Jim Croce

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In the music industry, arguably the worst tragedy that can befall an artist is to die in their prime, when he or she is just beginning to break through to the mainstream and reach people on a national 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 Croce.

"I'm no missionary," says Jim Croce about his songs, "and I can't wear any armour, either. I just gotta be the way I am."

James Croce was born in Philadelphia, PA, on January 10, 1943. Jim is remembered both for his gentle, playful music and for his life, which was abruptly ended as he teetered on the brink of great success.
In 1943, James Croce was born to loving parents who nurtured their son's musical interests from a very early age. He was only 5 years old when he learned his first instrument, the accordion, and before long he had taught himself guitar as well. He didn't really take music too seriously until 1964, while he was attending Villanova Collage in Pennsylvania. There he formed various bands, doing fraternity parties and playing "anything that the people wanted to hear: blues, rock, a capella, railroad music... anything." While in his third year of college, one of Jim's bands was invited to perform in a tour of Africa and the Middle East. "We had a good time," Jim recalls. "We just ate what the people ate, lived in the woods, and played our songs. Of course they didn't speak English over there... but if you mean what you're singing, people understand."

By the time he graduated from college, Croce had formed several bands and was a regular performer at local restaurants and bars. Early in his career, Jim injured his right index finger with a misplaced sledgehammer, forcing him to developed a new method of fingerpicking using only four fingers.

Though he had to work several other jobs to pay the bills, he continued to dream of making it big in the music business. He eventually moved with his wife Ingrid to New York where they recorded an album together, appropriately titled Jim and Ingrid.

This album failed to reach a wide audience, however, and the Croces were forced to return to Pennsylvania. They remained there until 1972, when Jim's big break finally came. The ABC/Dunhill record label discovered him and Jim released a new album, You Don't Mess Around With Jim. 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," and helped the album reach #1 on the charts. The latter would become Croce's breakthrough hit, 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. Unfortunately, the tour would never finish; just two months after "Bad, Bad Leroy Brown" topped the charts, Croce's plane crashed in Natchitoches, LA on September 20, 1973 and sent 30 year old Jim and five others (including band member Maury Muehleisen) to their untimely deaths.

Ironically, Jim 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 which would become his second number one single. Croce wrote this song for his infant son, A.J. Adrian James, who was born only two years before his father's death (he is now, himself, an accomplished singer/songwriter). 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 and Memories, which became a best-seller. Several other compilations have since been 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 perhaps lived a few years 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.

Here you go!

Here you go!

Get Jim Croce albums at  JimCroce.com  and  Amazon.com


Facets Croce Records  101  (1966)

    1: Steel Rail Blues (Gordon Lightfoot)
    2: Coal Tattoo (Wheeler)
    3: Texas Rodeo (Croce)
    4: Charley Green (Arr: Croce)
    5: Gunga Din (Arr : Croce )
    6: Hard-Hearted Hannah (J. Yellen, M. Ager, C. Bates )
    7: Sun Come Up (Jim and Richard Croce)
    8: The Blizzard ( Howard )
    9: Running Maggie (Arr: Fehrenbach)
    10: Until It's Time For Me To Go (Buffy St. Marie)
    11: Big Fat Woman (Arr: Von Schmidt)

    Production supervised by: Joe Salviuolo
    Recorded at: RPL Studios, Camden, New Jersey, July 1966


Croce Capitol Records  ST-315  (1969)

1: Age (Jim Croce-Ingrid Croce) 2:12
2: Spin, Spin, Spin (Jim Croce-Ingrid Croce) 2:43
3: I Am Who I Am (Jim Croce-Ingrid Croce) 2:27
4: What Do People Do (Jim Croce-Ingrid Croce) 1:51
5: Another Day, Another Town (Jim Croce) 2:27
6: Vespers (Jim Croce-Ingrid Croce) 2:00
7: Big Wheel (Jim Croce) 1:50
8: Just Another Day (Jim Croce-Ingrid Croce) 2:35
9: The Next Man That I Marry (Cashman-Pistilli-West) 3:04
10: What The Hell (Cashman-Pistilli-West) 3:07
11: That Man That Is Me (Jim Croce-Ingrid Croce) 2:50

Producers: Cashman/Pistilli/West/Venet  Publisher: Blendingwell Music-ASCAP Photography: Summerwind Re-issued as "Jim and Ingrid Croce, Another Day, Another Town" Pickwick Records SPC-3332, with 2 different covers.

You Don't Mess Around With Jim  ABC Records ABCX-756  (May 1972)

    1: You Don't Mess Around With Jim  3:00
    2: Tomorrow's Gonna Be A Brighter Day  2:49
    3: New York's Not My Home  3:05
    4: Hard Time Losin' Man  2:23
    5:Photographs And Memories  2:03
    6: Walkin' Back To Georgia  2:47
    7: Operator (That's Not The Way It Feels)  3:45
    8: Time In A Bottle  2:24
    9: Rapid Roy (That Stock Car Boy)  2:40
    10: Box #10  2:22
    11: A Long Time Ago  2:18
    12: Hey Tomorrow  2:40

    All Songs Written By Jim Croce  Published by: Blendingwell Music, Inc.(ASCAP)/Wingate Music Corp. (ASCAP) Recorded at: The Hit Factory, New York. Produced by: Terry Cashman and Tommy West for Interrobang Productions. Photography: Paul Wilson

Life And Times ABC Records  ABCX-769  (January 1973)

    1: One Less Set Of Footsteps  2:46
    2: Roller Derby Queen  3:28
    3: Dreamin' Again  2:38
    4: Careful Man  2:22
    5: Alabama Rain  2:14
    6: Good Time Man Like Me Ain't Got No Business (Singin' The Blues)  2:05
    7: Next Time, This Time  2:05
    8: Bad, Bad Leroy Brown  3:02
    9: These Dreams  3:12
    10: Speedball Tucker  2:25
    11: It Doesn't Have To Be That Way  2:31

