Wall Street Journal: Jim Croce Wrote Music That Still Resonates Today, While Living in Phila. Suburbs

Jim Croce performing at the mic
Image via Jim Croce Facebook page
Jim Croce.

Singer-songwriter Jim Croce — who wrote the hit song “Time in a Bottle” while living on a farmhouse in Lyndell, Chester County — has seemingly fallen into obscurity after being killed Sept. 20, 1973, in a plane crash, writes Marc Myers for the Wall Street Journal.

But his music still resonates.

Croce died at 30, leaving behind a wife and son. At the time of the crash, he was on tour promoting “Life and Times,” his second ABC album of original material.

Four of his songs were already Billboard hits: “You Don’t Mess Around With Jim,” “Operator (That’s Not the Way It Feels),” “One Less Set of Footsteps,” and “Bad, Bad Leroy Brown,” which climbed to No. 1.

A final LP was released after his death, “I Got a Name,” and another five singles became hits. All three of his ABC albums reached the top 10 on the Billboard album chart.

“What set Croce apart was his funky-chunky rhythms, unfettered sincerity, working-class subject matter and playful wit,” Myers wrote. “Croce’s voice is touching and reassuring, his melodies and harmonies enthrall, and his guitar playing is heartfelt and enveloping.”

Today, at 51, his son A.J. performs his father’s songbook on tour.

Read more about the life and legacy of Jim Croce at the Wall Street Journal.


Croce’s “Time in a Bottle” was written in 1970 (released three years later), inspired by Croce’s wife’s announcement to him that she was pregnant.

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