Over the years, fans and friends have written to me about Jim Croce and how he has touched their lives. It is always a wonderful feeling to know that Jim’s music and memories continue to inspire others. The letters, photos and musical tributes that people have shared with us have helped to keep Jim’s spirit, music and memory alive.
If you feel moved to write about how Jim has touched your life, we’d love to hear your story. Please email us here.
Click any of the links below to read some of Jim Croce’s fan mail.
- Emotional Rollercoaster
- New Friend
- New Hampshire
- Dear Jimmina
- Fan Forever
- North Carolina
- Not much of a reader but...
- The Lighthearted Side
- Bless You
- Blown Away
- Weight Lifted
- South Carolina
- 50th Anniversary
- South Australia
- First Time
- Manchester, UK
- Charlie Tuna
- Warm and Welcome
- Washington State
- Inspirational Story
- The Navy
- Malverne, NY
- New Mexico
- A B I G Fan
- Touched Our Lives
- An Amazing Man
- Fond Memories
- New York
- Alive in the hearts...
- Here's my story...
- Dear Ms. Rock
- South Dakota
- My Daughter
- South Dakota
- Musical Genius
- Behind the Music
I finished reading your book last evening and feel a strong urge to write you.
In June of 1973, my wife of 54 weeks passed away from an illness that had taken hold of her during much of the short time we were married. We were only 23 years old at the time and the hurt I experienced during her illness and subsequent passign could not be described in words. Although I quickly resumed my life's activites, I was totally in a fog during the weeks that followed.
Then, one morning a short while later, while driving to work (and I remember exactly where on the highway I was), I heard the news about your Jim. I was a total fan, so I was incredibly shocked and saddened at this tragic and unexpected news. But within minutes, as the initial news of his accident had settled in, I somehow felt a sense of comfort, knowign that someone whose music was so special to me, was now in a place where my wife could now benefit from his musical gift. It probably doesn't make much sense, either then or now. But I was strengthened by the loss of two people who touched me in such very different ways. And whose passings occured so close together.
Years later, while hosting a customer event in San Diego, I chose Croce's Restaurant for a gathering of 50 or so special customers. I recall having to schedule the event a bit earlier in the evening than I had intended to ensure that we could be at your place, rather than another establishment, but I did so without regret adn totally enjoyed the evening. My only disappointment was not being able to spend time looking at the photographs or getting to meet you. But the evening was both memorable and fulfilling in many ways.
I am so grateful you wrote the book. I knew virtually nothing about Jim. Now, I feel a stronger connection with his talent. And a huge appreciationg for you for sharing what you did about your lives. Jim's music remains a key part of music collection. But understanding now, the events that led to the creation of those pieces, makes them today, even more special.
Congratulations on what you have accomplished over the past (almost) 40 years. I am another who finds the news of your restaurant closing, most unfortunate. But, I am guessing that the book is not totally closed yet on this chapter in your life. And once more, as you have so admirable in the past, you will venture forward and find yet another silver lining.
Given your desire to share you story, I wanted to briefly share mine and accept your invite to write. In a way, I feel quite connected to you. Certainly more connected now than before I read the book.
I have never written an author before. However, after reading your book, "I Got a Name," I wanted to do so.
Having read numerous biographies, including, "Chronicles" and "Bound for Glory", I don't believe I've ever read one written with such heartfelt, but kind honesty. You have a unique talent.
My daughter speaks very highly of you and I can now see why.
Having served in the Army in Vietnam in 1969-70, I thought "You Can Keep The Dime", was the saddest line I ever heard. I still do. I wish you and your son, A.J., nothing but the very best in all of your future endeavors.
Thank you for taking the time to put that nice inscription in the book. And again, for the book itself.
I am nearly finishing the recent book you and Jimmy R. published (I GOT A NAME - THE JIM CROCE STORY).
First of all, I would like to thank you for the great work you two have done.
Then, I should confess that nobody had ever known before this very-very vulnerable side of Jim Croce. It was a real revelation for me. The whole thing -the families, the music, the duet, the wild and carnivorous record companies, all this you lived through those really difficult years...
I wish the new hangout is full of life, joy and music!
I wish You, Adrian James and Jimmy happiness and health!!!!!!
A sincere friend from Greece
I am nearly finishing the recent book you and Jimmy R. published (I GOT A NAME - THE JIM CROCE STORY).
First of all, I would like to thank you for the great work you two have done.
Then, I should confess that nobody had ever known before this very-very vulnerable side of Jim Croce. It was a real revelation for me. The whole thing -the families, the music, the duet, the wild and carnivorous record companies, all this you lived through those really difficult years...
I wish the new hangout is full of life, joy and music!
I wish You, Adrian James and Jimmy happiness and health!!!!!!
A sincere friend from Greece
I hope you both a good holiday (considering saying goodbye to “Croce’s”).
I should first say that I (unfortunately) rarely ever read books. With three young children and running a company I find reading too much work sometimes when all I want to do at the end of the day is stare into the television set or at the inside of my eyelids for 8 hours or so. However, ever since you gave me a copy of the book before Eve’s set I couldn't wait to read it.
I started it a few days ago and I just now finished reading it and even though I had shut down my computer I felt compelled to go back into my office and compose this note to the both of you (I will then go count sheep)
I have many emotions after reading your book but first and foremost, it was a wonderfully told story and I agree that It would make a great film. You both made it very cinematic. The backdrop of two young lovers in the sixties struggling to make it in the music business with different backgrounds is very powerful. Forget that we’re talking about Jim Croce it could have been almost anyone and the story would be captivating. Of course, it is one of the finest songwriters of his time and that adds a powerful punch especially to me who has loved his music since I first heard him sing as a six year old boy in 1972. What I enjoyed about the book is that it was written in way where many times I forgot that he was gone because of your memory of his specific words it sounded like he was still here and contributing to the story in real time. As a huge fan, I like how you would frequently drop a song line which was born out of a real experience without elaborating until later in the book. Your writing brought me much closer to his work. With the music documentary films I’ve made I’ve always tried to bring the audience closer to the music and the inspirations beyond the songs and thank you both for now (through this book) giving me that with Jim’s songs.
I realize that we’re all complicated but I must admit it was hard for me to read some of things you shared about his attitudes and actions. Your son and I unfortunately both lost our fathers at a young age (I was three). And like AJ, my dad died right before my birthday (13 days before I turned 4) so I can relate what it’s like to never know your father. As I told you, as a seven year old boy Jim’s death affected me deeply. Perhaps It had something to do with my dad dying only three years before Jim. Since I was a child music has affected me deeply and it led me to the career I’ve had for over two decades.
I have many more thoughts and observations and would love to get together soon to see if there’s anyway I can help with your quest to get this made into a film.
Thank you both once again for the emotional rollercoaster I just took in reading the book. I’m still processing it all but the bottom line is that it is a very powerful story that should be made into a film.
All The Best,
I was so very happy to raise a glass to Jim and Maury... and proud to have you and Jim standing there next to me when I did it. I'd be lying if I told you a little part of me was saddened by the fact that none of the other contestants mentioned that, but this meant different things to different people.
I wish you could have seen the smile on your face when I started singing... I wish you could have seen it grow when the place started singing along. Walking home the winner meant nothing compared to being there with so many people that loved Jim to celebrate his music and to remember what a tragic loss we all suffered... the world suffered 40 years ago. Not many people would really understand not wanting to come home with the prize... but the prize I get to take with me... being there on that night and making you happy and doing Jim proud is something better than anyone could ever give me to hang on a wall. Not even "my Ingrid" Krista or her mom understand that...
LOL... but that's ok. It was important to me to do this right and do Jim proud... from the look on your face and the crowd's reaction... I could not be more pleased.. anyway forgive me for rambling on, this was a very emotional moment for me and I know it was for you too.
Thank you again for allowing me to be a part of it.
I am happy and proud to call you and Jim my new friends and I am truly blessed to have been a part of this all. I look forward to new year's eve... I truly hope that xxxx doesn't get stuck with working again. The only thing that could have made this whole experience any better would have been to have her there to share it with me.
