Where Did the Time Go For the Iconic Song-Writer?
Jim Joseph Croce was born a music man. He was raised on rag-time, country, and dixie-land music. His passion for sound carried on into his college years where he turned his keen ear for sound into a profession. Croce released his first solo album, Facets, in 1966 with funding from his parents. Every copy of the album was sold. The success was enough to fuel Croce’s drive to make something of himself in the music world. He had a few in-between jobs to make ends meet including; construction, teaching, truck-driving, singing commercial jingles, and a short time in the U.S. Army National Guard. All of these jobs proved to be inspiration for his most powerful and memorable songs like famed “Bad Bad Leroy Brown.” Croce found solace in the people he met and decided to make them the subjects of his music.
The Eery Timing of His Instant Fame
Croce’s talent was instantly recognized. He signed his first record deal with ABC Records in 1972 and performed in over 250 concerts into 1973. His last performance was at NorthWestern University’s Prather Coliseum on September 20,1973. He left to board a private plane with his song-writing partner, Maury Muehleisen. The pilot of the plane suffered a heart attack while steering and died along with Croce and Muehleisen in a crash over Louisiana. Jim Croce passed away at the height of his stardom but left behind music that is haunted by the timing of his death. “Photographs and Memories,” “One Less Set of Footsteps,” and “Hey Tomorrow” are among the coincidentally titled songs that were released shortly before the time of Jim Croce’s death. “Time In A Bottle” was released posthumously and was his final #1 U.S. hit. The single is heart breaking to listen to knowing that Croce’s potential was cut way before his time.