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Croce's Lost Recordings Due

Releases mark thirtieth anniversary of songwriter's death

August 20, 2003 12:00 AM ET

To commemorate the thirtieth anniversary of Jim Croce's death, the late singer-songwriter's widow and son are working with Shout! Factory Records to release an album of Croce's unreleased home recordings, as well as a DVD featuring live performances and home movies, on October 14th.

Jim Croce Home Recordings: Americana features the late singer-songwriter performing blues, folk and country covers by the likes of Merle Haggard and Jimmie Rodgers on recordings done in 1967 at the Croce's Pennsylvania house. "It's truly a home tape," says Ingrid Croce. "It was done at our kitchen table. Jim would set up and play, sometimes for ten or twelve hours straight. He put down the songs he was thinking about playing in concert or at the bar that night. The songs on here are ones A.J. thought were most representative of his roots."

The DVD, Have You Heard: Jim Croce Live, features Croce's television performances on the BBC's Old Grey Whistle Test and Don Kirshner's Rock Concert, as well as family photos and commentary from contemporaries such as Kenny Loggins and Randy Newman.

Croce died in a plane crash in September of 1973, just months after the release of his breakthrough album, Life and Times, which featured hits "Bad, Bad Leroy Brown," "You Don't Mess Around With Jim" and "Operator (That's Not The Way It Feels)."

Ingrid runs a restaurant in San Diego called Croce's. "Croce's has been open twenty years and people come in every single day and tell me a new story about Jim," she says. "They'll tell me they saw him in concert, or heard his songs while they were abroad, or when they're parents were getting divorced. These people always ask me if there's going to be any new material, so this is something fans have been waiting for, for years and years."

Have You Heard: Jim Croce Live DVD track listing:

Prologue: Photographs and Memories
You Don't Mess Around With Jim
Operator (That's Not the Way It Feels)
Roller Derby Queen
One Less Set of Footsteps
Next Time, This Time
Speedball Tucker
Lovers Cross
Workin' at the Car Wash Blues
Interlude: I'll Have to Say I Love You in a Song
Bad, Bad Leroy Brown
New York's Not My Home
The Hard Way Every Time
Rapid Roy
These Dreams
Epilogue: Time in a Bottle

Jim Croce Home Recordings: Americana CD track listing:

Living With the Blues
Things 'Bout Goin' My Way
Nobody Loves a Fat Girl
You Oughta See Pickles Now
Cigarette, Whiskey and Wild Wild Women
In the Jailhouse Now
If the Back Door Could Talk
Who Will Buy the Wine
Mom and Dad's Waltz
The Wall
Sadie Green (The Vamp of New Orleans)
I Got Mine
Wish I Could Shimmy Like My Sister Kate
Six Days on the Road
Mama Tried

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Song Stories

“Try a Little Tenderness”

Otis Redding | 1966

This pop standard had been previously recorded by dozens of artists, including by Bing Crosby 33 years before Otis Redding, who usually wrote his own songs, cut it. It was actually Sam Cooke’s 1964 take, which Redding’s manager played for Otis, that inspired the initially reluctant singer to take on the song. Isaac Hayes, then working as Stax Records’ in-house producer, handled the arrangement, and Booker T. and the MG’s were the backing band. Redding’s soulful version begins quite slowly and tenderly itself before mounting into a rousing, almost religious “You’ve gotta hold her, squeeze her …” climax. “I did that damn song you told me to do,” Redding told his manager. “It’s a brand new song now.”

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