You are a warm wonderful person Ingrid. But that was really no great surprise. How could the woman who inspired one of the greatest love songs of all time (Have To Say I Love You) not be? I've written more than my share of love songs for xxxx so I know the feeling... I know what it means to be so moved by the love you have for someone that you have to put it in song. We were all blessed that Jim shared that very special gift to you with the world... just like he shared A.J.'s "Time In A Bottle" with us all. I never got to meet Jim, but through the magic of his music I got to know him a little bit... and now with the book... I loved the book... and now I have TWO copies! 😉 and having met you in person, I know a little bit more and will continue to keep his music in my heart.
I told you that one of the GREATEST compliments I ever received was having my writing style and performing (if you call what I do performing) style compared to his... I am in NO WAY anywhere near Jim's class, but I do put my heart into it all just like he did... I do sing TO the listener like he did making each story that I put in song my own. That is something the music world needs more of today.
There was only and could ever only be ONE Jim Croce... thank you Ingrid for sharing him with the world... you had so little time with him, but the love you shared was and is beyond inspiring.
Ok... the Italian from Brooklyn has run off at the mouth long enough.
I'm packing up and heading home to my baby... bringing with me an amazing memory, honor, and prize that I will cherish forever.
Best of luck getting the new place set up and I hope we can give the old place a proper send off on new years eve!
With much love and respect... your new friend
I don't remember any of the girls of that time making a fuss over Jim per se. For me personally, I was moved at a young tender age by Jim's music. "Operator" of course, has to be the signature, the quintessential Croce song. All these years later at the age of 47, I still feel the same emotions that I felt 30 plus years ago.
Like everybody else, I've suffered heartbreak, felt despair. Jim's music taught me to embrace all that, and find the splendor in the human condition. In the last 5 years or so, I am teaching myself to twang the guitar, and I am proud to say, and happy to inform you that the first song I can play from beginning to end without error is, "New York's Not My Home." I haven't quite mastered that little twangy fill part. Appropriate for a twanger, I suppose... It's by far my favorite Jim Croce song.
Well, I still miss him. He was and is a great guitarist, a great lyricist. I'm sure he's up there with all the greats we've lost. Thanks for letting me share my thoughts.
I am not sure if this is actually reaching Ingrid or not, but here it goes. I am a Photography student at The Art Institute of Philadelphia and recently had the opportunity to Illustrate a personal series of my choice (Digital Illustration via photoshop). Long story short, growing up, my Dad pretty much only listened to Jim's music.
Now, when I hear Jim's songs I have a close connection with my father and it's very special to me. My parents divorced long before I could remember - all I do remember is watching my Dad sit in the kitchen with his eyes closed singing his heart out to "Kings Song". I think he used his lyrics to get through all his heartache and pain, and in a way it did for me too. I chose a few of his songs as inspiration to my illustrations and even listened to the songs on repeat for the three months that I took editing them.
It proved to be a therapeutic session for me. My series has awarded me high recognition, not only at school, but personally as well. I can't thank anyone other than you, Jim, and your family for giving me the inspiration. Six illustrations including the songs: Kings Song Time In A Bottle Next Time, This Time Photographs And Memories Dreamin' Again The Way We Used To Be In the end, I am please with my Illustrations, and so is my Father. He actually requested that I find a way to contact you and give you a copy of my work.
I would love to send you digital files or a print in the mail if at all possible.
I appreciate the time you have taken to read my message.
Thank you so much for sharing this with me. Jim would be so proud of the people his music touched. Now, with yours and Jimmy's new book, I Got a Name: The Jim Croce Story, his legacy and music will keep what he loved doing alive and people will get to know the good times and difficult times of your lives; the real people and stories behind the songs. I’ll be front row and center at your book signing!
(For that is what WE used to call you!)
What an incredibly touching book
No eulogy but a true love story
Few people have the privilege to fall so deeply in love and then love just brings out the best in the other with courage and dignity, whatever the pain of day to day routine.
And love transcends all with sublimal messages. The location of the restaurant the last letter you received he left you with your love whole again Struck by the authenticity the pain and the courage to write as was.
That letter from his Dad was a true killer,alsothe last comments of his mother. I have been through both but even meaner. His love of people i have always shared too,i do the same things and drive my wife potty with new friends,but( she is less patient than you were!) Life on the road was what it was tough intoxicating and toxic hard on body and soul Like him i grew to be unable to express my feelings verbally to avoid confrontation and until I Blundered into writing but also that kindness and humility that comes from living life on the ground floor with a huge heart but no ego and real talent. the need to trust along with the long line of traitors.- well done for fighting and winning his battles for him with the producers- it seems somehow that he agreed to go along also'knowing' that he had little time to waste he had to sing his message to the world that was his priority. The same kindness that made him become Jewish for you the love that he had for his Ing the constant fear of losing her his feeling shitty at the thought of hurting her his gratefulness to people who helped him along the way..
And his presence so charismatic and everybody' s friend if ever there is one.
Yes you made the songs even more authentic with your book, and every one has been part of my own life. My friend xxxxx who is a Notary Public in Rome- big potato!- bought the same guitar as Jimmino and thought it was the best.
I too am the eldest son i too would never lack respect for my father i too did things my own way and paid the price but Jimmino was there to explain that i had a dream and that i had to do things my way anf if they got me nowhere i ll go there proud... Like a Fool i am and i ll always be..
One little story to end on,my daughter xxxxx who is a very talented musician but extremely intelligent emotionally and that i hope you will meet one day at the age of four was very good at spotting on a record the besr tracks and also the best singers. And one day she insisted on one particular song she wanted to hear it was number nine track of one CD. To make herself clear she said the songs of the man who looks like Daddy and the song was I got a Name!!
That was my compliment for life,
There is so much more that has remained unsaid.
I was born in Milano of Jewish Iraqi parents,was sent to boarding school in England at ten kipling's IF and Gunga Deen are some of my favourite poems went to Oxford and have lived in London and Geneva until I moved to Israel a few months ago. I would like to offer you and Jimmy a Shohet Welcome when you come to Europe or Israel wortthy of the one you gave to a complete stranger on that Saturday night in San Diego.
I also have a brother-in-law who is a very well known pianist but i am the least musical of my wife three sons and daughter.
Please please stay in touch and if you come to Italy then you will also receive a Princesse's welcome!
Written without thinking just as is but thank you for the book you gave me.
After reading the first few pages i put Dostoyevsky's The Idiot aside to read .. Jimmina!!
The Idiot is probably my dearest piece of literature..
Growing up outside the Philadelphia area (Bucks County) and being a Freshman in college in the fall of 1972, Jim’s music was so very much a part of my life back then. And it has remained so ever since. When I saw that you had released a book about Jim, it immediately went to the top of my reading list.
I bought the book and devoured it on a flight to San Francisco (I now live in the Washington, DC area.) I have NEVER consumed a book so quickly.
All I can say is THANK YOU -- for sharing so much of yours and Jim’s lives with those of us who love Jim’s music. As you said in the book, Jim communicated best with you through his music. It was clear to those of us who enjoy Jim’s music that he did the same with us.
I’ll be visiting San Diego twice this fall and will look forward to dining at the restaurant. If I’m really lucky, I might get a chance to say hello and thank you in person.
While Jim may not have been perfect (none of us are), his fans are grateful that he stuck with his passion and was able to leave behind wonderful stories through his songs for us to enjoy over and over. And now, thanks to you, we know a little bit more about the story behind each song. (I’ll never listen to New York’s Not My Home the same way again!)
A fan forever.
After the concert, my friends and I gravitated to the stage where he was shaking hands and chatting with the audience members. When he got to me, my mouth froze up and all I could do was shake his hand. I wanted to say so much about what his music meant to me.
Six months later, on that awful day, after waking up to the headline proclaiming Jim's and Maury's deaths, I made it to school, but not to my classes. I stood at a hall window or sat outside at a picnic table all day - reflecting. School staff left me alone, knowing why, and other students sometimes gave condolences like he was a family member. Jim Croce's music filled my life for several years and left a giant voide in it with his death that I still sometimes feel, along with the lump in my throat, that I got even upon finding this site. Thanks for letting me share.
