I guess I should have done this earlier in the week, but I don't think Mr. Croce will mind.
James Joseph Croce was born in South Philadelphia, January 10th, 1943, and I have to think that anyone over the age of 20 has to have heard one of his songs at one point.
The amazing thing is that all of his songs were released over an 19 month period between April of 1972 and December of 1973, with the last album coming out after his very untimely death in a plane crash, September 20th, 1973.
He only had two #1 hits(Leroy Brown being one of them), and one of those was posthumous, along with a handful of other songs that charted...so it is tough to figure out what his ceiling might have been. Even mid-way through 1973, he was burning out being away from his family on tour(a tour of mostly college campuses and folks festivals...no arena's or comfy motorhome's here). A letter he wrote before his death(and arrived with his wife after the crash), told her that he was thinking of getting out of the music business to write short stories. From a 100% cynical standpoint, evidence certainly points to his untimely death getting his name and music out there. If he had lived, we he have at some point because America's Gordon Lightfoot(not that that would be bad)?
His other number song was 'Time in a Bottle'...and many folks have pointed out is sadly prophetic nature. As I creep up to 40, and look at my life, it's a song which means much more than it did to me 25 years ago when I used to swipe my dad's Jim Croce cassette(Photographs and Memories: His Greatest Hits).