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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

So sad you left us far to soon.We just started realizing you we're extremely talented and just like that you were gone.
blueninja062 5
You will be kissed on the nearest Friday by the love of your life. Tomorrow will be the best day of your life. However, if you do not post this in at least 2 songs you will die in 2 days. Now that you're reading this, don't stop. This is so scary. Put this in at least 5 songs in 143 minutes, and when you're done press F6 and your lover's name will appear on the screen in big letters. This is so scary, it actually works.
He is one of the best........ Great simple and awesome music wish I was around to see him
What was with all the f**king plane crashes ? My God please explain..... . . . . . .


Jim Croce has no equal!
anarah1977
I loved Jim's style of music. I came late into becoming a fan but still his music is classic.
Jim Croce stands alone not in any shadows of the previously mentioned. He is an Icon in the Music he played.
Croce owns Harry Chapin and Cat Stevens, sorry, but it's true.
Don't read this, because it actually works.You will be kissed on the nearest possible Friday, by the love of your life.Tomorro w will be the best day of your life. However, if you don't post this, you will die in 2 days. Now you've started reading this, don't stop.This is so scary. Post this on at least 5 songs in 143 minutes. When done, press f6 and your lovers name will come up on the screen .This is so scary, because it works
jw3rdof3
if you love Jim Croce as I do and you haven't heard Ray Lamontagne or Amos Lee I implore you to lend them both your ears. Jim will always be in a category all to himself for me but I love discovering newer musicians and if I introduce even one person to either of these artists I am confident they will be thankful.
jim is one of the best in the world......
Jim was the best and i loved his wifes restuarant.
Folk rocks Willie Nelson! I first heard a full albums of his in 1974.
I left my friends house and went right to a record store to find two albums. I returned in a few days after wearing those albums out.
I asked if there were any more albums. I was told no. I said to the man behind the counter, I can't wait until his next album. The owner said that's never going to happen.
I asked why?
He said he died in a plane crash last year.
I still can not believe that that was one on the worst events in m
bettycoshatt
jim croce was great
What a great artist!
Don't read this because it actually works. You will be kissed on the nearest possible Friday by the love of your life. Tomorrow will be best day of your life. However if you don't post this you will die in 2 days. Now you've started reading this don't stop. This is so scary. Post this on at least 5 songs in 143 minutes. When done press f6 and your lover's name will come up on the screen. This is so scary because it actually works.
I love his song's
I still miss his music. What a loss.
Unfortunatel y Croce's restaurant has closed down. The landlord didn't renew the lease. It wasn't by Ingrid's (his wife) choosing. She has , however, opened another called Croce's Park West. I am so looking forward to my next trip to SD to try it out. Jim never was part of the restaurant. He and Ingrid dreamed of opening one, but Ingrid finally opened it after Jim's death. 40 years later, I still get melancholy thinking about what might have been...so thankful for the catalog that we do have!
Time in a bottle.
The story goes that one of Jim Croce's passions was cooking. He loved good food and wanted others to eat good food as well so he opened up his own restaurant. GREAT FOOD. I can't stress that enough. A bit pricey but well worth it.
If you type in Croce's in your search engine the restaurant will come up
Photographs and Memories. This is beautiful. I love Jim Croce. He had a restaurant in San Diego in the Gaslight district that I was fortunate enough to be able to go to. GREAT FOOD. His wife ran the restaurant then. I think she shut down the restaurant. I'm not sure. I hope she didn't. It was a great restaurant. Idea: she can keep it open and let someone else run it. :-) THE RESTAURANT WAS CALLED CROCE'S. BY THE SAN DIEGO HARBOR AND UNION STATION.
I believe he would have had the same career as James Taylor, if not better!
Great story telling,grea t song.
smbeatyj
Huge fan of this song��
Thanks for sharing Karen. Jim Croce has a home in my soul too.
kmcqueen19
I saw Jim in San Antonio the last concert before his final show. I was in 8th grade won the tkts on a local radio station. He played the municipal auditorium and it was only half full. I was a fan at the time. My friend who also won two tickets share that night and ultimately the news of his tragic death. Still can't believe my parents let me go downtown to a concert without a chaperone. Thankful that they did. I still have my ticket stub. He had two opening acts. When he came out he sat on a st
chanaaron815
I remember the day that I heard about his plane crash on the radio. I was in my college dorm doing my homework. I have always liked his music.
lcspence2388
Every time I hear a Jim Croce song I get the chills!~
sweetums967
great artist..
Don't read this because it actually works. You will be kissed on the nearest Friday by the love of your life. Tomorrow will be the best day of your life. However if you don't post this you will die in 2 days. Now you started reading this so don't stop. This is so scary put this on at least 5 songs in the next 143 minutes. When done press f6 and your lovers name will appear on the screen in big letters this is so scary because it actually works
i cant believe that so many people fall for that post this or you will die things. if that was true I would have been dead a long time ago. on another note I love Jim Croce and operator is a great song!
dianhow
Chicago still has those Bad Leroy Browns types ( gangs ) where you do not go at night ...or anytime We left the City for the suburbs
in 1972. with our new baby > SUCH HAPPY DAYS
Never knew much about him other than I always loved his songs... so sad. But, how many people, even with a long life, do something as significant and ultimately life changing for so many as Jim did? The power of music and great song writing simply can not be totally understood nor over-estimat e d . Life is so random, make the most of it!
Agree?
Operator his best song
I miss the story telling style.
his plane went down close to my home. friend told me that day at work. really miss his style no one like him. love and peace to you jim, mark l
he died in 73 so I was already born guess I'm not him incarnated
babykittieee e
i hadnt yet started school and Id sit in my moms Buick Skylark with the big Tiger engine purring and Jim on the radio, thinking if i put pennies in the speakers id get bubblegum
babykittieee e
the damn south side of Chicago...if Jim says so, nuff said!
I didn't really understand this song until recently.
Brings back good memories of youth
Watching a sunset on the marina this music playing in a distant background brings back so many memories.Bri n g s a smile to my face every time.
fredwade4
Great talent and great loss
Don't read this because it actually works. You will be kissed on the nearest Friday by the love of your life. Tomorrow will be the best day of your life. However if you don't post this you will die in 2 days. Now you started reading this so don't stop. This is so scary put this on at least 5 songs in the next 143 minutes. When done press f6 and your lovers name will appear on the screen in big letters this is so scary because it actually works
rwilton51
Ghosts of the past float through my mind whenever I hear, Time in a Bottle. First love, her image, and all the mistakes I made.What power in a simple song. what an amazing singer.
sassyone1951
What a shame this gifted young man had his life cut short .think of what he would have done if this tragic accident hadn't happened...? I think he would stil be singing and writing these BEAUTIFUL songs...!!!
I remember watching Jim's widow going up on stage to receive his grammy back in 1974. It was bitter-sweet .
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