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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: Lost Time In A Bottle

1. Next Time, This Time (Live At Harper College 2/5/73)

2. New York's Not My Home (Live At Harper College 2/5/73)

3. You Don't Mess Around With Jim (Live At Harper College 2/5/73)

4. Careful Man (Live At Harper College 2/5/73)

5. A Good Time Man Like Me (Demo)

6. Tractor Trailer Story Intro (Live At Harper College 2/5/73)

7. Speedball Tucker (Demo)

8. Operator (Demo)

9. Hard Time Losin' Man (Demo)

10. Seems Like Such A Long Time Ago (Demo)

11. It Doesn't Have To Be That Way (Live At Harper College 2/5/73 Previously Unreleased)

12. Bar Story Intro (Live At Harper College 2/5/73)

13. Roller Derby Queen (Live At Harper College 2/5/73)

14. One Less Set Of Footsteps (Live At Harper College 2/5/73)

15. Dreamin' Again (Live Harper College 2/5/73)

16. Bad, Bad Leroy Brown (Lost Home Recordings; Demos Made Between 1970 And 1972. Previously Unreleased)

17. Time In A Bottle (Lost Home Recordings; Demos Made Between 1970 And 1972. Previously Unreleased)

18. I Got A Name (Live 1973)

19. Charley Green, Play That Slide Trombone (Live At Cazenovia College 1964)

20. San Francisco Bay Blues (Live At Cazenovia College 1964)

21. Washington At Valley Forge (Live At Cazenovia College 1964)

22. La Bamba (Live At Cazenovia College 1964)

23. Seek And You Shall Find (Live At Cazenovia College 1964)

24. Woke Up This Morning (Live At Cazenovia College 1964)

x

Track List: I Got A Name

1. I Got A Name

2. Lover's Cross

3. Five Short Minutes

4. Age

5. Working At The Car Wash Blues

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

7. Salon And Saloon

8. Thursday

9. Top Hat Bar And Grille

10. Recently

11. The Hard Way Every Time

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

x

Track List: You Don't Mess Around With Jim

1. You Don't Mess Around With Jim

2. Tomorrow's Gonna Be A Brighter Day

3. New York's Not My Home

4. Hard Time Losin' Man

5. Photographs And Memories

6. Walking Back To Georgia

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

8. Time In A Bottle

9. Rapid Roy (The Stock Car Boy)

10. Box # 10

11. A Long Time Ago

12. Hey Tomorrow

Comments

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Never seams to be enough time .To soon gone
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Such a long time a go
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One of the best love song 's ever!!!
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Mr. Croce was one of the many folk artist I grew up on in the 70's. Not tell I was much older and wiser did understand the man his music and life. He is missed��
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Crying
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justinjenny4 9 5
❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤
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Mr. Croce, just like John Denver and Buddy Holly, Riche Valens and so many others were taken from earth way too soon! Such great folk and balled, and rock and roll singers! Great times for music! :(
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Time in a bottle. I wish,oh how I wish
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fiel225
Time In A Bottle beautiful song
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THIS WHE FIRST THING I THOUGHT OF THEN BRIAN !! IF ONLY !!! "" TIME IN A BOTTLE "" IF ONLY BRIAN.. IF ONLY WE COULD OR COULD HAVE !!!
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Yet another of the greats that was taken far, far too soon. Just imagine what might of been had he not died in that plane crash. I've no doubt the music would of been glorious.
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Treetop lover
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Time in a bottle is my favorite and my oldest daughter. I used to dance with her to that song
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justinjenny4 9 5
❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤
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He left us way too soon. Imagine the music we'd have from him if he'd lived!! We'd be standing in line to see the old man. Some of his music had so much sadness and pain, that doesn't come from nothing. I believe he suffered in this world, maybe karma let him go home while riding high. No more pain.
Rest In Peace!!
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stokesdeb13
Still miss him and the music that was to come.
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I got a name shared it two times bad move lol
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Allie he's always been a favorite of mine. He died way to soon.Has some really great stuff tthough! !
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Jim Croce'S, Time in a Bottle was a great song. It's to bad he died so young.
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Jim Croce'S song Dream' Again was a great song, it was what we experienced. He knew the common man because he sang from the common man point of view.
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Wish you were still with us!
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Thank you Jim you are one of the best when it comes to feel good music love you brother RIP. Well done
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RIP to a great.
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Great artist (in the truest sense of the word). I still love listening to his music.
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I have love Jim's music since High School in the mid 70's. I had the honor of meeting and visiting with Ingrid at her restaurant in San Diego several years ago and her new husbands name is Jim. Wonderful people!!
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sue10695
beautiful, gone too soon!
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Taken way to soon
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Operator help me place this call to Elizabeth
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He was outstanding. I miss him still
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My brother in law Maury was Jim's greatest support
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Jim Croce was a artist of the every day working man, that's why he was successful. I loved his songs and performances .
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If you are ever in San Diego in the gaslight district of 5th avenue, go to Croce’s Park West Restaurant. It is a very good place to go and eat. It is owned and operated by Ingrid Croce, Jim’s wife. The restaurant was founded by Jim Croce himself. Please go visit: http://croce s p a r k w e s t . c o m /
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scott27364
The guy and his songs were awesone #NOHOMO#PART Y G I R L S A R E S T U P I D
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rodelliot3
as little as he left us .....we can cherish for life...what a talent this man was
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I had the great privilege of seeing him three times in concert. The last time about a month before his death. I miss all the music that used to actually mean something.
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Two the best Croce and chapin we could have all learned so much from them if we just listen
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Jim Croce was the best Rocket of his short live and career
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I could listen to him all day, even now as I grow older. God I wish he was still around.
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Without a doubt my favorite singer/songw r i t e r you can get a feeling from listening to his performance. I can only imagine how huge career would have been, and how much more songs we were robbed from due to his untimely departure.
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Jim was uniquely talented. I love all of his music. I think I know every song. My dad used to play his albums when we were just kids. I have the cd's and will forever. Incredible man. Such a songwriter has never even come close to the raw talent he had. He was humble, kind, and loved deeply. Box number 10 was underrated! Operator! Love them all! I agree with whoever commented about Harry Chapin as well. What a great loss to the world.
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reeferdarlin g
Jim Croce was, and still is, great. I'm not sure why the Artist comments is being homo-spammed , though.
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Jim Croce possessed an arresting voice which pulls you into his story, so clear and expressive. The depth and range of his creative output encourages us to do more, think clearer, love deeper, be better. Jim was a comet. I wish we had more of him. Lon Isaacson, 2016
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Listened to him live in dallas. Rapid Roy. Was one of my all time favorites.
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F***
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Time in a bottle is definitely for my two sons, jarred Lester,and Jeremy Lester,forev e r and a day!!;)
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That's not the way it feels..
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dropper14
Maybe God needed someone to sing and bring comfort to the recently dead...hell I don't know. All I can say is bad decision God...we needed him to be here on earth much more than you needed him in Heaven...I guess none of us is perfect, not even you.
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Gone to soon RIP !! Jim !!
✌️
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Gifts from a man for our lifetime. Thanks Jim.
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christelheid i m
Ingrid did well marketing her deceased husband
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