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Jim Croce Live: The Final Tour

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Album: Jim Croce Live: The Final Tour
# Song Title   Time
1)    Operator (That's Not the Way It Feels)
2)    Roller Derby Queen Monologue
3)    Roller Derby Queen
4)    Next Time, This Time
5)    Trucker Monologue
6)    Speedball Tucker
7)    New York's Not My Home
8)    Hard Time Losin' Man
9)    Ball of Kirriemuir Monologue
10)    Ball of Kirriemuir
11)    You Don't Mess Around with Jim
12)    It Doesn't Have to Be That Way
13)    Careful Man Monologue
14)    Careful Man
15)    Shopping for Clothes
16)    These Dreams
Product Details
Performer Notes
  • Personnel: Jim Croce (vocals, guitar); Maury Muehleisen (acoustic guitar, background vocals).
  • Liner Note Author: Alan Robinson .
  • Recording information: Northwestern State University's Prather Coliseum, Natch (09/20/1973).
  • Jim Croce had just finished recording his third album, I Got a Name, and his single "Bad, Bad Leroy Brown" had just hit the top of the pop charts, and he was in the middle of a grueling tour when he pulled into Natchitoches, Louisiana for a show at Northwestern State University's Prather Coliseum on September 20, 1973. He was 30 years old, and after years playing in small clubs and bars, working construction, and driving trucks to pay the bills for his wife and son, his career was finally taking off. A good guitarist with a versatile and comfortable everyman voice, Croce had also developed into a top-notch songwriter, penning songs that were rich in narrative, full of characters, and arranged with memorable melodic hooks, and he knew his way around a ballad, too. Working on-stage with guitarist and pianist Maury Muehleisen, Croce's live shows were comfortable and intimate affairs, with Croce setting up songs with entertaining back-porch monologues, and the concert in Louisiana was a typical one. It was also his last show. Three hours after the concert, Croce, Muehleisen, and crew boarded a light plane bound for the next show of the tour in Austin, Texas. The plane crashed at takeoff, killing all eight aboard, a tremendous tragedy and an immense loss. Amazingly, an audience member at that last show had recorded the whole concert, and done quite well at it -- so well, in fact, that it quite likely came from the soundboard. It shows Croce in fine form, singing hits like "Operator (That's Not the Way It Feels)" and "You Don't Mess Around with Jim" along with other tracks from his first two albums and a pair of covers, an arrangement of Robert Burns' bawdy poem "Ball of Kirriemuir" and a fun version of the Coasters' "Shopping for Clothes," with four casual monologues between songs. It adds up to a nice portrait of a singular songwriter, singer, and performer, and because it was his actual last performance, it takes on even greater archival importance. This same set was initially issued seven years after Croce's death in 1980, and has been reissued several times since on various labels, including Saja, Castle Music, Essential Records, and Edison. ~ Steve Leggett
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