Time in a bottle

By: sonofabeach96

Dec 29 2015

Category: Uncategorized


On this date, in 1973, Jim Croce achieved his second no. 1 song, “Time In A Bottle”.  Unfortunately, the milestone came in part because of, and three months after, his untimely death.  Croce was killed in a plane crash on September 20, 1973, a crash blamed on pilot error after the plane clipped a tree on take off from the Natchitoches, LA. airport.  Croce and 5 others, including the pilot, were killed.

Croce had been touring coffee shops and college campuses in support of his album Life and Times.  He had already had a no. 1 hit in “Bad, Bad Leroy Brown”, in July of 1973, but even so was in financial trouble, with the lions’ share of those royalties being used to pay back advances from signing a 3-record deal with ABC Records in 1972.

While on these long road trips, trying to make a go of music as a career, and feeling homesick, he had, ironically, planned to give up the life of a struggling musician.  After his death, his wife received a letter he had written from the road a bit before his fateful flight.  In it, he asserted his decision to quit music, move home to spend more time with his wife and infant son, A.J. Croce, and make writing short stories and movie scripts his livelihood.  “Time In A Bottle” had been written by Croce in 1970, after finding out his wife was pregnant with A.J.

The song was never meant to be released as a single, but was getting significant airplay along with “You Don’t Mess Around With Jim” and “Operator (That’s Not The Way It Feels)”.  However, after his death, and considering the relevant nature of the lyrics discussing mortality and wishing for more time, the studio released it as a single in November of ’73, with “Hard Time Losin’ Man” as the B-Side. Ever the capitalists, the label saw an opportunity to make use of the current events.  Croce’s third album, I Got A Name, was released December 1, 1973, posthumously, and contained the hits “Workin’ At The Car Wash Blues”, “I’ll Have To Say I Love You In A Song”, and the title track “I Got A Name”.  The album reached no. 2 on the Billboard charts.

So, in honor of this classic tale of self-fulfilling prophecy, poor timing, premature demise, and this significant songwriter who deserves far more recognition than he ever received, my songs of the day are:

“You Don’t Mess Around With Jim”

“Operator (That’s Not The Way It Feels)”

“Photographs and Memories”

“I’ll Have To Say I Love You In A Song”

“Time In A Bottle”



18 comments on “Time in a bottle”

  1. “Bad, Bad Leroy Brown” – holy cow, THAT brings back memories!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. A brilliant man taken before his time…..kat

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I grew up on his ballads. Lovely, heartfelt tunes.

    Liked by 1 person

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