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Died On This Date (September 20, 1973) Jim Croce / Popular ’70s Singer-Songwriter

Posted by themusicsover on September 20, 2009

Jim Croce
January 10, 1943 – September 20, 1973

Jim Croce was an American singer songwriter who was quickly becoming one of the best selling artists of the ’70s when his life was tragically cut short when he was at his prime.   Croce’s career started while in college in the early ’60s, playing in local bands along the coffee house circuit.  In those early days, Croce began to form a local following while writing upwards of 3000 songs.  He soon began performing with his wife as Jim & Ingrid Croce and in 1968, the duo was signed to Capitol Records and released their debut album.  The album failed to ignite their career, so Croce decided he had had enough with the music business and to a job driving trucks.  It was while sitting in the cab of the truck that he began to write songs about ordinary people, developing him into a songwriter that would soon become famous.  By the early 70s, Croce began writing and recording with a musician he had recently met, Maury Muehleisen.  Together they seemed to bring out the best in each other, both in the studio, and on stage.  They began a partnership that lead to a deal with ABC Records in 1972.  Over the next year, they released two albums that included such hits as “You Don’t Mess Around With Jim,” “Bad Bad Leroy Brown,” “Time In A Bottle,” “I Got A Name,” and “Operator.”  But on September 20, 1973, Croce’s life would end just as his career was taking off. He and Muehleisen were aboard a small commercial plane heading from Louisiana to Texas when the plane clipped a tree just past the runway.  The plane crashed, killing 30-year-old Croce and 24-year-old Muehleisen instantly.  Some reports have indicated that the pilot may have suffered a heart attack, causing the plane to crash.

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