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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

x

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

Report as inappropriate
we will have our own Christmas this year for sure my darling Mike your mimi
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Such a gifted artisan, musically, vocally you name it. I will never forget the great Jim Croce and his music contribution s ! Thanks Jim for what you gave all of us!
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dianafelker2 1
Hi Justin, thanks for sharing . Gay lives matter , too. : )
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dianafelker2 1
To my best friend Dale . He died
August 10th 2016 at the age of 61 . Motorcycle accident. He had just bought a motorcycle 3 months before . I begged him not to buy it .
I love you Dale!
Report as inappropriate
gmanuels4
Jim Croce died on my 16th birthday, from then to now and into the future I have and will play his music on my birthday as a tribute and memorial.
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to my wife....
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drop by today get it together tonight anytime my Mike need you now your mim
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Both Jim Croce and Harry Chapin died too son. Two of the best singer/songw r i t e r s of all time.
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My daughter's favorite Time in a bottle
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moving down the highway I do want share it with you my Mike your mimi
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I'll go with you my darling share it with me move down the highway life won't pay us by my Mike your mimi
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No one like him. Such a loss.
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justinjenny4 9 5
❤❤❤❤
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Love JC forever
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dragonlady60 8 8
JC....TY FOR THE STORIES IN YOUR MUSIC...RIP
Report as inappropriate
❤❤❤❤❤
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Time in a bottle,is for my sons,Jarred and Jeremy Lester.I love you my sons,forever and a day!
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had the pleasure of meeting Ingrid when I lived in San Diego. She had great restaurant at the mall. Very sweet lady and their son looks just like his dad. Sure miss his music.
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justinjenny4 9 5
❤❤❤❤❤
Report as inappropriate
I moved from hometown, came back. Never fit in anywhere else. Can relate.
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lyrically beyond awesome, told it like it is...
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❤❤❤❤❤
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Taken too soon. He was an amazing talent
Report as inappropriate
❤❤❤❤❤
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I love some of Jim Croces songs I use to listen to this one you must have been listening and I didn't even know you at the time so glad we met baby you are my miracle drug that I needed baby Mike love mimi
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❤❤❤❤❤
Report as inappropriate
Jim was an awesome artist & taken from us to soon! He has many great songs...
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I run out of things to say I will wait for you forever Mimi I love you
Report as inappropriate
When a good person dies, it leaves a hole in the world and you hope that what that person has done makes an impact on the world and makes people appreciate their own lives and throw them away.
Report as inappropriate
The music industry is in dire need of the talent Jim croce had.
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matratus
Great Recording. Thank you Pandora!!!
Report as inappropriate
In comparison to todays artist, well they cant compare. My example is simple, and Jim highlighted it in one of my favorite songs. Today, narcissism rules music. One of my peeves is how all artists seem compelled to mention their own names in their songs. Jim would never do that, my example I Got a Name. No need to mention JIm Croce in the first person. This man was a huge gift to all.
Report as inappropriate
How can you describe something that had been a part of your whole life. I made a timeless bottle with trinkets of my life one day while his, Time in a bottle song played. He has touched my soul before.
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you can call me at anytime day or night I will be here this one of my favorite artists I willl wait for you for ever I'm holding you in my arms Mimi kisses for mike
Report as inappropriate
kecour123
nothing like him today so regrettable where are they?
Report as inappropriate
Croce, the man that change music in a soft sound of words.
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if you called me you wouldn't wake me at all mimi
Report as inappropriate
we have to make time for us now one else love the man you are inside as well as outside and you have a nerchering kind of personally you make a great father to any kid mike
Report as inappropriate
Hey arrowdave6 sorry man I may have just missread were cool buddy and keep up the good music
Report as inappropriate
mysteriousst r a n g e r s 8 6
❤❤❤❤❤
Report as inappropriate
schiger
Still crazy after all these years
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craig5217
A sad thing for a very talented and down to earth man. His guitar licks were tried by many, none could master.
Report as inappropriate
Cool, !!! Still today!!
Report as inappropriate
maryj4799
L.p. my very very favorite singer .His songs are sometimes like he reads my thoughts and perhaps he can
Report as inappropriate
When I was a kid, my sister had Jim Croche's Greatest Hit's album and it had these same songs on it, but it had a picture of his two-year-old son wearing one of his cowboy hats. Very bittersweet. Where did that album cover go?
Report as inappropriate
No I don't need more sleep maybe you should learn a little more about music and the history of song writers and be careful what you say about people on here we are music lovers on here.just be cool man and enjoy the music
Report as inappropriate
No it's just a fact that Jim wrote most of his songs about someone or somthing that's why he is one of the greatest song writers ever
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Love listening to Jim Croce!
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