Two For Tuesday: Jim Croce (High School Days)

I talked about Jim Croce on Two for Tuesday almost three years ago. As I said then, the Seventies were the era of the singer-songwriter, and Jim was one of the better ones. He placed five songs in the Top Ten during my high school years which spent 21 weeks there, three of which were released after his untimely death in 1973.

He had two #1 hits. The first was everyone’s favorite, “Bad Bad Leroy Brown,” which spent eight weeks in the Top Ten and reached #1 on July 7, 1973. It was a daily feature of “The Wally Phillips Show” on Chicago’s WGN radio; he played it daily for most of the summer.

His other #1 was “Time In A Bottle,” which was released a couple of months after his death in September 1973. It was on 1972’s You Don’t Mess Around With Jim. It spent seven weeks in the Top Ten, reaching #1 on December 15, 1973.

The Blogger’s Best Friend tells us that the plane in which Croce and Maury Muehleisen, Jim’s lead guitar player, and several others clipped a pecan tree at the end of the runway in Nachitoches, Louisiana as it was taking off. Flying conditions were near perfect, and the pilot, Robert N. Elliott, had logged close to 15,000 hours flying the Beechcraft 18. The official cause of the crash was pilot error, as Elliott took off downwind into a “black hole,” where he was unable to pick up on visual references.

Jim Croce, your Two for Tuesday, June 27, 2017.

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Author: John Holton

I'm a writer and blogger who writes and blogs about things that interest me.

25 thoughts on “Two For Tuesday: Jim Croce (High School Days)”

  1. I loved Jim Croce. I still have two of his albums that I got when I was in junior high. Time In A Bottle is a perfect song. Behind the Music (formerly on VH-1) featured Croce in one episode. His widow said he had a terrible record deal, was touring all the time, and didn’t make any money.

    Love,
    Janie

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    1. “Leroy Brown” was so popular that you heard it all the time, and I think there were two camps, the people who couldn’t get enough and the ones who got sick of it. I had his You Don’t Mess Around With Jim and thought it was his best album. Most of his hits (the title track, “Time In A Bottle,” “Operator”) were from that one.

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  2. Loved Jim Croce but my favorites were not his #1 hits. I like “Working at the Car Wash Blues” and “Operator” the best. While it sounds a trifle cliche, he did die way too soon and I’m sure would have had a long successful career and huge loyal fan base.

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    1. “Operator” was a beautiful song, lyrically and musically. He might have been my favorite singer-songwriter from the Seventies, and Lord knows there were plenty of them.

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  3. It’s not there anymore, but Croce’s in San Diego’s Gaslamp Quarter was a great place for Italian food. Jim’s widow Ingrid Croce ran the place for many years, adding live music to the venue in later years.

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    1. Wikipedia says that Jim and Ingrid joked about owning a restaurant. It stayed open for 28 years, which is some kind of a record because the restaurant business is a real tough one.

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  4. I’ve always liked Jim Croce and it was such a sad tragedy when he died. His Greatest Hits album is so good. I love I Got a Name especially. Time in a Bottle so often makes me tear up. Another one that didn’t get a lot of airplay but is really cool is Roller Derby Queen. It has a great beat.
    Thanks for bringing some Jim into my day…

    Michele at Angels Bark

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    1. I had the album You Don’t Mess Around With Jim and there were lots of goodies on that one that got zero airplay. My favorite was “Rapid Roy, The Stock Car Boy,” which started with a Chuck Berry riff. My guess is that his songs that didn’t get airplay were better than the ones that did.

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  5. Do you know that, even though I was 9 years old, I remember hearing about his death and I thought it was very sad because I liked his songs. My favourite is actually time in a bottle because the other was overplayed when I was young.

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    1. “Bad Bad Leroy Brown” was a good song, but it was played to death, kind of like “American Pie.” it became what I call an EBS Special, where you’ll listen to anything but that song.

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  6. I was in Jr. High when my friend, Cheryl turned me on to Jim Croce. It was a very short time later when she was at school crying because of his untimely, tragic death. Two of my personal favs are Stock Car Roy and Photographs & Memories. No one else has his touch for spinning a tale into song, whether he was trying to amuse you or touch that deepest, reflective place within us. One of the few ever who I can listen to a whole album of.
    Visit me @ Life & Faith in Caneyhead. 😉

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