Jim Croce was an American folk musician and songwriter. He released five studio music albums between 1966 and 1973, before his untimely death in 1973.
Jim Croce was born on January 10, in 1943, in South Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States. He started playing the accordion at the age of 5, and by the age of 20, he was touring in several folk groups. He released five studio music albums and 11 singles. The “Bad, Bad Leroy Brown” and the “Time in a Bottle” were the first two hits in the US charts. He died in a tragic plane crash that happened in Natchitoches, Louisiana, the USA, on September 20, 1973, at the age of 30.
American singer, songwriter, and folk performer Jim Croce was born January 10, 1943, to James Joseph Croce, in south Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, to Italian-Americans Jim and Flora Croce. Raised while listening to ragtime and country music, Croce started listening to music at a young age. He learned to play his first accordion song, “Lady of Spain,” at the age of 5. He eventually learned to play the guitar.
Croce attended Upper Darby High School, located in Drexel Hill, and graduated in 1960. He later enrolled at Villanova University in Pennsylvania in 1961. It was not until his first year of college that he began taking music more seriously. He has performed in several groups, performing at fraternal parties and at other universities around Philadelphia. Meanwhile, one of the Croce’S Band has been chosen for a foreign exchange tour of Africa and the Middle East. He later lovingly described his experience, saying, “We just ate what people ate, lived in the woods, and played our songs. Of course, they didn’t speak English there, but if you will. say what you’re singing; people get it. “
After graduating in 1965, Croce worked on construction crews and taught guitar at a summer camp. He joined the US Army National Guard for a short stint, apparently to avoid the rough patch, and also taught at an undergraduate college in South Philadelphia.
Croce met his lovely future wife, Ingrid Jacobson, at a folk music party. They married in 1966, the same year that Croce released a solo album that he himself released, Facets. From the mid-1960s to the early 1970s, Croce and Jacobson performed as a duo. At first, they sang covers of musicians like Joan Baez and Woody Guthrie, but soon they wrote their own music. Croce had a regular gig at a steak house in Lima, PA.
In 1968, a record producer called Tommy West, who had attended Villanova with Croce, encouraged Croce and Jacobson to try their luck in New York City. West introduced the couple to Terry Cashman, who helped produce their debut album, Croce. Over the next two years, they traveled over 300,000 km, playing on college and café circuits and collecting guitars.
Croce and his wife were disappointed with the music industry and with New York City. So they sold their guitars and settled in the countryside of Lyndell, Pennsylvania, where they had their son, Adrian James, in 1971. Jacobson learned to bake bread and give fruits and vegetables. Croce found a job as a truck and construction driver and continued to write songs, often about people he met in bars and truck stops while working.
In 1970, one of Croce’s old college friends, Joe Salviuolo, aka Sal Joseph, introduced Croce to Maury Muehleisen, a classical pianist, guitarist, and songwriter from Trenton, New Jersey. Sal encouraged the duo to get together to record new songs and send them to ABC Records. At first, Croce supported Muehleisen on guitar, but their roles were later reversed, with Muehleisen playing guitar for Croce’s music. Following their advice, Croce and Muehleisen recorded their songs and sent them to ABC before meeting producer Cashman in New York. In 1972, ABC Records signed with singer Croce and released their first solo album., You Don’t Mess Around with Jim. The disc was an immediate success and became a Top 20 album in the United States. The title track reached the Top 10 of the pop charts while “Operator (That’s not how it feels)” reached the Top 20.
From 1972 to 1973, Croce gave more than 250 concerts and appeared in television programs. In early 1973, ABC released their second album, Life and Times, featuring “Bad, Bad Leroy Brown.” The single reached No. 1 on the US charts in July 1973 and then won gold. That same year, Croce and his wife moved to San Diego, California.
Death and the legacy
On September 20, in 1973, Croce, Muehleisen, and four others were killed in a plane crash that happened in Natchitoches, Louisiana. Croce had just finished a concert at the Northwestern State University’s Prather Coliseum. He then took a Beechcraft E18S charter flight to Sherman, Texas, to perform at Austin College. On takeoff, the aircraft did not gain sufficient altitude and crashed into a pecan nut at the end of the runway. According to the official crash report, the 57-year-old charter pilot suffered a heart attack.
Croce is buried in Haym Salomon Cemetery in Malvern, Pennsylvania. Muehleisen is buried at Saint Mary’s Cemetery in Trenton, New Jersey.
The posthumous release of Croce’s third album I Had a Name in December 1973, three hits: “Workin ‘at Car Wash Blues,” “I’ll have to say I love you in one song,” and the title song. The album reached No. 2 on the US charts, and I’ll have to say I Love You in a Song “and” also I Got a Name “reached the Top 10 on the Singles Chart. The ” I Got A Name “was also included in the soundtrack of The Last American Hero, a summer 1973 film starring Jeff Bridges.
The news of Croce’Son’s passage sparked renewed interest in his old albums. Three months later after his death, “Time in a Bottle” from his 1972 debut album You Don’t Mess Around with Jim landed at No. 1 on the singles chart. (The song was also featured in She Lives! A made-for-television movie that aired on ABC in September 1973.)
In 1990, Musician Croce was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame. His songs have similarly continued to be used on the big screen, as shown in films like Invincible (2006), Set in Croce’s hometown of Philadelphia, and Django Unchained (2012).
Adrian Croce, born September 28, 1971, has become an accomplished singer-songwriter, musician, and pianist. He performs under the name AJ Croce and operates a private label, Seedling Records. Ingrid Jacobson Croce owned a popular restaurant called Croce for several years, Restaurant & Jazz Bar, originally located in the Gaslamp neighborhood of downtown San Diego, which later moved to Banker’s Hill, also in San Diego, but has since closed in 2016.
Jim Croce has written melancholy, catchy and empathetic songs in a lyrical style rich in images. He was known to be a sympathetic and sincere performer, endearing him to a wide range of fans.