I have just finished reading your book "I Got a Name: The Jim Croce Story." I really, really loved it! I'm not much of a reader but I love to learn about the lives of my favorite musicians and your book just captivated me. My heart really ached after reading it to the point where I literally cried. I just wanted to personally thank you for sharing your story and your memories of Jim with the world. I've been a big listening to his music since I was in junior high school (I'm 33). I've been listening to real artists most of my life, mostly singer/songwriter music because that is real music. Back in 2003 I was visiting my brother in San Diego and I had read about your restaurant. I had taken this trip with two of my girlfriends and, even though not many people from my generation listen to the same kind of music I do, I insisted that we go inside, at least for a little bit. There was a jazz band playing and I was admiring all the pictures of Jim on the wall. You really did an amazing job with the place. Earlier this year, I went with my good friend XXXX, a fellow fan, to visit Jim's grave and pay our respects. I drove about 70 miles to the cemetery and it was something XXXX and I had talked about doing for quite some time. I was really glad that we finally went. I stood next to his grave and recited some prayers for him.
Well, I don't want to take up too much of your time but I just really wanted to thank you for sharing your story of your life with Jim. You really are such an inspiration and, although I don't know you personally, I think you're an amazing and kind person, and a wonderful, loving wife and mother. I found some pictures of you on Google and you look amazing and really happy. I wish you a great life and keep on doing what you're doing. You're an inspiration to all women. I hope to come visit my brother in San Diego sometime soon and I will be definitely be stopping by Croce's the next time I'm there. I hope I get to meet you some day. 🙂
All the best,
Thank you Jim... even though you are not with us, you continue to make a middle aged man happy and make him feel like an innocent boy again.
On the lighthearted side, my favorite is Working in the Car Wash Blues. The story he tells captures the dreams of anyone in a low level job that knows they can do better! And he says it with style!
My 12 year-old grandson has an interest in the guitar and is now taking lessons. I have told him he MUST come over and just listen to my Jim Croce CD. Of course, he doesn't understand at this point just what a talent this is, but I'm working on that!
I just wanted the family to know what a special place in my heart there has always been for Jim Croce. I was devestated when the news came of his death. Even though I was young, I recognized what the world had lost.
Thank you for having a place for me to say these words.
I am now the proud father of a 4 year-old who has been singing "Wapid Woy dat stock caa boy" since he was 2. He has his own guitar now and it won't hold a tune but he bangs on those guitar strings and sings. It always plants a big old lump in my throat so when I stop singing he doesn't even notice, he's so caught up in the moment of dancing and singing.
You know when someone asks you "if you could meet anybody in the world who would it be and what would you say to them?" I know the first half of that question but I'm not sure what I would say. I'm certain that it might come out very jibberish like though. So I will say this - words cannot express feelings that run deep in the hearts of so many people around the world. The people who have had Time In A Bottle sang at their wedding, or heard Photographs and Memories that you share with us.
Just a quick note of thanks for the wonderful story of the life both you and Jim shared. I just finished reading I Got a Name and, as a writer, musician and Jim Croce fan, was moved by many passages throughout. That I live in South Jersey made it even more interesting as so many of those PA towns and places are familiar to me.
Though only eight years old when Jim passed, I recall hearing the tragic news as music was becoming a passion for me at the time and I was familiar with a few of his songs. Though memories of what actually happened were always vague to me at best, it was good to have all of that cleared up in your book. And as a reader of autobiographies only (no biographies as I prefer stories directly from "the horse's mouth"), under the circumstances I made an exception for I Got a Name as your connection made perfect sense. And from my perspective, I have to believe you did Jim proud by telling his (and your) story so well.
Anyway... thank you for your time, for your words and for the music you (and others) inspired in Jim. He truly left an indelible mark on this world - something of which I'd have to guess he'd be proud.
Best to you, Jimmy and AJ...
On Sep 25 1973 as a 17 year old in Scotland i settled down to watch the old grey whistle test BBC rock TV show to get my first view of Jim on video. When the presenter solemnly announced about Jims death I was stunned. I watched the video of LOVERS CROSS and CARWASH BLUES not really taking in that he was gone.
With the advent of the internet 25 years later more video emerged and his songs of course remained.
Cut to 1992 and I brought my family to California on vacation and stood outside Croce’s but was too shy to come in!
Finally after 39 years the story of his life came out thanks to you. I could not put it down and devoured it in a couple of days.
Thank you for sharing so intimately your story. It seems that Jim never really got to enjoy his success and that he was the victim of those for whom the love of money was everything.
If you ever update the book it would be fascinating to hear more about the legal fight following Jims death and also your feelings on the bootleg recording of his last show which is on the internet and which is so poignant.
Many thanks for opening your heart to us.
God Bless You
First thing is first -- Congratulations!!
A very big congratulations is in order. Delivering a masterpiece book isn't something many people do in a lifetime and now you both have achieved it.
The courage that you had and have as a team to tell your story. So so impressive.
Jim, my most humble words of true respect as I particularly recognize your steady hand in helping research and write the book and the process you must have gone through over the years to be able to help chronicle your wife's previous relationship. Again, impressive.
OK, on to the good stuff re: the book.
What I hear in every paragraph, every anecdote and situation is both your voices. Jim Croce's, Maury's, Sal's, all the personalities that I had to come to know in my own research, yes of course they are all accounted for perfectly and wonderfully but its your humanity and strength, your enthusiasm and yes, wit you've used to set it all down. That's what I felt the most. The book is not unlike Jim's music. An encapsulation of the sweetness and sometimes grating proximity of families, the ups and downs of young love, the times that framed it all and above all else, the difficult testing grounds that friendships often can be. All remembered with an easy feeling that makes me almost smell the Media vegetable garden and cigar smoke during the Co-0p runs into Philly.
I have to say after a few days thinking about it, reading your book I felt like I was standing over a 500 pc jigsaw puzzle and 50 missing pieces materialized all at the same time to complete a beautiful picture. It’s very special.
I just want to thank you, thank you, thank you for writing the biography of your late husband. I read about its upcoming release on Monday. I ordered one from Croce's on Monday, but I couldn't wait so I also ordered the electronic version for my Nook on Monday night and read it in one sitting on Tuesday.
It was awesome. I felt so much empathy for you and the things y'all went through. I know you have had literally hundreds of thousands if not millions of people tell you over the years how much Jim Croce's music meant to them. His songs are like the soundtrack of the majority of my life.
Almost 20 years ago, I wrote you a letter in the beginning of 1993 to say that I couldn't believe that Jim Croce would have been 50 years old that year. That I had traveled to San Diego from Baton Rouge, LA and discovered Croce's in a travel brochure and that I was coming back in a few years and would make it to Croce's. (My sister in law lived in Carlsbad at the time.) We did make it back, and I got to see the pictures and mural on the wall and all the cool stuff there (as well as enjoy a very good meal). I also told you in that long ago letter I always wondered about what happened to the precious little boy holding his daddy's hat that was the album insert in Photographs and Memories (if my memory is right). There had also been an article about A.J. in People magazine where I learned about his brain tumor and him losing his sight. I mean, I was like "How much can one family go through?" I didn't know about the loss of your baby or the house fire as well. You are a strong woman!
Jim Croce had the kindest eyes and he just resonated something that has always touched my heart. I had just started 7th grade when he was killed. I am about 3 hours from Natchitoches. I remember laying in bed (was it a school night?), and the radio bulletin came on saying that there had been a plane crash. I remember it like yesterday -- laying in the dark, listening to the radio, and jumping up and being terrified.
My family was a big Irish family that would kick back the furniture and play Bad, Bad Leroy Brown over and over while everyone jitterbugged. All the little boys in my family don't make it past two or three without Speedball Tucker being in their repertoire. I always loved his ballads the most.
