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Artist

Jim Croce

ON AIR
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In the music industry, arguably the worst tragedy that can befall an artist is to die in his or her prime, when just beginning to break through to the mainstream and reach people on a national or international level. One such artist was Jim Croce, a songwriter with a knack for both upbeat, catchy singles and empathetic, melancholy ballads. Though Croce only recorded a few studio albums before an untimely plane crash, he continues to be remembered posthumously. Croce appealed to fans as a common man, and it was not a gimmick -- he was a father and husband who went through a series of blue-collar jobs. And whether he used dry wit, gentle emotions, or sorrow, Croce sang with a rare form of honesty and power. Few artists have ever been able to pull off such down-to-earth storytelling as convincingly as he did. James Joseph Croce was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, on January 10, 1943. Raised on ragtime and country, Croce played the accordion as a child and would eventually teach himself the guitar. It wasn't until his freshman year of college that he began to take music seriously, forming several bands over the next few years. After graduation, he continued to play various gigs at local bars and parties, working as both a teacher and construction worker to support himself and his wife, Ingrid. In 1969, the Croces and an old friend from college, Tommy West, moved to New York and record an album. When the Jim and Ingrid record failed to sell, they moved to a farm in Lyndell, Pennsylvania, where Jim juggled several jobs, including singing for radio commercials. Eventually he was noticed and signed by the ABC/Dunhill label and released his second album, You Don't Mess Around with Jim, in 1972. The record spawned three hits: "You Don't Mess Around With Jim," "Operator (That's Not the Way It Feels)," and "Time in a Bottle," the latter ultimately shooting all the way to number one on the Billboard charts. Croce quickly followed with Life and Times in early 1973 and gained his first number one hit with "Bad, Bad Leroy Brown." After four years of grueling tour schedules, Croce grew homesick. Wishing to spend more time with Ingrid and his infant son Adrian James, he planned to take a break after the Life and Times tour was completed. Tragically, the tour would never finish; just two months after "Bad, Bad Leroy Brown" topped the charts, Croce's plane crashed in Natchitoches, Louisiana. Croce and the four other passengers (including bandmember Maury Muehleisen) were killed instantly. Croce's career peaked after his death. In December of 1973, the album I Got a Name surfaced, but it was "Time in a Bottle," from 1972's You Don't Mess Around with Jim, that would become his second number one single. Shortly afterwards, "I'll Have to Say I Love You in a Song" reached the Top Ten. Several albums were released posthumously, most notably the greatest hits collection Photographs & Memories, which became a best-seller. Several other compilations were later issued, such as the 1992 release The 50th Anniversary Collection and the 2000 compilation Time in a Bottle: The Definitive Collection. Listening to the songs Croce recorded, one cannot help but wonder how far his extraordinary talents could have taken him if he would have lived longer. Unfortunately, such a question may only be looked at rhetorically, but Jim Croce continues to live on in the impressive catalog of songs he left behind. ~ Barry Weber
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Stations Featuring
Jim Croce

    Oldies Hits

    Oldies Hits
    6 songs

    Classic Hits

    Classic Hits
    7 songs

    Sailing Away

    Sailing Away
    2 songs

    Super '70s

    Super '70s
    6 songs

    Songwriters

    1 song

    Folk

    3 songs

    '70s Country

    1 song

    Love Songs

    1 song

Albums by
Jim Croce

Top Songs by
Jim Croce

  1.   Song
    Popularity
  2.   Operator (That's Not The Way It Feels)
  3.   Time in a Bottle
  4.   I'll Have to Say I Love You in a Song
  5.   I Got A Name
  6.   Bad, Bad Leroy Brown
  7.   You Don't Mess Around With Jim
  8.   It Doesn't Have to Be That Way
  9.   Workin' At The Car Wash Blues
  10.   Rapid Roy (The Stock Car Boy)
  11.   Hey Tomorrow
  12.   Box # 10
  13.   Tomorrow's Gonna Be a Brighter Day
  14.   Mama Tried
  15.   New York's Not My Home
  16.   Photographs and Memories
  17.   Lover's Cross
  18.   Roller Derby Queen
  19.   Introduction To Rapid Roy
  20.   Time In A Bottle
  21.   These Dreams
  22.   The Migrant Worker
  23.   The Hard Way Every Time
  24.   Alabama Rain
  25.   Introduction To Speedball Tucker
  26.   In the Jailhouse Now
  27.   A Good Time Man Like Me Ain't Got No Business (Singin' the Blues)
  28.   Age
  29.   Tractor Trailer Story Intro
  30.   Trucker Dialogue
  31.   The Wall
  32.   Things 'Bout Goin' My Way
  33.   Living with the Blues
  34.   Cigareets, Whuskey and Wild, Wild Women
  35.   Five Short Minutes
  36.   Next Time, This Time
  37.   A Long Time Ago
  38.   Thursday
  39.   Ol' Man River
  40.   Walkin' Back to Georgia
  41.   Seek and You Shall Find
  42.   La Bamba
  43.   Shopping for Clothes
  44.   Chain Gang Medley
  45.   Introduction To Bad, Bad Leroy Brown
  46.   Introduction To Workin' At the Car Was Blues
  47.   Six Days on the Road
  48.   I Wish I Could Shimmy Like My Sister Kate
  49.   I Got Mine
  50.   Sadie Green (The Vamp of New Orleans)
  51.   Who Will Buy the Wine
  52.   If the Back Door Could Talk
  53.   Charley Green, Play That Slide Trombone
  54.   King's Song
  55.   Top Hat Bar and Grill
  56.   Careful Man
  57.   Railroads and Riverboats by Ingrid Croce
  58.   Hard Time Losin' Man
  59.   One Less Set of Footsteps
  60.   Dreamin' Again
  61.   Speedball Tucker
  62.   Mississippi Lady
  63.   Washington At Valley Forge
  64.   Bar Story Intro
  65.   Introduction To Roller Derby Queen
  66.   You Oughta See Pickles Now
  67.   More Than That Tomorrow
  68.   (And) I Remember Her
  69.   Salon and Saloon
  70.   Which Way Are You Goin'?
  71.   The Way We Used to Be
  72.   Woke Up This Morning
  73.   Seems Like Such a Long Time Ago
  74.   Ball Of Kerrymuir
  75.   Cigarettes, Whiskey & Wild, Wild Women
  76.   Mom and Dad's Waltz
  77.   Railroad Song by Ingrid Croce
  78.   Country Girl
  79.   Cotton Mouth River
  80.   Recently
  81.   The Way We Used To
  82.   Stone Walls
  83.   San Francisco Bay Blues
  84.   A Good Time Man Like Me
  85.   Nobody Loves a Fat Girl
  86.   Child of Midnight
  87.   Maybe Tomorrow