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Jim Croce

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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
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Albums by
Jim Croce

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    11 songs

    On Air

    Life and Times

    12 songs

    On Air

    You Don't Mess Around with Jim

    11 songs

    On Air

    I Got a Name

    24 songs

    On Air

    Lost Time in a Bottle

    15 songs

    On Air

    Home Recordings: Americana

    14 songs

    On Air

    Photographs & Memories: His Greatest Hits

    19 songs

    On Air

    Have You Heard: Live

    10 songs

    On Air

    Back to Back Hits

    4 songs

    On Air

    Civic Center, Santa Monica, Ca. February 2nd, 1973 (Remastered) [Live ABC-TV Radio Broadcasting]

    12 songs

    On Air

    Time in a Bottle

    10 songs

    On Air

    Bad, Bad Leroy Brown & Other Favorites [CEMA]

    27 songs

    On Air

    I Got a Name [Deluxe Edition]

    24 songs

    On Air

    You Don't Mess Around with Jim [Deluxe Edition]

    11 songs

    On Air

    Facets

    11 songs

    On Air

    Croce

    11 songs

    On Air

    Bombs over Puerto Rico

    10 songs

    On Air

    I Got a Name [CEMA]

    24 songs

    On Air

    The Faces I've Been

    39 songs

    On Air

    Life and Times [Deluxe Edition]

    34 songs

    On Air

    You Don't Mess Around with Jim

    16 songs

    On Air

    Live: The Final Tour


Top Songs by
Jim Croce

  1.   Song
    Popularity
  2.   Operator (That's Not The Way It Feels)
  3.   I'll Have to Say I Love You in a Song
  4.   Time in a Bottle
  5.   I Got A Name
  6.   Bad, Bad Leroy Brown
  7.   You Don't Mess Around With Jim
  8.   It Doesn't Have to Be That Way
  9.   Workin' At The Car Wash Blues
  10.   Box # 10
  11.   Tomorrow's Gonna Be a Brighter Day
  12.   Rapid Roy (The Stock Car Boy)
  13.   Hey Tomorrow
  14.   Mama Tried
  15.   Photographs and Memories
  16.   New York's Not My Home
  17.   Lover's Cross
  18.   These Dreams
  19.   Age
  20.   Time In A Bottle
  21.   Alabama Rain
  22.   One Less Set of Footsteps
  23.   Next Time, This Time
  24.   La Bamba
  25.   Dreamin' Again
  26. See All Songs

Stations & Shows Featuring
Jim Croce

    On Air

    Oldies

    On Air

    Top 35 Classic Singer-Songwriters

    On Air

    Classic Hits

    On Air

    '70s Hits

    On Air

    Classic Singer Songwriters

    On Air

    My Parents' Record Collection

    On Air

    '70s Deep Dive

    On Air

    Folk

    On Air

    Café Acoustic

    On Air

    Yacht Rock

    On Air

    Post-Holiday Chill

    On Air

    Great Songs You Forgot

    On Air

    Classic Soft Hits

    On Air

    Nothing But Love Songs

    On Air

    '70s Rock

    On Air

    Merle Haggard: DNA

    On Air

    Eclectic Rock

    On Air

    Vocal Standards


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