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Jim Croce Biography

Home > Music > C > Croce, Jim > Biography

Birth Name: James Joseph Croce
Born: 1943/01/10
Birth Place: Philadelphia, PA
Died: 1973/09/20
Years Active: 1960-1973
Genres: Folk, Folk Rock, Pop

James Joseph "Jim" Croce (January 10, 1943 – September 20, 1973) was an American singer-songwriter. Between 1966 and 1973, Croce released six studio albums and eleven singles. His singles "Bad, Bad Leroy Brown" and "Time in a Bottle" were both number one hits on the Billboard Hot 100 charts.

From the mid-1960s to early 1970s, Croce performed with his wife as a duo. During this time, Croce got his first long-term gig at a rural bar and steak house in Lima, Pennsylvania, called The Riddle Paddock.

In 1968, Jim and Ingrid Croce were encouraged by record producer Tommy West to move to New York City and record their first album with Capitol Records. During the next two years, they drove more than 300,000 miles playing small clubs and concerts on the college concert circuit promoting their album “Jim & Ingrid Croce.”

In 1972, Croce signed to a three-record deal with ABC Records and released two LPs, “You Don't Mess Around with Jim” and “Life & Times” that same year. The singles "You Don't Mess Around with Jim", "Operator (That's Not The Way It Feels)", and "Time in a Bottle" (written for his then-unborn son, A. J. Croce) all received airplay. Croce's biggest single, "Bad, Bad Leroy Brown", hit #1 on the American charts in July 1973.

Croce, 30, Maury Muehleisen, 24, and four others died in a small commercial plane crash on September 20, 1973, shortly before his ABC single, "I Got a Name", was to be released.

The album “I Got a Name” was released on December 1, 1973. Croce had just finished recording the album barely over a week before his death. The posthumous release included three hits: "Workin' at the Car Wash Blues", "I'll Have to Say I Love You in a Song", and the title song, which had been used as the theme to the film “The Last American Hero” which was released two months prior his death. The album reached #2 in the US Pop Albums chart, and "I'll Have to Say I Love You in a Song" reached #9 in the U.S. singles chart. "Time in a Bottle", originally released on Croce's first album the year before, hit number-one on December 29, 1973.