I also wanted to say that I paid attention to the part where the lady came back and told Jim she had spoken to his dad and he was there and gave him his dad's message. I believe that. I won't go into why -- but I do believe our loved ones are with us when we need them. Also, how amazing is it that the person who did the card reading got it right about A.J. and how sad the part about having only one parent came true.
I have met a few people that were there in Natchitoches for the final concert. I often try to envision what "could have been." However, that is not productive. I look at James Taylor, whom I love, (but Jim is still my #1) and wish we had been able to see Jim get to do what he really wanted to do -- I could just kick the crap out of Tommy West and the people who messed y'all over. I hope you got back every single dime you and your family deserved. If I thought it would do any good, I would write a "shame on you" letter to the man -- but he sounds like the only thing that matters to him is money. What a shame to trust a college friend and be done so wrong.
The joy your husband (and your support of him) has brought into my life cannot be measured. I have just about any thing JIm Croce related. I wore out so many albums, 8 tracks, cassettes, and have bought his CDs several times. He is on my iPhone and iPad. I still haven't found anyone close to him -- although I enjoyed Josh Turner's "You Don't Mess Around with Jim."
Thank you so very much! I waited 39 years, and it was worth the wait. I am just glad I was around to read it. Hugs to you. What a strong woman you are. I know with my heart that Jim Croce was a good-hearted man but made the mistakes that we make as human beings. We all do. Y'all (forgive my Southernism -- but it's me) were blessed to have each other for the time you did. I am also grateful that you have found happiness with Jimmy Rock and the success of your businesses in San Diego.
If you are ever in the Baton Rouge area, I would love to take you to dinner. I haven't been back to San Diego since the 1990s -- but it is a lovely city. What a handsome man A.J. turned out to be! I see both of you in him. Love he got his dad's hair!! (My son, XXXX, has that same ringlet curly dark hair -- love it!) I enjoy his music very much.
Many blessings to you and your family,
I would be truly honored if you would read my simple words.
As I am typing this letter, I am listening to your husband’s music. I have been playing his songs almost nonstop lately. They somehow seem to touch my soul.
I recently bought the DVD of yourself and Jim and I was simply blown away! I was so amazing watching your husband sing his songs, and I did not know that you are a terrific singer also. I was very impressed.
Anyway, I just wanted to say hello. Maybe sometime soon I will make it to your restaurant. I am sure you must receive letters like this all the time, but, if somehow you could acknowledge my message, that would be very kind of you.
My name is x my friends call me x, 1967 was my year of birth . As a child I grew up listening to Jim's music thanks entirely to my Mom. I think by the time I was ten years old I knew every song by heart. my mother passed away on November 12th 2000. It wasn't until a few years later on "May 18th my Mothers Birthday" that I was driving down the road I was thinking about my Mom when I clicked on the radio in the car and right from the first guitar note one of his songs came on the radio I think it was "Time in a bottle" I was instantly brought back to being that 10 year old kid listening to that big wooden console record player that played records . god i wish i still hat that thing . anyway i never really / really cried when my mother passed I was in a daze pretty much all through those days in November but on that day the 18th of May I cried like a baby Keep in mind I'm a 6'5" 265 lb man that just doesn't cry, period.
Your husbands song brought me to my knees. After I was done it felt as if a huge weight had been lifted off of me it had been raining all weekend , as i started to drive again the clouds cleared i saw the sun start peeking threw the clouds and ahead of me was the most beautiful rainbow i have ever seen . To this day I believe my mother or your husband had something to do with that song being played that time and day.One reason being no one drives my car but me. I always listen to the same radio station in my car & it wasn't on my normal station. i have all my preset stations programed to the same station that I listen to . So some one had to manually change that station & it was not me. well now i have 2 stations i listen to. No song has ever touched me the way that song did . so now every time I feel like i want to be close to my mother i toss in one of your husbands CD's & she is right there with me. Is there a song he wrote that reminds you of him besides .. "Operator" Did he write that for you? Was there really a Ray? Do you have any home Cd's you might want to copy and share/ I'd love to hear something for lack of a better word "New"so to speak of Jim singing? I would cherish them if you did
P.S. My fathers name was x he passed on Feb.6th 2005. & the song " Don't mess around with Jim" always reminds me of him!!
My name is x and I'm 15 years old. I live near Denver, Colorado, and I just wanted you and your family to know how much Jim's music has meant to me the past couple weeks.
Recently, my mom passed away from colon cancer, and my dad has started dating someone new. Pretty much everything has changed in my life after my mom, and I've begun to feel like I'm not at home in my own home sometimes. I lived in Florida for most of my life before living here, and I've never felt like Colorado is a home to me. The past few weeks I've listened to few songs other than "New York's Not My Home" and "Photographs and Memories". These songs describe exactly how I feel in Colorado. While listening to "New York's Not My Home," it feels nice to hear someone in the same situation. And although my mom died over a year ago, I never really mourned her death. "Photographs and Memories" is one of the few ways I can think about her without breaking down. I wish that the rest of my classmates knew about Jim and his amazing music. I don't want to see such an incredible musician not be recognized in my generation, which is why I am in the process of convincing my choir teacher to let us sing "I Got A Name" at the next graduation ceremony. The song has such a great message, and I hope that my other classmates will hold his music close to their hearts like me.
Today I bought the 50th anniversary collection and was delighted to read about Croce’s in San Diego. What a wonderful way to honor the memory, talent, and music of Jim.
While I usually lie about my age, now I will tell you the truth. I am thirty-eight years old and some of my first music memories are of “Time in a Bottle” and “LeRoy Brown”. My dad used to sing “LeRoy Brown” as he shaved in the morning. Many of your (Ingrid+Jim) songs are woven into my existence. NYC is my adopted home…I remember hearing that song “NYC is Not My Home” while I was in Rio de Janeiro two years ago, broke and confused, and it touched my soul the way your (Ingrid+Jim) songs do. I felt like someone understood and that made it better.
I had worn out a lot of Jim Croce albums: two vinyl records, one 8 track, a cassette tape or two… all listening to Jim's music. When CDs began to replace all the other media in the 80s, Jim's music was among the first acquisitions of that new digital media. Still have those! LOL! Now, another "new media", is bringing back such wonderful memories and great music.I was in east Texas the day I got the news of his death. The Longview, TX, (way too close to western Louisiana) radio station gave the sad news and played several cuts back-to-back. I loved Jim's music before that day, and I loved it more afterwards. So many of us learned our guitar chops trying to sing his music (mostly by ear…. we were blue collar, too.). I was 16, and one of my music heroes had died. To use the words of my children's generation, "it sucked, big time." Jim's music was a big part of the fabric of my youth.Your story was a missing gap for me. I loved reading about your restaurant, your work in Costa Rica, your commitment to your son, and your work for and in the community in San Diego. I also love the grace of your remembering & honoring Jim's music as you built your family, your businesses, and your new marriage. Just wanted to write a quick note to you to wish you a happy and prosperous 2010. Thanks for all your work in keeping Jim's music alive and the memories fresh!
I just want to personally thank you for the warm and welcoming greeting you gave to both myself and my husband at your book signing and 1st night of restaurant week. X and I have been married for 20 years. We married when I was 19 and he was 23. When we started dated he was listening to Jim Croce. We would get in his car and I would think where does he get this music but the more I listened the more I loved it. He would go weekly to a local bar to watch a singer who sang many of Jims songs. I never understood why it was so important to him. Now after 20 years of it, listening to every song over and over again I found that he loves it because that music is about us...everyone!! His songs were so individual yet so broad that it could encompass everyone who listened to it.
Now we all listen to it. It has become our travelling CD. Our kids request songs from the cd. Our boys have begun learning the songs as did x on their new guitars. I mean it truly amazes me when 15-18 year old boys stop and listen...and most of all like!!!
x has waited so long to get out there and go to the Restaurant. He had to go to California for a business trip and he had decided he would go. Then he found out about the book signing and it being the same weekend we would be there. He acted like a little kid finding out they were going to Disney World.
I was so worried that it all would not live up to his expectations...You know how that works sometimes. However, he could not have been happier. He was so excited about the signing. He brought his guitar which was such a hassle with the airlines, and when you signed it for him I thought I would never be able to bring him back to earth.
