Jim Croce was born in South Philadelphia, January 10, 1943, and a life-long fascination with music began shortly thereafter. At the age of six, he was singing and playing "Lady of Spain" on the accordion at church socials and family gatherings.
From his father's record collection, Jim picked up on music ranging from that of Fats Waller and Bessie Smith to Dixieland. At age 15, he convinced his father that he needed a guitar to help him make his own music and in a pawnshop along Philadelphia's skid row, his younger brother's neglected clarinet was traded for a used Harmony "F-slot" acoustic guitar.
During the folk movement of the early '60s, Jim became captivated with sea chanteys, English and Irish ballads and the music of Woody Guthrie and Jimmie Rodgers. By the time he graduated from Villanova University in 1965, with a degree in psychology, his photographic memory had helped him have as many as 2500 songs at his fingertips.
Jim and Ingrid Jacobson, a girl he had first met during his collegiate years, were married in 1966 and for a time earned their living as a performing duo. They traveled extensively throughout the East and South playing colleges, bars and coffee houses. In 1969 they recorded an album, "Jim and Ingrid Croce," for Capitol Records, but when the record failed to become a big seller, they gave up touring and moved to rural Lyndell, Pennsylvania.
Jim drove trucks, swung a hammer and played music in local bars during the evening hours. Ingrid baked bread, canned vegetables and made pottery, and in 1970 became pregnant with their first child, Adrian…