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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


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)


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


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


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


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If you like Jim Croce you need to check out my Remembering the good times station.
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My mother was going to see his final show in Natchitoches . She was a student at Northwestern State. Sad. I've always enjoyed his music. Gone too soon.
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Is it just me? or does the ablum the lost recordings cover photo look like Borat?
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Just the way he says...
"Drivin a drop top Cadillac" makes him BAD A**!!!!!!
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One of my all time favorite Artists. Very relaxing and enjoyable to hear his songs just dar dreaming & escaping into another reality... Awesome
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Lol life low life

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One of the Prettiest Songs Ever
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No one honors his guitarist Maury Muehleisen that also died with him in the crash, he added such magic to the music they played together.
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If you read Ingrid's words, I believe Jim was only at the last gig to loose money paying back on a cancelled prior obligation. Who would do that today?
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Lost too soon,R.I.P
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Was then and has always been one of my very favorites artists....l o v e his songs.. they take me back to my younger days!
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Saw him on Carson. He had fun with his music.
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One cool cat..God bless !
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There is a. Chord in me everytime I hear a Jim Croce. Song
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Thank you for giving my life back to me. This songs bring back my very best years.
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Singer/songw r i t e r extraordinai r e . Sadly taken from us to soon.
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His music has a deep, soulful feel about it which captures emotions which I sometimes have a hard time expressing. His is a tragic loss to the world.
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I've been to is wife's restaurant several times in San Diego in the Gaslamp Quarter. Its called Croce's it's kind of dedicated to him. Still cannot figure out how he keeps up all those choruses on operator without taking a breath! I've tried to sing it 100 times and I always run out of gas before I hit the end of the verse. Not only a great guitar player and a great lyricist but how the hell did he keep singing for that long without breathing? Must have been a scuba diver in his time off
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I love Jim!! My fave is 'time in a bottle'. I miss u!!!!!❤️��
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If you play guitar and have just a smig of talent do yourself a favor stay out of small planes.
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Still loving your music,Jim..W i s h you were still with us.!!!
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great song!!
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Jim - I've always loved your music- still listen to this day. Wish you had been with us longer.
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Jim, still listening!!! ! ! After all these years. R.I.P.
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Jim - thanks for the serious songs. Thanks for the goofy ones, too
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The man was a fantastic artist.....y o u can just realize what he could have given to music if he had not passed away
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I am a guitarist/si n g e r / s o n g w r i t e r like Jim but no where near as talented as Jim is my idol. It is thanks to him that I play/fingerp i c k the guitar the way I do today!!! I feel so blessed that he lived and touched me (as well as others) with his music. I also feel that I have lost so much that he didn't live longer and grace us with so much more music that we would have lived and been blown away by. If I were granted one wish of who I could meet it would be by far . . . Mr. Jim Croce!!!! I t
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Jim Croce is by far one of my favorites singers and will forever remain so, God bless him.
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Amen candyinyourf a c e . My sisters think I'm crazy too
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Jim and Ingid both sang on his first album Facets by Croce which he was selling for $2.He was taking them up to xpo 66 or 67 I don't remember now what year the xpo was.He was a good and honest person.
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It's so sad that he died right when his career was starting to take off. Oh well, he did leave behind some really great music.
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So to the jackass that thinks your uncle deliverately flew a plane into the only tree for hundreds of yards has got to be the most insensitive, idiotic, and ill conceived person in this comment section. God bless your Uncle, and God bless Jim Croce.
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To Jasperman195 9 . Anybody that knows anything about aircraft snow anything can go horribly wrong any time due to a variety of failures be at mechanical or otherwise.
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Mr.Croce's music has been a blessing 2 me any / EVERY TIME 2 & 4 me all of my 43-4 yrs. God BLESS Ms.Ingrid 4 bein Jim's personal-Ang e l , while he was here-so-brie f l y . T h a n k God 4 Jim, how he's touched so many, & so genuinely. I cannot imagine how anyone honest wouldn't appreciate his art.
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Mr.Croces' musil
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My wife and I were vacationing in eastern Pennsylvania a few years ago and we were looking for something to do. We saw that Jim Croce's grave was in the area and we headed out to visit. Besides the small stones placed on the marker as is tradition with Jewish grave markers was a collection of dimes ringing the edge (a reference to the last lines in Operator). I have to agree with the comments about how Jim Croce can make you laugh, smile and cry with his music. What a talent.
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My wife and I had Time in a bottle in our wedding over 30 years ago and it is still one of my favorites.
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I'll Have To Say I Love You In A Song is a great love song. (And something to cool and argument between husband and wife.!;)
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jasperman195 9 4
jtait97 My uncle did not suck as a pilot, you suck as a person. You didn't know my uncle so therefore you keep your CRUEL comments to yourself!!!! ! My uncle was a FANTASTIC pilot!!!!!��
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Im only 12 but I've been Listening to Jim Croce pretty much my whole life, my sister thinks I'm crazy for loving something from so long ago but I don't care, his songs are amazing, one moment he makes you want to get up and dance the next he makes you feel inspired and good inside. No matter what, he had talent, and his untimely death was tragic, I wonder if he's still performing in heaven…
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Jim Croce is the reason I started playing guitar and continue to play to this day. RIP Jim. The music industry sure does miss your genius and talent.
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I did't know that
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Miss those wonderful lyrics and Jim.
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troykeller88 7 8
Time InA Bottle classic Jim Croce music
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Jim Croce YOU HAVE A NAME and it got you a long ways down my road through the car radio!!!# thank you#!#
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"Time in a bottle" was a great song AND STILL IS...AND ALWAYS WILL BE!!!��
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����88 great melody forever:)
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My father introduced me to Jim Croce's music when I was twelve. Now I'm twenty-seven , and I still can't get over how good he was. I desperately wish I had been around when he was alive.
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