Then we went to the Restaurant and I again I was worried. And once again for no reason. You and Jim Rock were both so hospitable. It was as if we had come to your home. You greeted everyone. Made everyone feel like you had been waiting on them to come. The food was amazing, the staff was perfect and you made a dream come true for my husband.
I just want to make sure you understand how much it meant to him, and how much it meant to me that it turned out just as he thought it would.
You are a great person and that shows in everything you do. Make sure you thank Jim for me as well.
We will be back!!!
It is so very difficult to explain how your husband fit into my life, I feel like I've known him all my life it's just one of those deals. I'm XXXXX from Washington State and I'm fifteen years old. Around August of 2006 my father was diagnosed with terminal glioblastoma brain cancer, I was so afraid my whole life would change, and it did.
Around September, the surgeons at the hospital attempted to remove the cancerous tumor for about 4 hours, as my brother and I drove home from the hospital in total silence the radio softly and harmoniously started to play "Operator (that’s not the way it feels)". The feeling of my grieving and fearful heart began to melt away as I was lost in the sound of the deep guitar.
After the song had ended I asked my brother who had sung it, and that was the beginning of my love for your husband’s music. As my father progressed with his cancer my mother told me that at one time he had played Jim Croces old records so often she forgot the sound of the house without his voice singing in it. This made me overjoyed to know that my dad treasured Jim’s music as well.
When my dad became so ill that he could not speak anymore, I would put on the Jim Croce CD that I had bought him for Christmas and we would sit and listen to it together, this is how my father and I bonded when words could no longer be used, I will never, in my ,lifetime forget these memories.
Before my father passed in February of 2008 he dedicated his message to my mother through “Time in a bottle”, nothing else had to be explained because this was exactly what he wanted to say to my mother. The music that your husband created has been so incredibly profound in my young life that I asked when my father reached heaven that he would have a conversation with Jim and thank him for me…
“Time in a Bottle” (71), “Photographs and Memories” (71), “It Doesn’t Have to be That Way” (72), “I Got a Name” (72/73), “You Don’t Mess Around With Jim” (72), “Bad Leroy Brown” (73), “I’ll Have to Say I Love You in a Song” (72), “Operator” (72) – just to name a few. I love Jim for the magical music and fond memories from my early years and his spirit will live on strongly with us eternally. That tragic plane crash in 1973 had taken a gem from us, but Jim is smiling down on all of those who love him and his miraculous music.
Mr. Croce's music has always meant a lot to me and my family. I grew up in Hood River Oregon, a small town in the Columbia River Gorge. There wasn't much entertainment there in the 70's. There was no cable and TV reception was minimal. There was an AM station that would, if we were lucky, play something as "long hair" as 'Operator' once in a while.
When I was about five, my parents bought a commercial fishing boat. We spent the summer of 1976 with an 8-Track of 'Life and Times' on the Oregon Coast. I think we wore it out. I have all these vivid memories of the deck rolling and falling out from underneath the dog and I while 'Bad,Bad Leroy Brown' played over the droning diesel engine. When I was a little kid, I can't tell you how many nights my mom would throw the 'Photographs and Memories' LP on the giant consul stereo with the green velvet over the speakers. She would play a tambourine or play along on the guitar to 'Operator' as best she could. She passed away in January after a long struggle with a rare form of cancer. As my sister and I spent time with her at the end, we started thinking about the different "rallying points" in our lives together. It was only natural that my sister bought my mom a CD of Jim's greatest hits. I was with her the last week of her life. As the end got closer, we listened to those songs we loved so much over and over again. That great sound is just such a perfect fit for the New York coffee house scene or Philly, now that I know more about the country. But, when I was growing up, that music felt like it was part of our home, so much so, that the backroads of Oregon just would not have been the backroads of Oregon to me without that music.
I have lived in Arizona for a long time now. The loss of my mom has made me a little nostalgic and I was just thinking about that wonderful music. I saw your "Please Write Me" link and felt like it was such a great opportunity say thanks to you and Jim for that body of work. It sounds corny, but thinking about growing up without it is like trying to recall a memory without one of the primary colors. It just isn't the same.
My name is XXXXX, I'm 15 years old and live in Rio Rancho New Mexico. Since as far back as I can remember I've listened to Jim Croce, but lately I've been listening to him ALL the time. Mr. Croce is a big influence to me. I've learned a lot from him through his songs. Since I was about 8 years old I've been playing the guitar, and just recently I've had a go at learning how to play Mr. Croce's songs such as New York's Not My Home, Time In A Bottle, Workin' At The Car Wash Blues, and others. I love listening to Jim Croce, and now it's like I get to play with him whenever I play along with his music.
You'd probably know if I'm playing it right but here's a link to a video of me playing his "New York's Not My Home":
You know, I always tell my parents that I wish I could have been a kid when they were a kid, because I really only listen to music from the 60's and 70's, and if I was their age I would have been able to possibly meet some of my favorite artists. But if I could go back in time and just have one day to talk and just jam with ONE artist, that artist would be Mr. Jim Croce. I hope once I am an adult, that I can be like Jim Croce. Not necessarily playing music for a living, but to be as kind, and as wise, and as peaceful as he seems like he was.
I'm gonna save up, so that my parents can take me out to your and Mr. Croce's restaurant one day. God bless you and your family. 🙂 And thank you very much for making it possible for all of us fans to send fanmail. I don't know why but for some reason even though I'm sending this to you it also feels like I'm sending it to Mr. Croce himself. Lol. 🙂 Thanks again,
My name is XXXXXX- I am a musician from Ireland.
For many years I have been listening to and playing the songs of Jim Croce.
A few days ago I met a friend who I had not seen for many years- The one song he wanted me to sing was 'Time in bottle' It brought us back in time almost 30 years to when we first met and when a music session never concluded without some of Jim Croces songs being sung. Before the advent of U-tube I had been trying for several years to find Jim Croce on video without any success. Somehow a few years ago my wife Monika managed to find a tape. On Christmas morning when I came upstairs Jims greatest hits were playing -then I looked towards the television and could not beleive my eyes -for the first time I was looking at Jim Croce on stage.
It was a magical moment.
Last year my niece XXXX worked in San Diego for the summer, I asked her to find 'Croces Restaurant ' I now have a Croces baseball cap and an application form for employment framed on my music room wall. Together with a cartoon of me and my son playing with Paul Simon -James Taylor- Harry Chapin and Jim Croce.
My other favourite singer is Harry Chapin -its ironic and incredibly sad that both of them should die before their time.
Thank you for keeping Jims memory alive and for the lifetimes joy his songs have given me
Thank you so much for the e-mail telling us all about Jim's original LP's finally coming to CD! I was so excited when I heard the news! I purchased the CD's the day they hit the stores and they are fabulous! I was happy to see the releases were faithful to the LP's and included both the original front and back cover album art! I know it's been 35 years since we lost Jim, but to this day I still miss him...and I always will. It's an even greater loss when I think of how many great songs he would have given us. Everything Jim had to offer was first class: His wonderful songs, his humorous stories, his warm personality and his endearing smile. I wish I could have met him. He was a captivating performer and there never was, or ever will be, anyone again quite like him. I miss Maury as well. His unique guitar playing added so much to Jim's recordings and live perfomances and together they were pure magic. I treasure the "Jim Croce Live" DVD and I'm hoping that there will be more in the future. God bless you, Ingrid.--- A B I G Jim Croce fan forever!---
I have found your site as I sit here listening to Jim's music and I wanted to learn more about his life. I just had to tell you how I came to know of and love Jim's music.
When my sister and I were about 6 and 8 years old we went on a family holiday to France - its about 1500 miles round trip by car and ferry and my parents would split the driving. Before we left, my dad had carefully made a pile of the cassettes he wanted to take and we set off in the wee hours of the morning to avoid some of the traffic. When we got a bit into the journey my dad decided to put on some music... but he had forgotten the pile of cassettes and the only tape he had was the last one he had been listening to in the car - Jim's Photographs and Memories. Well, that tape was nearly burned out by the time we got home and we knew every lyric by heart. Truly happy times! Jim's music became a staple for every family holiday we went on since that year.
