Singer-songwriter who inspired a generation, and whose
success was tragically short-lived.
After years of playing coffeehouses, his ship came in in 1972 when ABC signed him to a three-record
deal. He wasted no time fulfilling
his contract, releasing You Don't
Mess Around With Jim in '72 and Life & Times in '73. Croce may have had a prophetic sense
of urgency. On 20th September
1973, after performing a concert in Natchitoches,
Louisiana, he and his
collaborator, Maury Muehleisen, were killed
instantly in an airplane accident.
The pilot, Robert Newton Elliott, suffered from severe coronary
artery disease, and may have had a heart attack on the plane: For some inexplicable reason, he had
run about three miles from the hotel to somewhere nearby the airport. A day later, I Got a Name, the third of Croce's ABC albums, was
released. Jim Croce left behind
a significant musical legacy for someone with such a relatively short
career. Hits like the
aforementioned "You Don't Mess Around With Jim", "Operator
(That's Not The Way It Feels)", and "Bad, Bad Leroy Brown"
receive steady airplay to this day.
Time in a Bottle" was written for his newborn son A.J.
Croce, who is now a pop/rock artist in his own right. Jim was inducted into the
Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1990.
His wife Ingrid runs a restaurant erected in his memory, Croce's,
in San Diego, California.
Paul Rupright recordings
Time in a