Thursday, August 7, 2008

Cars: Jim Croce Edition

Jim Croce: Speedball Tucker


Jim Croce: Rapid Roy (The Stock Car Boy)


Jim Croce: Workin' at the Car Wash Blues


You can have your James Taylors and your Jackson Brownes and your Dan Fogelbergs and your Cat Stevens. Just give me some Jim Croce and I'm a happy man.

Croce is one of the tragic stories in music history. He appealed to fans by writing songs about the common man and some of the characters that populate their worlds. Whether he's singing about Leroy Brown, Jim (who no one should mess around with), The Roller Derby Queen, Speedball Tucker, Rapid Roy, or just some schlub working at the car wash with aspirations of greater things ahead... Jim Croce's music strikes a chord. By the end of his songs, you feel as though you know character described within and are pulling for them to win.

Awful man that he is, you feel for Leroy Brown when cut down in a bar fight. You want Speedball Tucker, the trucker who is hopped up on any number of pills, to escape the law and keep speeding down the freeway. You cheer when Rapid Roy takes the checkered flag, and you root for the car wash employee to escape his "steadily depressin', low down, mind messin'" blues.

Jim Croce died in a plane crash in Natchitoches, LA in 1973. His music lives on.

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