Jim Croce Rocks

CroceI’ve always loved Jim’s music. It’s a great mix of sappy, cheesy love songs (Operator, Have To Say I Love You In A Song) and great folk rock (Bad, Bad Leroy Brown, Mess Around With Jim). But, given that we have all these VH1 specials and full-featured movies about great music legends (Ray, Walk the Line), I can’t understand why there isn’t more press, specials, or movies about Jim Croce. I mean his career is phenomenal. Let’s just look at what went down…

  • Didn’t even care about music till he got to college, graduated in 1965
  • Met his wife when she was a sophomore in high school and he was a junior in college (scandalous!)
  • After college he recorded an album with his wife and they tried to make it happen, but that didn’t really work out. Moved out of the city without even enough money to pay the toll
  • With his wife, he moved to the country and lived on a farm (Lyndell, PA) and regularly jammed with other rock stars while making money working construction jobs
  • When he heard his wife was pregnant, he decided to give it one more shot and released his first album in 1970, You Don’t Mess Around With Jim. The album went on to be ranked #1 on the pop charts. It had 3 songs crack the top 40 (Time in a Bottle, Operator, Don’t Mess Around With Jim)
  • His second album, Life and Times, came out almost 6 months after his first and kicked ass on the charts too. It had 2 songs crack the top 40 (One Less Set of Footsteps, , Bad Bad Leroy Brown)
  • Just 2 years after he released his first album, he released his 3rd album I Got a Name. The album went to #2 on the charts and had 3 songs in the top 40 (I Got a Name, Working at the Car Wash Blues, I’ll Have To Say I Love In A Song)
  • Unfortunately, after releasing his 3rd album he died in a plane crash on September 20, 1973

I find his music to be very sincere and frank – a folkish and simplistic manner that you can’t really find in music today. There’s an interesting bio written in 1973 of how he had a bunch of construction and jackhammer jobs before his first album. Also, there a good story of how the process a having a baby made him get serious and finally put his music out there. Here’s to you Jim…