JIM CROCE–“BAD, BAD LEROY BROWN”

Hello,  Jim Croce is one of the best singer/songwriters of the 1970’s.  In just over one year he charted 7 Billboard Hot 100 hit records.  Two of them became #1 hits and four of them are Top 10 hits.  His gentle voice and wonderful lyrics brought his songs to life.  His first hit record is YOU DON’T MESS AROUND WITH JIM on ABC Records, a #8 hit in 1972.  He would follow-up with OPERATOR (That’s Not The Way It Feels), #17 in October of 1972.  In February of 1973 Jim’s third hit record, ONE LESS SET OF FOOTSTEPS entered the Hot 100 and became a big Top 40 hit, charting at #37.

Jim Croce’s second hit of 1973 was his biggest hit and has become a classic rock and roll hit.  On April 21, 1973 BAD, BAD LEROY BROWN made it’s Billboard Hot 100 debut.  It didn’t take long before this great recording was #1 on the chart, holding the top spot for two weeks.  Bad, Bad Leroy Brown remained on the Hot 100 for 22 weeks and sold over 1 million records, Jim was awarded a “Gold Record”.  Jim was also #1 on the Cash Box Top 100 and #1 on the Canadian RPM Top Singles chart.  Bad, Bad Leroy Brown was the #2 hit of 1973 on both the Billboard Hot 100 and the Cash Box Top 100 charts.

Bad, Bad Leroy Brown was written by Jim and was one of the songs recorded for his 1973 album, LIFE AND TIMES.  He was nominated for two 1973 Grammy Awards, in the Pop Male Vocalist and Record Of The Year categories.  The song is about a man from the south side of Chicago.  Due to his size and willing to fight, he has a reputation as the “Baddest man in the whole damn town.  He makes a pass at a pretty married woman, her husband battles with Leroy and beats him up.

The “B” side of the record was A GOOD TIME MAN LIKE ME AIN’T GOT NO BUSINESS (Singin’ The Blues), it did not chart.  Bad, Bad Leroy Brown was still on the charts on September 20, 1973 when Jim Croce died in a plane crash in Natchitoches, Louisiana.  A month later, I GOT A NAME became a #10 hit and in November his second #1 record made its Hot 100 debut, TIME IN A BOTTLE.  The record became another million-seller and was awarded a “Gold Record”.  ABC Records continued to release new material by Jim.  In March of 1974 I’LL HAVE TO SAY I LOVE YOU IN A SONG, became another Top 10 hit, charting at #9.

Who knows just how many hits he would have had if he lived, we’ll never know, but there are 11 Jim Croce hit records and numerous albums that have already been successful.  What we have is the memory of a man, whose gentle voice captivated the music industry for a brief period of time.  His music is his legacy and that legacy is secure in a place and time known as the “Golden Era Of Rock And Roll”.

Till the next time—Joe

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