putnam

“Tom was a lover of life and art, and was truly the patron of the arts in that small town. His life and his influence and what he did in those days is the number one factor in that area becoming the great industry that it was. And he did it with integrity.” –Gary Walker


• Tom Stafford (1959- )
• James Joiner (1959-1960)
Rick Hall (1959-1960)
• Bill Sherrill (1959-1960)
David Briggs (1960- )
• Donnie Fritts (1960- )

Writers and Musicians:
• Arthur Alexander
Bobby Denton
David Briggs
Norbert Putnam
• Jerry Carrigan
• Dan Penn
Spooner Oldham
• Donnie Fritts
• Bill Blackburn
Peanutt Montgomery
• Terry Thompson
• Roger Hawkins


• Arthur Alexander, “Sally Sue Brown”