Over the years I have always listened to Jim's music and the songs have begun to take on new meanings for me as events in my life resonate with his songs. Well, I'm the father now and my kids are already getting into Jim's music - they love 'Dont mess around with Jim' - and I'm still singing, loudly and badly, whenever I'm in the car on my own!
Thank you for having this site where fans of Jim can let you and everybody else know just how much he has touched our lives,
My name is XXXX XXXX. I am 16 years old and have been playing the guitar for just over 2 years. When I first started playing I was into nothing but Zepplin, AC/DC all the real popular bands of the 70s. I was on the way home from school one day and I turned on the radio and heard "Operator". I said to my dad, who is this? He said, "Oh man, that's Jim Croce!" I asked him who he was and all about him. The next day I went to Best Buy and bought all the music I could find on him. I absolutely fell in love with his guitar playing, and his lyrics. He was a very good guitarist, songwriter, and person. From the DVD's that I have and just his music, you could tell he was a real character. I'm not kidding when I say this, every single song that that man wrote was magnificent. His chord progressions, fingerpicking - man, he was amazing!
Most bands write real good songs, then ones that you don't like so much, but I find myself liking all of Jim's songs! My dad was really into him when he was a kid and he passed it on to me. I have learned all of his songs, note for note and perform them at restaurants and other gigs that I have. I do my own stuff but I always, always do a Croce tune because there was just something about him. I don't know if it was his soothing voice, his jokes, his smile, the clothes he wore. I don't know why I love him so much. Recently I was in the car with my girlfriend and I always have my Jim Croce CD in and I'm singing along, and at first when she heard him she was like, you're weird. This is something that my mom or dad listens to. I was like this is music my dear. Wouldn't you know it? A few months later she knew all the words to "Operator", "Leroy Brown", "Photographs and Memories", she knows them all! I asked her, Oh I thought you didn't like this? She smiled and said shut up. I then asked her why do you like him? She said, "I don't know, there's just something about him, his voice, that I love". I just put on a big grin and kept driving. I think about it all the time, if Jim lived, he would of wrote so many more songs. Sometimes when I am playing some of his tunes I get real sad and wish he was still alive because I've been to some good concerts, Van Halen, Steve Vai, G3 concerts, Aerosmith, Kiss, but I would give all that up to see Jim play "Operator" or "Lover's Cross", "Time in a Bottle," any song by Jim. He was just an amazing man and an amazing musician. I hope you get to read this because you are a lucky girl to have married such a great man like Jim Croce.
I miss Jim still - he was gone way too son.
As I was flipping through the channels tonight, I came across "The Legacy of Jim Croce" on PBS (from 2004), and it inspired me to write you. I pointed out to my daughers the face behind the songs I've played for them through the years. (In the car, we've always played "name the singer" on the radio since they were little- they can recognize all the greats by their voice: Nat King Cole, Dean Martin, etc., and of course Jim Croce's unique voice was among them.) It was wonderful to finally see a "live" performance and to "meet" you and A.J. My wife and I were married in 1978 to "Time in a Bottle" (as I'm sure thousands if not millions of others!) We have Jim's albums, cassettes, and more recently, CD's, and I still hear him on the radio at least once a month. I did an Internet search to see if I could find an address to write you, and I came across the website. I see that I'm not alone in my admiration of your husband, but I still wanted to let you know what his songs have meant to us over the years.
What an awesome opportunity to be able to share my thoughts on Jim!!! For what it's worth, my name is XXX. I'm a musician, former butcher, and current stock car racer. I was attending U of P (Wharton Business School), when I heard of the plane crash. I cried for quite a while, as so much of his music reflected life in these here United States!!! I was also brought up on the southside of Chicago and worked in the Chicago Stockyards at a large hog killing plant. Also, one of my first stock cars that I raced outside of Chicago was a '64 Mercury Monteray, which happens to rhyme with the '57 Chevrolet mentioned in "Rapid Roy." At the time of my grieving for the loss of Jim, I wrote a poem, which I haven't been able to find for quite some time, but I'll resume searching for it, now that I know of the existence of this site.
Thanks again for the time of recalling fond memories of Jim Croce!!!
I'm sure you get e-mails like this all the time, but I belive that the memory warrants a comment now and then. I get to San Diego a few times a year. On my next visit I will make sure I visit the restaurant.
With warm regards,
I guess I should begin by telling you that in the early 70's, I started listening to Jim on the radio and was hooked on his music from that point. I already had "Another Day, Another Town" when he hit the radio with "You Don't Mess Around with Jim." Of course, I bought the album and then "Life and Times" and "I Got a Name." I played them so much as a teenager they were barely audible. (Crazy enough I still have them!) I remember trying to catch him on the Tonight Show or any show he would appear and being totally mesmerized by his words and music.
I also remember the announcement on the radio and how hard I cried. I can honestly say, I think he may have been the only famous person that I ever shed a tear for. A few years later, I bought The Faces I've Been" the double record set. I loved the collection of raps on the flip side of record 2. All of his raps on tv were always hilarious.
Now, back in 2008-I have three grown children, ages 23-22-19, who have all grown up listening to my music and, of course, they have also grown to love and appreciate Jim's songs. My middle child XXXX, a college student, has downloaded every song she can find. The music touches her like it does me. I am grateful that Jim Croce's music is so far reaching. I teach high school English, and I play many of my favorites in the morning for my students. Many of them are interested in hearing more about Jim and his music, so I share your website info with them. Thank you for keeping the music alive.
I do believe that this is the first fan mail I have ever written in my life. (Just for the record). I just felt like I needed to say these things ages ago. I have read through a lot of your fan mail and am sure you realize the impact your husband had on so many individuals then and now including myself.
Finally, I would really like to know if and when "The Faces I've Been" will be coming out on CD. I did have it on cassette, but my daughter played it until it broke. I would love to have it as I think we have almost everything else in digital form. I am also looking forward to getting the cookbook for Christmas. I already sent the link to my kid's emails! Again, thank you for your commitment to keeping Jim's music and legacy alive in the hearts of his fans- old and new.
I remember the morning I came into work and read in the paper about the fatal crash and how I remained numb for the rest of the day. I was too young when Buddy Holly died in 1959, to have the feeling of impact that so many did. But when Jim and Maury were suddenly gone, I knew fully the impact of the grief.
I remember looking at the album photo of young AJ holding Jim's hat and my heart would just ache. How wondewrful it was for me, to see him as a grown young man perform on piano, and talk lovingly of his dad.
Thank You so much for sharing your time with all of us to keep Jim alive.
and........Thank You too Jim and Maury for the beautiful music you left for us to keep in our hearts and minds forever.
With love and fond memory,
Wow, I cannot believe this, I am scheduled to come to San Diego on a business trip and found out your restaurant was there!! Awesome.
Here's my story, just a regular guy and girl meet in the spring of 1980. He's from the other side of the planet, she, a small town girl from upstate NY just traveling the country basically, settled a bit in San Antonio, TX. Girl meets boy at roommates friend's party and guess what, love at first sight. Both enjoy Jim Croce music, Boston, Kansas, Doobie Brothers, James Taylor, Little River Band, CCR...etc. Wow, girl can't believe it. How can he know all these songs, feel the soul and spirit she feels in the song, love OMNI magazine, and he cooks too!!! Well, we were married on October 27, 1980 and spent many nights these years singing "Time in a Bottle", (sometimes in bubble baths...LOL), "Ive Got a Name," "You Don't Mess Around with Jim," "Lover's Cross," "These Dreams," : New York's Not My Home," etc. Anyway, I digress. Throughout our life, we always play or sing the music, especially while I clean house, wash dishes. When family gets together, we always sing while my brother-in-law plays guitar. I always have to sing Jim Croce's "Lover's Cross" for sure.
