By Ingrid Croce with Jimmy Rock
Da Capo Press, $25.00, 320 pages
Jim Croce’s songs were unusual, in the sense that many of them were not about himself, but about various people that he met while serving in the National Guard, or doing various manual labor jobs. Ingrid was his wife, and together they recorded one ill-fated album for Capitol Records. Several years later, Jim pursued a solo career.
What makes this book stand out from the endless number of pop music biographies and autobiographies is that it looks at its protagonist from the viewpoint of his wife. The couple was barely surviving on a $200 a week salary, while Jim was earning $7500-$10,000 a night on the college concert circuit. Ingrid describes how Jim was signed to a production, management, and music publishing deal, and was incapable of confronting his “discoverer,” who he believed to be one of his closest friends. She describes how Jim never sought an attorney to review these contracts, signing them with some “guidance” from the three partners who owned these rights.
Ingrid details how perpetual touring was destroying Jim’s physical and mental health, and he became addicted to various pills and involved with the touring musician’s readily available groupies. As the couple is ready to reconcile and raise their son, Jim dies in a plane crash. This passionate and revealing book is recommended to anyone who wishes to pursue a life in the music industry, or anyone involved with a person doing so.
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