    All songs written by Jim Croce.  Published By: Blendingwell Music, Inc (ASCAP)/Wingate Music Corp. (ASCAP). Recorded at: The Hit Factory, New York. Produced by: Terry Cashman and Tommy West for Interrobang Productions. Photography: Paul Wilson

I Got A Name ABC Records  ABCX-797  (December 1973)

    1: I Got A Name  (C. Fox/N. Gimbel) Fox Fanfare Music, Inc. (BMI)  3:09
    2: Lover's Cross  (J. Croce)  3:02
    3: Five Short Minutes  (J. Croce)  3:32
    4: Age  (J. Croce) Blendingwell Music, Inc. (ASCAP)  3:44
    5: Workin' At The Car Wash Blues  (J. Croce)  2:29
    6: I'll Have To Say I Love You In A Song  (J. Croce)  2:28
    7: Salon And Saloon  (M. Muehleisen)  Blendingwell Music, Inc. (ASCAP)  2:30
    8: Thursday  (S. Joseph)  Sweet City Songs, Inc. (ASCAP)  2:20
    9: Top Hat Bar And Grille  (J. Croce)  2:48
    10: Recently  (J. Croce)  2:31
    11: The Hard Way Every Time  (J. Croce)  2:24

    Produced by: Terry Cashman and Tommy West for Interrobang Productions. Published by: Blendingwell Music, Inc/American Broadcasting Music, Inc. (ASCAP) unless otherwise noted.  Recorded at: The Hit Factory, New York Photography: Benno Friedman

Photographs & Memories (Greatest Hits) ABC Records ABCD-835 (1974)

1: Bad, Bad Leroy Brown  3:02
2: Operator (That's Not The Way It Feels)  3:45
3: Photographs and Memories  2:03
4: Rapid Roy (That Stock Car Boy)  2:40
5: Time In A Bottle  2:24
6: New York's Not My Home  3:05
7: Workin' At The Car Wash Blues  2:29
8: I Got A Name  (C. Fox/N. Gimble) Fox Fanfare, Inc. (BMI)  3:09
9: I'll Have To Say I Love In A Song  2:28
10: You Don't Mess Around With Jim  3:00
11: Lover's Cross  3.02
12: One Less Set Of Footsteps  2:46
13: These Dreams  3:12
14: Roller Derby Queen  3:28

Produced by: Terry Cashman and Tommy West for Interrobang Productions. All songs written by Jim Croce and published by: Blendingwell Music, Inc/American Broadcasting Music, Inc (ASCAP) unless otherwise noted. Photography: Benno Friedman

The Faces I've Been  Lifesong Records  LS 900  (1975)

Disc 1:
1: This Land Is Your Land  (W. Guthrie) Ludlow Music, Inc. (BMI)  1:28
2: Greenback Dollar  (H. Axton; K. Ramsey) Irving Music, Inc. (BMI)  1:28
3: Pig's Song  (arranged by J. Croce)  :55
4: Gunga Din  (music-J. Croce; lyric-Rudyard Kipling)  4:02
5: Sun Come Up  (J. Croce; R. Croce)  2:03
6: Big Fat Woman  (E Von Schmidt) Minglewood Music, Inc. (ASCAP)  1:56
7: Charlie Green Play That Slide Trombone  (adapted and arranged by J. Croce)  2:23
8: Railroads And Riverboats  (J. Croce; I. Croce)  3:09
9: Railroad Song  (J. Croce; I. Croce)  2:51
10: The Way We Used To Be  2:28
11: Maybe Tomorrow  2:28
12: Stone Walls  2:55
13: I Remember Mary  (M. Muehleisen)  2:42
14: Country Girl  1:46

Disc 2:
1: Which Way Are You Goin'  2:16
2: King's Song  3:19
3: Mississippi Lady  3:56
4: Chain Gang Medley: "Chain Gang"(S. Cooke) Kags Music Corp. (BMI), "He Don't Love You" (Butler, Carter, Mayfield) Conrad Music, Inc (BMI), "Searchin' " (J. Lieber, M. Stoller) Unichappel Music, Inc. (BMI)  4:30
5: Old Man River  (J. Kern, O. Hammerstein III) T. B. Harms Co. (ASCAP)  2:25
6: Carmella.....South Philly: "A Rose And A Baby Ruth" (J.D. Loudermilk) Acuff-Rose Publisher's, Inc.  (ASCAP), "Nobody Loves A Fat Girl" (J. Croce) Blendingwell Music Inc. (ASCAP)  6:00
7: Cars And Dates, Chrome and Clubs: "Salon And Saloon" (M. Muehleisen) Blendingwell Music, Inc. (ASCAP),  2:31
8: The Chinese: "The Edges Of Your Day" (M. Muehleisen) Blendingwell Music, Inc. (ASCAP)  2:24
9: Trucks And Ups: "Wear Out The Turnpike" (J. Croce) Blendingwell Music, Inc (ASCAP) 2:10
10: The Army  (3:34)

Produced by: Terry Cashman and Tommy West for Cashwest Productions, Inc. All songs written by Jim Croce and published by: Blendingwell Music, Inc (ASCAP) unless otherwise noted.  Recorded at: RPL Studios, Camden, NJ (1963/64), Columbia Records, New York (1975), The Hit Factory,  New York (1970-75) Photography: Paul Wilson, Rita Bernstein, Tommy West, Jon Falk, Benno Friedman, The Croce Family

Here you go!     Here you go!

Here you go!     Here you go!

Here you go!     Here you go!

A wonderful singer/songwriter that touched our
hearts and souls that was taken from us far too soon!

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