Anyway, we are celebrating our 25th anniversary this year and Jim Croce's music really evokes our soul and spirit that we have together. We love the story you and he shared with us and the world.
There are only a very few days that one can recall as vividly 35 years after the fact as if they were yesterday. I remember JFK's assassination, Armstrong's walk on the moon, MLK,Jr.'s murder, and the day that Jim and Maury were lost. I remember where I was, and remember pulling over to the side of the runway on which I was working (driving an Exxon fuel truck servicing jet aircraft) and sobbing.
There have only been two solo performers (although I cannot think of Jim w/out thinking of Maury as well) who have provided my wife and I with as much musical joy in our lives as Jim and John Denver. Both were tragically lost before I had an opportunity to hear them live, and that is a regret I will always have in my life.
All four of our children, as well as our two young grand-daughters, know most of Jim's hits by heart, having grown up listening to them repeatedly for the past 33 years (our oldest just turned 33).
I just wanted to thank you for your wonderfull website and to thank you for your support and love that gave us the music of Mr. Croce.
God Bless you, Mr. Rock and your son.
My name is XXXX, and i live in Fremont, Ca. U.S.A. I would just like you to know how much i am touched by Jim's song "Time in A Bottle". I am in my early 20's, and i am a drummer (musician). I am in college majoring in music, and i am learning how to compose...from early baroke, (Mozart, Chopin, to present music)...i am learning about how to change keys (modulation), and about chord progression, and about polyphony style voice writing. Well, i have loved this song since i can remember. This song reminds me of my dad. I cry uncontrollably every time i hear this song, (in a good way) because i love my dad so much....the song makes me feel like a little boy again...being taken care of by my father....just like the way Jim did in the music video. I am so grateful to have this song in my memory...especially those times i argue with my dad and we dont see eye to eye...i listen to this and i remember that our relationship is special...i am so happy to have told you this. I wish that i could have met Jim personally to have told him....i think he can see me in heaven 🙂 I especially love that last chord that Jim does at the Cadence of "Time in a Bottle"...which is a minor chord. Just this yesterday...my father and i were in our garage and i was playing Jim's song, and my dad was suprized....he played along with his guitar...and i played with my brand new dw drum kit which i brought home a few weeks ago. this was a special time for us...just my dad and me...in the garage playing together....very emotional.
I wrote to you several years ago and you answered. I was so pleased. I still have that email even though my computers have crashed a number of times since. I made it a personal quest to retrieve that wonderful connection between a hero and me that you made complete.
I am writing again to let you know that my son (who is 19) loves Jim's music. He has a very eclectic taste and I like a lot of what he likes these days. He is going to college in Omaha, NE which is a Mecca for independent music. He believes he is in heaven. As I zero in on 50 years old, I realize what Jim has missed and what he has, would have wrote about if he had lived any longer. I know that he had a full life that had love in it, but tragedy has a way of severing the most promising from us.
Even though he is gone, his legacy lives on in me, my son and I imagine his children too. That's impact. That's worthwhile.
Where to begin? I guess you could say I'm a true lifelong fan of Jim's music. My mother was born and raised in Glendale, CA. And had me when she was very young. I'm almost 35 now and I can remember growing up with Jim's music always being there.
Some remember different time periods in their lives by the events that surrounded those times. I remember those times by the music that was important to me in my life, and that would be Jim's music. He was a remarkable, poetic, and truly gifted person who touched not only my life, but countless others. Although I never personally knew him I felt like he was always singing just for me.
As a young boy in Southern California, I can remember singing his songs while riding my bike. Skinned knees from playing too hard, hair blowing, and sun beginning to set, I would ride home from my friend's house. Now, almost 24 years later, I look out the window of my car and see the same sun, feel the same breeze, and find that I'm still singing along with Jim. His music is always close to me but isntead of LP's (my mother has those) I have his music on CD. I know his music will remain with me for as long as I'm around.
I would love to visit your restaurant one day!
I was just on your website and I read a letter that somebody wrote and it said that it seems like Jim wrote the songs for everybody. That is true. No matter what kind of mood I am in, I can find a song that goes with it. I am 20 years old and all my friends think I am crazy for listening to music that is so old. But what do they know? I love it! Out of the 450 songs on my iPod, I really only listen to Jim's "Greatest Hits" album! I just moved to San Francisco, California from a small town in Washington State and right now, "New York's Not My Home" is the "theme song" to my life. I just wanted to say thank you!
I was delighted to find out that Jim's dreams and music are kept alive through you and all that you have done. I, just at this moment finished reading all of the website about your husband, Jim Croce, and I was moved to write this story to you.
I was born in Lebanon, Tennessee in 1958, September. My dad was a pipeline welder and my mom was a hairdresser at a salon. They divorced in the early 60s. I think I was around 5 or 6 years old. My grandmother took care of me alot. You know sometimes you have to grow up fast to survive, which was the case with me. When I turned 11, I started working at night waxing and striping department store floors, walking home in soggy old shoes. Well, by the time I reached the age of 13, I felt I was old enough to get a place of my own. I had a job at an Italian restaurant called Pasqually's at $1.10 an hour as a cook.
Well, I never forgot the look on the ladies face that owned the boarding house when I told her that I wanted to rent the room she advertised. She said how old are you son? I said old enough to work and pay my own way. She was nice enough to rent me the place for $100 a month. This place looked a lot different at night. I have to say the first night was a bit scary.
All I had was an old cassette player and I went to the drugstore and bought my first tape. It was Jim Croce, with "Time in a Bottle", "Operator", and some other songs. So every night I would play this tape, it would take me to some place that I wanted to be not where I had to be. I am 46 now and I often say to my wife, "if I could put time in a bottle, the first thing that I'd like to do, is to save every day till eternity passes away, and then I'd spend them with you." Well, she always wondered where I got that from and tonight we were cleaning some things out of her mom's closet and in a box with some very old jazz records was a 45 of "Bad, Bad Leroy Brown", flipside, "One Less Set of Footsteps". So I looked at my wife and said "if I could put time in a", and she said why are you singing that tune again, to which I held up the record and said honey this is the man, this is the one who wrote that song. Well, Mrs. Croce, I hope that this has shed a little good light in your life because Jim Croce will always bring good memories and light into mine.
I would like to share with you some thoughts on how the Croce's have impacted my life. I hope you don't mind if I share a short autobiographical story with you.
Like many people, I try to imagine who Jim Croce was by listening through his music; to guess at the quality of his character and the quickness of his wit and the depth of his understanding. Much more than I can reach any conclusions to my speculative questions, Jim's music reaches me. I am amazed at how Jim's music describes the emotions I can't name. His music is incredibly versatile; sometimes it is cathartic, sometimes depressing, sometimes fun, and always great to sing.
Although Jim died tragically nine years before I was born, my parents introduced me to his music when I was about eight years old. Growing up in a Foreign Service family, I spent a lot of time away from the US, and we occasionally picked up foreign customs. For St. Nicholas Day in early December when I was bout eight, I put my shoe outside my door, and the next morning I found in it a cassette: Jim Croce's Greatest Hits: Photographs and Memories. At the time, I had a large Sony walkman; it was so large and I was still so small, that when I clipped it on my belt, my pants sagged to one side. I listened to the tape over and over for hours and hours, everywhere I went. I still have it. My favorite album is the Definitive Collection 2-disc set. When I bought that album in 1997, I discovered a lot of new Croce songs I'd seen in a songbook we have, but which I had never heard. With it I had a new and expanded appreciation for Jim's music. My sister and I both really like to listen to "Hard Way Every Time."
When I was 11, I got my first guitar. I never had formal lessons; my dad got me started, and I used the songbooks we had around the house, which included Jim Croce's Life and Times. I learned to play by listening to my tape and looking at the chords printed in the book. That particular book includes transcripts from some conversations between Jim and Tommy West. The transcripts provide a peek into Jim's humorous approach to life's experiences, especially his ability to turn unpleasant experiences (his time in the Army; a bad blind date) into great stories that provide a good time for other people when he can tell them with sarcasm or exaggeration or embellishment.
