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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

They said he would never make it bc he can't sing . Underdog never gives up
romancegirl1 9 6 3
Was it ever revealed what caused the plane crash? I love Jim Croce's music - what a good man.
Yes I love his music God took him home for a reason he was and coming up artists he will be missed but not forgotten through his music god bless you Jim Croce and your family
Women in bars, circa 1977, used to hit on me by telling me I looked like him. I had the same curly hair, the same moustache, and the same nose. I finally married one of them and stopped going to bars.
❤️
A man that could put meanings and feeling in a song!!!!!!!! ! ! !
MISS YA BIG DADDY! YOUR MY HERO!
Time less. Jim was one cool Cat.! My sister unlawful loved him. Great music.
i always find myself singing along when I hear Jim Croce...
Favorite songwriter
I can call just to tell them I am fine.....
capiyoni
I love his music but it always comes with a stab of grief for his leaving us so early.
Growing up during the 70's it was the music I remember the most
Jim Crow sang some of my favorite songs my favorite song is "operator". All songs he sang I liked he is one of my favorite singers in country music.
He was my father's favorite artist when I was a little girl. Now, all grown up with a daughter of my own, his music is still played frequently. He will always live on. ��
good morning my friend
The good ol' days can never be matched. I can sit and listen for hours on end. Timeless!!!
jim I was 12 when you die & I still missing you
Taken way to early from us but Gods plans we'll only understand when it's our time. This cat made it after his dad tried to so that's a good thing.
Love him!
He was amazing and what a shame he left us so young!!'
Can't b replaced
I wish someone would dedicate this song to me : I'll Have To Say I Love You In A Song"
Makes me so happy and sad at the same time.
yuk.
1 kiss your left hand
2 say your crushes name
3 close your hand
4 pick a school day
5 say your name
6 post this on 15 different songs and the day you picked is that day your crush will ask you out
Beyond Beautiful!
Time in a Bottle was my wedding song back in 1978. He was gone to soon.
I was a pre teen when he died a great, honest, along with hard working but the most he will be remembered for is his way of telling stories through music an art that has died out it was the way he brought peace into the world that he knew how
Great singer never get tired of listening to Jim Croce
Another artist who dies before his time
What a peaceful nice beautiful soul...He was missed the minute He departed
my husband introduced me to crose, and liked his songs right away. So-in tribute to William C--good hear him again.
blodgettalli e
ALL YOU TAKERS OF THIS LOVER, SORE DEPLETED AND DOING ALL THE WORK! F**K YOU...IM JUST MAKING SWEET HARMONIOUS LOVE TO MYSELF.
ryan18184
Say iPhone
Pick a color
Post this on two other songs
Look under ur pillow
Don't read this because it actually works. You will be kissed on the nearest possible Friday by the love of your life. However if you don't read this you will die in two days. Now that you've started reading this don't stop. This is so scary. Put this on five songs in the next 143 minutes. When your done press F6 and your lover name will pop up on the screen in big letters. Trust me it works.
Exactly
my son gave me the greatist hits cd for my recent birthday last month. i thought that was pretty awesome for a 38 year old kid to give his mom!! i told him i loved the song i got a name when it came on the move, Django (or however your spell it!! LOL ) i think i have listened to that CD at least 100 times since my birthday one month ago!! jim's music is awesome....e v e r y t h i n g about it. it can be calming, humorous at times, melancholic at times, just love it. can't say enough about him. so
A gift gone too soon!
To absent friends!!!!
I don't think there is a song so heart felt like this it pulls my heart strings like jee
I so,so, agree with dmk5055. We all need to calm down, and slow down our lives. we must all get back to basics.
renerian
Do miss him..
I really do like this song!
It's still a strong memory for me. It was early morning, I was 15, riding public bus heading to high school, listening to my transistor radio when the news came.
1591425100
I am old, but this man was a man!
nickwipper
I was 13 when I heard about his death and remember where I was and what I was doing at the time. I also think about how much more great music we would have had if he were alive.
dmk5055
I Belive Our Youth today, needs to hear this type. Of Musc, to Calm them, to Slow Down I Life. Also Many Adults to need to get back to. Basics of Life also.
I have love Croce music since 1975. Was introduce to me by one of the best cousin in the world. Since every girlfriend that i have ever had know of some of Croce music. Just yesterday i ran into someone whom was call by Ingrid because he left his wallet in the Top Hat Bar and Grill in SD.
When God wants to get all heavy about life, He puts on his Jim Croce albums
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