Jim Croce – Workin’ at the Carwash Blues & Operator (That’s Not the Way It Feels)

Old-Timer Tuesday
Most of the music posted here is new or newish. However, as a nod to the elders, Tuesdays will now officially be known as “Old-Timer Tuesday”, which will be reserved strictly for music that was written and/or recorded before the year 2000.


After last week’s post about Jimmy Buffett, it only seems fitting to write something about Jim Croce, who was Mr. Buffett’s friend and mentor in Nashville throughout the late 60’s and early 70’s.

Jim Croce was a classic singer-songwriter who released five studio albums between 1966 and 1973. His life was tragically cut short by a plane crash in September of 1973. The part of Mr. Croce’s Wikipedia page below is just great. It contains, among other things: 1) a classic quote from Mr. Croce, 2) the word “hootenanny”, and 3) the best conditional $500 wedding gift in the history of conditional $500 wedding gifts.

“Croce did not take music seriously until he studied at Villanova, where he formed bands and performed at fraternity parties, coffee houses, and universities around Philadelphia, playing ‘anything that the people wanted to hear: blues, rock, a cappella, railroad music… anything.’ Croce’s band was chosen for a foreign exchange tour of Africa, Middle East, and Yugoslavia. He later said, ‘we just ate what the people ate, lived in the woods, and played our songs. Of course they didn’t speak English over there but if you mean what you’re singing, people understand.’ Croce met his future wife Ingrid Jacobson at a hootenanny at Philadelphia Convention Hall, where he was judging a contest.

Croce released his first album, Facets, in 1966, with 500 copies pressed. The album had been financed with a $500 wedding gift from Croce’s parents, who set a condition that the money must be spent to make an album. They hoped that he would give up music after the album failed, and use his college education to pursue a ‘respectable’ profession. However, the album proved a success, with every copy sold.”

Two of Mr. Croce’s songs are below. Happy listening.

RIYL: Cat Stevens, Jackson Browne, story-songs, the workin’ man, good music

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