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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
full bio

Selected Discography

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Track List: Have You Heard Jim Croce Live

1. You Don't Mess Around With Jim (Live)

2. Operator (That's Not The Way It Feels) (Live)

3. Introduction To "Roller Derby Queen" (Live)

4. Roller Derby Queen (Live)

5. One Less Set Of Footsteps (Live)

6. Next Time, This Time (Live)

7. Introduction To "Speedball Tucker" (Live)

8. Speedball Tucker (Live)

9. Lover's Cross (Live)

10. Introduction To "Workin' A The Car Wash Blues" (Live)

11. Workin' At The Car Wash Blues (Live)

12. Introduction To "Bad, Bad Leroy Brown" (Live)

13. Bad, Bad Leroy Brown (Live)

14. New York's Not My Home (Live)

15. The Hard Way Every Time (Live)

16. Introduction To "Rapid Roy" (Live)

17. Rapid Roy (The Stock Car Boy) (Live)

18. These Dreams (Live)

19. Hard Time Losing Man (Live)

x

Track List: Classic Hits

1. You Don't Mess Around With Jim

2. Operator (That's Not The Way It Feels)

3. One Less Set Of Footsteps

4. Bad, Bad Leroy Brown

5. I Got A Name

6. Time In A Bottle

7. It Doesn't Have To Be That Way

8. I'll Have To Say I Love You In A Song

9. Workin' At The Car Wash Blues

10. Photographs And Memories

11. Roller Derby Queen

12. New York's Not My Home

13. Rapid Roy (The Stock Car Boy)

14. Lover's Cross

15. These Dreams

16. A Long Time Ago

17. Alabama Rain

18. Dreamin' Again

19. Salon And Saloon

20. Thursday

x

Track List: Time In A Bottle: Jim Croce's Greatest Love Songs

1. Time In A Bottle

2. Operator (That's Not The Way It Feels)

3. Salon And Saloon

4. Alabama Rain

5. Dreamin Again

6. It Doesn't Have To Be That Way

7. I'll Have To Say I Love You In A Song

8. Lover's Cross

9. Thursday

10. These Dreams

11. A Long Time Ago

12. Photographs And Memories

x

Track List: Photographs & Memories - His Greatest Hits

1. Bad, Bad Leroy Brown

2. Operator (That's Not The Way It Feels)

3. Photographs And Memories

4. Rapid Roy

5. Time In A Bottle

6. New York's Not My Home

7. Workin' At The Car Wash Blues

8. I Got A Name

9. I'll Have To Say I Love You In A Song

10. You Don't Mess Around With Jim

11. Lover's Cross

12. One Less Set Of Footsteps

13. These Dreams

14. Roller Derby Queen

Comments

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call me anytime you want to do the intercom first then walk in
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Jim was my favorite singer in highschool maybe you could sing me a lulaby like what Jim does my mike
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The Best of the Best.!
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sandymcadams 5 4
Awesome band
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This is art...
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❤❤❤❤❤
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Time in a Bottle what a great love song
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cookie monster patiently waiting for cookies to bake . . . . . . . .
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cookie monster patiently waiting for cookies to cook . . . . . . . .
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madashap
he had the best mustache
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He was and always will be one of my favorites
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Beautiful tribute to a lovely man. One of a kind.
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bkearns8
Jimmy,no one could do it like you.May your music and memory live on and on!
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Bad bad Leroy brown. Is in every man. . Beware!!!
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Can't get enough of his music
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Just gettin to know his music. Kinda sorry I waited so long!!!
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taulbeegeorg i a
Let us way too soon!!
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gdwjr53
It does not get any better
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Jim Croce was one of the best! Love his music!
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I was working in the sheriffs office jail in golden co in1973 and the radio played I have to say I love you in a love song,It takes me back in time
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KING KONG
IS Pretty bad!!

0;o0
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You mean s**t bishop
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One of the best
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These Dreams...
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Wow I'm a teen love his music RIP
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This man had so many good songs. We lost him way to young..RIP
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Time in a Bottle,is for my sons,jarred and Jeremy.Liste n to the words.
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lwheeler4541
yeeet
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If you like Jim Croce you need to check out my Remembering the good times station.
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My mother was going to see his final show in Natchitoches . She was a student at Northwestern State. Sad. I've always enjoyed his music. Gone too soon.
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Is it just me? or does the ablum the lost recordings cover photo look like Borat?
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Just the way he says...
"Drivin a drop top Cadillac" makes him BAD A**!!!!!!
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One of my all time favorite Artists. Very relaxing and enjoyable to hear his songs just dar dreaming & escaping into another reality... Awesome
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Lol life low life





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One of the Prettiest Songs Ever
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No one honors his guitarist Maury Muehleisen that also died with him in the crash, he added such magic to the music they played together.
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If you read Ingrid's words, I believe Jim was only at the last gig to loose money paying back on a cancelled prior obligation. Who would do that today?
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Lost too soon,R.I.P
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debclark448
Was then and has always been one of my very favorites artists....l o v e his songs.. they take me back to my younger days!
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Saw him on Carson. He had fun with his music.
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One cool cat..God bless !
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There is a. Chord in me everytime I hear a Jim Croce. Song
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hsuarez1939
Thank you for giving my life back to me. This songs bring back my very best years.
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Singer/songw r i t e r extraordinai r e . Sadly taken from us to soon.
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His music has a deep, soulful feel about it which captures emotions which I sometimes have a hard time expressing. His is a tragic loss to the world.
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I've been to is wife's restaurant several times in San Diego in the Gaslamp Quarter. Its called Croce's it's kind of dedicated to him. Still cannot figure out how he keeps up all those choruses on operator without taking a breath! I've tried to sing it 100 times and I always run out of gas before I hit the end of the verse. Not only a great guitar player and a great lyricist but how the hell did he keep singing for that long without breathing? Must have been a scuba diver in his time off
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I love Jim!! My fave is 'time in a bottle'. I miss u!!!!!❤️��
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scottgunk
If you play guitar and have just a smig of talent do yourself a favor stay out of small planes.
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Still loving your music,Jim..W i s h you were still with us.!!!
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great song!!
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