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