A Chat with Jim Croce’s Son, A.J.
American singer-songwriter, Jim Croce died nearly 40 years ago in a plane crash in Louisiana. The billboard chart-topping guitar player would record five albums before his death and leave behind one child, A.J. Croce.
That little boy never really knew his father because of his age, but hours and hours of recordings that his Dad left behind allowed A.J., the piano playing singer/songwriter, to really know his dad.
“I got to know him through these conversations that he had with friends or telling jokes with Cheech and Chong or hearing him talk on the tape recorder and listening to these old tapes and hearing him play these songs,” said A.J. said, “and it’s interesting that I sort of discovered this part of him when I was, oh I don’t know probably 12 years ago, maybe 10 years ago, I started looking because we wanted to, my family and I wanted to release some of this and make it available because it was really some good recordings of him playing songs, that weren’t necessarily his, but it gave you a sense of who he was by listening to his influences and it was pretty eclectic.”
A.J. continued on to say, “and in the process I got to know him really well and it was eerie because we had so many of the same influences. While I sort of came from playing blues and jazz and stuff like that, he had some of those influences too and you can hear it in songs like ‘You Don’t Mess Around With Jim’ or ‘Leroy Brown.'”
“And you picked out some of the same obscure songs?”
“Yes, without ever knowing and it was not necessarily a 50’s or 60’s, something contemporary, it was a 1920’s Fats Waller song called ‘You’re Not The Only Oyster In The Stew’ that we both played and have recordings of us really at the same age, 17, 18, 19 years old playing these songs, him on guitar and me on piano and Pink Anderson songs, Bessie Smith songs, Mississippi John Hurt songs, not just a song by them, but the same song and so it introduced me to him in a different way and I felt closer than I ever had before,” A.J. said.
Here’s the whole interview, enjoy!