Jim Croce deserves his own piece, but for now, this classic clip is both a perfect introduction to anyone unfamiliar with his work and a welcome reminder to fans. Croce began his career in 1966 with a self-recorded album using a $500 wedding present and went on to have four* genre-defining albums until his untimely death just weeks after this clip.
The video is of the song ‘New York’s Not My Home‘ and is taken from a live compilation DVD ‘Have You Heard: Jim Croce Live‘ released in 2003. The DVD includes sixteen live performance clips from across his career, this one was taken from 1973. The song is about the Philadelphia born Croce feeling disjointed in the city that never sleeps, but the broader feeling of homesickness and loneliness also comes across. The song is, despite the lyrics, upbeat and beautiful. Croce is partnered on stage with guitarist Maury Muehleisen. They would lose their careers and lives in a tragic plane crash soon after this clip.
Although still underrated, Croce was nominated for two 1973 Grammy awards in the ‘Pop Male Vocalist’ and ‘Record of the Year’ categories for the song ‘Bad, Bad Leroy Brown‘. Part of the East Coast 60s folk-rock scene, he played with Joan Baez and Gordon Lightfoot, to name a few. His acoustic ballads continue to echo through time. He was survived by his singer-songwriter wife Ingrid (of ‘second album ‘Jim & Ingrid Croce‘) and (now musician) son A.J. Croce. You can read a review of A.J. Croce’s album here.
*There was a fifth album, ‘My Name is Jim‘, released posthumously.
Thanks Emily for this little piece on Jim Croce. Thanks too for reminding me what a great talent he was.So sad that he had so much more to give. Such is the way with such a loss i guess. I always found his songs and voice were a gentle escape to some of the harder edged material that was around at this time.