A.J. Croce on reconnecting along with his father, Jim Croce

The singer’s life reads like a blues tune, a catalog of loss. A.J. Croce misplaced his father earlier than he turned two, his sight when he was 4, and, later, his house to fireside and his spouse to a uncommon coronary heart situation. “Man, it has been, it has been a wild experience, I will let you know,” he stated.

“After we lose somebody we love, whether or not it was my father, my spouse, my sight, we are able to resolve how we need to convey it into our life. Will we need to dwell on it? Will we need to discover one of the best a part of that particular person, that have, and preserve it with us?”

It is a query he is wrestled with for many years. Now, at 50, he has a solution he is sharing on phases throughout the nation, enjoying songs that sound as acquainted because the title: Croce, as in Jim Croce, the early Seventies singer/songwriter/balladeer whose string of hits included “Images and Reminiscences,” “I Need to Say I Love You In a Track,” and “Dangerous, Dangerous Leroy Brown”:

Jim Croce – Dangerous Dangerous, Leroy Brown | Have You Heard: Jim Croce Dwell by
Jim Croce on

“Dangerous, Dangerous Leroy Brown” topped the charts in July of 1973, two months earlier than Croce died in a aircraft crash after a live performance in Natchitoches, Louisiana.

Correspondent Jim Axelrod requested, “Do you might have recollections of your dad?”

“You already know, I’ve this reminiscence of the heat of embrace, ?” A.J. replied. “And whereas it isn’t visible for me, it is palpable.”

“And highly effective, nonetheless?”

“Very, very.”

Nowhere extra highly effective than at a farmhouse outdoors Philadelphia, the place A.J. lived along with his dad and mom as his father’s profession was taking off – the place album covers have been impressed by farm buildings. Exhibiting Axelrod the construction that was featured on “You Do not Mess Round With Jim,” A.J. stated, “It was initially used for pigs. After which it was for chickens!”

A.J. Croce offers correspondent Jim Axelrod a tour of the Croce household farm, together with a construction that impressed the duvet of a Jim Croce report. 

CBS Information

The farmhouse was the place Jim Croce wrote his greatest hits: “You Do not Mess Round With Jim,” “New York’s Not My Dwelling,” “Operator,” “Dangerous, Dangerous Leroy Brown,” and “Fast Roy (The Inventory Automotive Boy).”

A.J. Croce along with his dad and mom, Jim and Ingrid. 

Household Photograph

However the safety his father’s success appeared to vow was additionally misplaced on that September evening in 1973.  A.J. stated, “It was a really darkish and violent interval in my life, and it was very traumatic.”

His father gone, his mom, Ingrid, acquired concerned with a person who brutally beat A.J., leaving him blind. “Throughout that point I sat on the piano, I performed alongside to the radio, no matter was on my little transistor radio, whether or not it was ELO or McCartney or Stones or Elton John.”

There was just one man’s music he would not contact. He stated, “There have been instances when perhaps as a youngster the place it was slightly bit arduous to get across the shadow of my father. Individuals had requested me to report my father’s music since I used to be 16, 17 years outdated, and I actually was not .”

In the course of the subsequent 35 years, he’d regain partial sight; play the piano with everybody from Ray Charles to Willie Nelson; and develop his personal repute as a songwriter. If he hadn’t discovered a option to absolutely escape the shadow of his father, he found out a option to dwell adjoining to it.

Axelrod requested, “Having your personal success by yourself phrases was liberating?”


“And you did not have something to show to anybody, and so perhaps it was slightly simpler to embrace your father’s stuff?”

“It was rather a lot simpler.”

Which is how this singer lastly acquired to this stage, the place Croce now performs Croce.


A.J. Croce

“Then, I spotted that he is a part of my life and I am part of his legacy,” A.J. stated. “And I felt it was vital at a sure age and at a sure maturity to embrace it.”

“It was time?”

“Yeah. Easy.”

So now, almost 50 years later, A.J. Croce is exploring his connection to a father he barely acquired to know. He stated, “Most individuals, in the event that they’re fortunate, they’ve {a photograph}. And I really feel lucky that there is much more than that.”

And so do his audiences. Nearly each lover of Jim Croce’s music has one tune they join with most tightly. A.J. isn’t any completely different, although his causes actually are.

Axelrod requested, “Whenever you’re performing, is there any tune of your dad’s that has extra which means to play and to sing than one other?”

“Yeah. Actually, ‘Time in a Bottle’ does. It is extremely emotional.”

Why? “Effectively, as a result of, , it was written for me, and it sums up this emotion that he felt for my mom and for myself.”

Jim Croce – Time In A Bottle [1973] by
Deizulhesque on

“I really feel all types of issues,” A.J. stated. “I really feel pleasure, a way of thoughtfulness.”

“I am certain you may course of this loss the remainder of your life,” stated Axelrod. 

“All of us do. Yeah.”

“Does enjoying his music enable you to course of the loss?”

A.J. replied, “If it isn’t the remedy, it is a actually good treatment.”

Singer-songwriter A.J. Croce. 

CBS Information

Hearken to A.J. Croce’s new single, “So A lot Enjoyable”

For more information:

Story produced by Gabriel Falcon. Editor: Lauren Barnello. 

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