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Jim Croce

In the music industry, arguably the worst tragedy that can befall an artist is to die in his or her prime, when just beginning to break through to the mainstream and reach people on a national or international level. One such artist was Jim Croce, a songwriter with a knack for both upbeat, catchy singles and empathetic, melancholy ballads. Though Croce only recorded a few studio albums before an untimely plane crash, he continues to be remembered posthumously. Croce appealed to fans as a common man, and it was not a gimmick -- he was a father and husband who went through a series of blue-collar jobs. And whether he used dry wit, gentle emotions, or sorrow, Croce sang with a rare form of honesty and power. Few artists have ever been able to pull off such down-to-earth storytelling as convincingly as he did.

James Joseph Croce was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, on January 10, 1943. Raised on ragtime and country, Croce played the accordion as a child and would eventually teach himself the guitar. It wasn't until his freshman year of college that he began to take music seriously, forming several bands over the next few years. After graduation, he continued to play various gigs at local bars and parties, working as both a teacher and construction worker to support himself and his wife, Ingrid. In 1969, the Croces and an old friend from college, Tommy West, moved to New York and record an album. When the Jim and Ingrid record failed to sell, they moved to a farm in Lyndell, Pennsylvania, where Jim juggled several jobs, including singing for radio commercials. Eventually he was noticed and signed by the ABC/Dunhill label and released his second album, You Don't Mess Around with Jim, in 1972. The record spawned three hits: "You Don't Mess Around With Jim," "Operator (That's Not the Way It Feels)," and "Time in a Bottle," the latter ultimately shooting all the way to number one on the Billboard charts. Croce quickly followed with Life and Times in early 1973 and gained his first number one hit with "Bad, Bad Leroy Brown."

After four years of grueling tour schedules, Croce grew homesick. Wishing to spend more time with Ingrid and his infant son Adrian James, he planned to take a break after the Life and Times tour was completed. Tragically, the tour would never finish; just two months after "Bad, Bad Leroy Brown" topped the charts, Croce's plane crashed in Natchitoches, Louisiana. Croce and the four other passengers (including bandmember Maury Muehleisen) were killed instantly.

Croce's career peaked after his death. In December of 1973, the album I Got a Name surfaced, but it was "Time in a Bottle," from 1972's You Don't Mess Around with Jim, that would become his second number one single. Shortly afterwards, "I'll Have to Say I Love You in a Song" reached the Top Ten. Several albums were released posthumously, most notably the greatest hits collection Photographs & Memories, which became a best-seller. Several other compilations were later issued, such as the 1992 release The 50th Anniversary Collection and the 2000 compilation Time in a Bottle: The Definitive Collection. Listening to the songs Croce recorded, one cannot help but wonder how far his extraordinary talents could have taken him if he would have lived longer. Unfortunately, such a question may only be looked at rhetorically, but Jim Croce continues to live on in the impressive catalog of songs he left behind. ~ Barry Weber, Rovi
full bio

Selected Discography

Comments

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Jim Croce YOU HAVE A NAME and it got you a long ways down my road through the car radio!!!# thank you#!#
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"Time in a bottle" was a great song AND STILL IS...AND ALWAYS WILL BE!!!��
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����88 great melody forever:)
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My father introduced me to Jim Croce's music when I was twelve. Now I'm twenty-seven , and I still can't get over how good he was. I desperately wish I had been around when he was alive.
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Timeless piece of art; photographs and memories/tim e in a bottle
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So many great memories! Thanks for this great song
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Karl Hanson
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this was and is a great song!!!
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This is definitely a song that says it all ... Play it for the one you love;)
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yes yes yes.. i remember. listing to his songs when i was only 7, and im 51 know. but his voice & songs will dye in my mind forever .. even. when i dye they will be with me. he'll of an artist .much love. G.
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Ingrid Croce has a restaurant for her husband, Jim Croce, in San Diego. It is in the Gaslamp District, and Jim Croce himself originally opened that. Great food. Great atmosphere. This is on 5th avenue. Here is the website: http://croce s . c o m / Go check them out when and if you get the chance. Ingrid is a great host. In addition to this, I am just posting for my friends and me. Its information I think is worth knowing.
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When I hear his songs it brings me back to my youth and my ex girlfriend. It was special. We always played his songs.gil castillo fremont. Ca
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Good bad or indifferent, the man had talent, he left this world way too soon. His son only has stories of his dad to grow up to. We his fans are left with the music he left for us to enjoy
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I personally love his music..Takes me back to when the world was good & simple. Feel good music & memories. I say RIP JIM!
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Leave the guy alone your intentional comment is far worse than any unintentiona l tradgedy
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txbear55
NTSB report: ...pilot error...cras h due to downwind takeoff...hi t the only tree within hundreds of yards. Facts checked. Tragic and avoidable accident.
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I love every song he ever sung I was a number one fan
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dietschenato r
You have no clue as to what caused the plane crash, do you? There are many causes for downed aircraft other than pilot error. Check facts before criticizing others.
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Well your uncle sucked as a pilot!! He left a lot of people with broken hearts!! I would NEVER tell ANYONE that. As I'm typing this I'm thinking, WHO TELLS PEOPLE THAT???? Someone that has no clue....
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altrn2
This song makes me think how life is too short and should cherish every moment
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One of the great ones.
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A GREAT artist, my uncle was his pilot in the 1973 crash.
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Great singer to bad pass before hos time. My best friend that commited suicide got me to listen to Jim Croce & Harry Chapin ie (Cats & The Cradle)
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Ur music will always make a dark day, BRIGHT!
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'I looked into the empty faces of the people of the night
Somethin' is just not right'.
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eclipsejd14
I remember when my brother gave me the news of the plane crash... such sad news...
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This was my wedding song 40 years ago.
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Just curious is there such a thing as a TIMELY plane crash very bad choice of words
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One of my all-time favorite songs just a cool song
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Always been a huge fan probably would've been one of the great
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cormier.tim2
Powerful lyricist!
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tkellough6
A great artist. You can't help but think his late top hits were written and performed for his wife Ingrid. Sad to die so young at your peak.
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Beautiful lyrics..
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The best story teller through his songs.
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Ellie I met him one day. We bought weed together. :) @elliegouldi n g love b
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Jim Croce and Harry Chapin gone but no forgotten.
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What a great style. Great words. Great voice. Just what do you think he would be in 2015???? I know, GREAT!!!!
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nicko252008
I met his wife, very nice lady. Yes, jims music will live forever.
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His music will outlive all of us
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nicko252008
Sixto Rodriguez very similar artist, your welcome. Folk music is great.
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It's a shame he didn't become famous until after his death.
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As a little girl I would dance on our fireplace stage to Bad Bad Leroy Brown while my family laughed at me :)...I think Leroy would win
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Ok who would win in a fight Jim or Leroy?
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So many great icons have died frm plane crashes,The sky was made for stars...RIP JIM CROCE
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Time in a Bottle...the s e lyrics still ring true!
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jimsvatos
Has to be considered one of the All Time singer songwriters in the history of music... I remember the day back in High School of his tragic death.
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Stop& listen to some Jim for bit. Nice!!!!!
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michael_feli x _ 5 4
The best musician ever. Wrote way down by thr river for him...a strong influence in all my musical works. I take pause when i hear his music played during my day.
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Jim Croce was one of the tapes i would listen to growing up, and still do. Love his voice and music. Follow 4 a Follow
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You're right, dude. That's one of the worst opening sentences ever. And not true anyway.
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