A few years ago, my parents got me the "Have You Seen Jim Croce Live?" DVD, through which I got to know Jim a little more by hearing him crack jokes and tell stories. At the University of Notre Dame, I studied in a program that sounds similar to what Jim studied, and Jim's comment "I came out of university totally prepared for life in the 12th Century," which he delivered with a perfect deadpan cracks me up every time I see it again. I really want to share it with the alumni from my program. By the time I got to university, I played Jim Croce's songs on my guitar when I needed some breaks, and my roommates and friends now know quite a few Croce songs. I played "Operator" at an open-mic program called acoustic cafe. When I introduced the song, someone from the audience yelled, "Croce rocks!" I find Jim's music inspiring and touching, and I enjoy sharing it with friends when I play it, or through CDs or the DVD.
While in graduate school in California, one of my roommates inquired about a song I played on my guitar and wanted to look up the artist on the internet. It was only when he googled 'Croce,' that I discovered the existence of Croce's Restaurant. When I graduated, I celebrated at the restaurant with my parents and a friend who was working in San Diego. My parents bought me your cookbook, Thyme in a Bottle.
I hadn’t cooked with Chilis much before, but they were usually the freshest items in the grocery store in California. Since graduating from grad school, I returned to Notre Dame to do some research at the Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies. Shortly after I moved back, I made your Christmas Chili Rellenos for some of the alumni from my class who were working at Notre Dame, which was a great meal. I live by myself, and I have few occasions to entertain, but I really enjoy your recipes and I fully share you view that food is for sharing during meals with family and friends. This past weekend, I made a four-course meal that included your Crimson Red Pear Salad and Shepherd’s Pie. They were a big hit with my guests. It was a great time; I really enjoyed myself. My all-time favorite meal has been the lamb chops with peanut sauce. That’s a great recipe! Next time I’m in San Diego I’ll be sure to stop and see you again.
Thank you for sharing so much of yourself and your family with a wide audience that spans generations. I count myself lucky to have benefitted so much from your generosity.
Peace and God bless,
My daughter XXXX listens to CD's every night at bedtime and lately her favorite is your husband's Photographs & Memories. The other night she asked if we could go see him in concert and I had to explain about his death. She was very sad and cried that she didn't want to die ever. My husband found your web site today and we showed XXXX the pictures and read some of the bio to her.
XXXX wanted me to share how much she loves Jim's songs and voice. She's especially fond of the morning walks and bedroom talks line and she wondered who he was talking about. She wonders why he was singing so sadly. Was something wrong or did someone die when he was little she asks?
Thank you for your time and for the joy your husband's music has given my daughter.
I just want to thank you for allowing Homespun Tapes and Pete Huttlinger to create a lesson DVD on Jim Croce's music. I have purchased this lesson and I am very pleased with how it turned out. I am having a wonderful time learning the songs presented on the DVD and I will no doubt be playing them for friends and family in the very near future. I've always wondered how someone could create such timeless music? I may never have that answered, but at least I can play some of that music now. I hope that Pete Huttlinger will be able to produce more of Jim's music in the future. He is a great instructor and Homespun Tapes is a great resource.
I have always been interested in how much collaboration there was between Jim and his side man - Maury Muehleisen. I realize that many questions can't be answered, but information on their relationship would be valuable to all of us that love this music.
Thank you for keeping Jim's memory and music alive. Jim was incredibly talented and I love his music. Thanks to my late Dad, also named Jim, I was able to hear the great songwriting genius that was Jim Croce. I love all of Jim's songs, and 2 of my all time favorites are 'Roller Derby Queen' and 'You Don't Mess Around With Jim'.
I really hope he gets into the rock hall of fame. He deserves it.
Jim Croce was a musical genius. I have heard and read he was a great person also. I was only 5 when Jim passed. All I have to say, Jim Croce was one of the finest musicians ever. And I will always love to hear his songs.
Hello…I will be visiting San Diego this weekend with my family…I am going to try and make it to your restaurant…Long story short, Jims music affected me drastically during a hard time in my life…As most Mid- twenties, I was still searching for myself and ways to define my next step of understanding between myself and my parents…During this time, I watched “Behind the Music” on VH-1… It led me to investigate more intensely Jim’s music…What I found was a common thread to my parents due to our appreciation of his music which linked our time together….I remembered the songs from my childhood and it eventually brought on a dawn of understanding…I thought I would tell you that his legacy does live on with me and I hope to pass it on to my son someday…Take Care…
I am sending this mail to let you know that Jim Croce's music is still an inspiration to me, someone from the Netherlands who was born 10 years after Jim Croce's death. I only recently bought an album of Jim after thinking of some past holidays with my parents long time ago. I remembered that they used to play Jim Croce's music very often when we were on the road, driving through France, Italy, and other countries during our holidays. As a child, I must have enjoyed his warm and tender voice, singing his beautiful songs. Now that I am listening to his songs again, I'm just so happy that I've rediscovered him. I'm a very big Dylan fan, but right now he comes in second place, because it is Jim Croce's music that comes from my speakers nowadays. These days I am writing my doctorate (or master) thesis which causes quite some stress now and then, but when I come every day his music can makes all the worries disappear. He is just a big inspiration and I am happy to see that his memory is still alive, and that many people hang on to his music. Thank you for this website. I wish you and the family all the best for the future.
I'm not usually given to writing fan mail, or any kind of mail, but I've just got to make an exception...I've been a lifelong fan of Jim's music all my whole entire life, and I didn't even know it. It wasn't until the internet came along that I've been able to find out where some of my favourite songs came from. And then I was pleasantly surprised, stunned even, to realise that several of my favourite songs of all time were by one artist - Jim. Since the late 70s I used to listen to the radio all the time as a kid, and there were always those few eloquently beautiful songs that you knew from the first time you could never forget. Songs that didn't need the test of time for you to know that they'd live forever in your heart.The thing that prompted me to send you this message is a comment that someone posted about how Time in a Bottle reminds him of his baby son who died of cancer, and being a father of two small boys myself made me react in a way I'd never have appreciated before becoming a parent.
Then I started reading Jim's biography and yours and his story, and I can hardly grasp how much more depth there is behind everything that occurred in your life and his.Have to Say I Love You with a Song and I've Got a Name, among others, are some of those songs that bring me back in time, and remind me now how much I love my sons. I'm so grateful that I know now who performed those songs and I can finally, finally! buy a CD with the whole songs on them, instead of waiting for the songs to come on halfway through on the radio, and then be left wondering who sang them.Someday I'm going to make it to your restaurant in San Diego and treat my wife and kids, and myself, to a piece of personal history.Thanks for keeping alive some of the most beautiful music ever.
I heard the interview you did with Chris Ryan yesterday, I just had to contact you. At the end he was telling you of a friend who sat at Jim's feet. I am that friend Renee. I met Jim and Maury on April 1, 1972 at WPOP, it was an April fools day joke. Being curious I showed up and to my suprise Tony Orlando, Harry, Chapin, the Buoys and the beloved Jim Croce were there. A friend who worked at the station took me into the small studio and sat me right in front of Jim's chair and told me not to move. A few minutes later Jim and Maury came in and sat down right in front of me. Jim told his wonderful stories, told us why he put his cigaretts in his t-shirt sleeve, and sang with perfection. I was so close to him I could touch his knees. Maury and Jim signed my autograph book, I cherish those with all my heart someday they will be passed on to Chris. I have worked in radio and meet many famous people. Ingrid none ever touched me and meant so much to me as Jim. What a gracious fun man he was. I am thank full to have been able to be so close to him and to talk to him. He inspired me, touched my soul and heart. I will always remember and love him for what he did for me, just letting a young sixteen girl sit at his feet and enjoy her favorite entertainer. I still tear up. Ingrid if you are ever in Connecticut please feel free to come to my home and visit, you are always welcome. It would be an honor and pleasure to meet you. I will be back to order your cookbook and the new DVD of Jim's. I have all his albums. Take care you are a lovely lady. You and Jim must have made a wonderful couple. Tell AJ, I say hello. A friend in CT.