Tom Orie / YouTube
On September 20, 1973 singer-songwriter Jim Croce took the stage at Northwestern State University’s Prather Coliseum for what would be his final concert; just an hour after he walked off the stage, he and five other members of his band and entourage would be killed in a tragic plane crash. Before that, though, Jim spent an evening with his fans performing some of the greatest hits of his very short career and before he left us forever, stunned the crowd into silence with his deeply personal new ballad, “I Got A Name”.
In true Jim fashion, he kept us laughing as he told the story behind this brand new song – due out just hours later – on his brand new album I Got A Name. Vibrant, alive, and fiercely in love with life and the possibilities that lay ahead, it was impossible to fathom that at only 30 years old, we’d never see him again. In that moment though, Jim Croce was a living, breathing force to be reckoned with and he was absolutely brilliant while doing it.
Fun Fact: “I Got A Name” was deeply personal to Jim. He was fiercely proud of his upbringing, and wrote this about his father’s dream for him and dying before seeing his son’s first real success.
Of the entire performance at Prather Coliseum, the thing that makes us miss Jim the most wasn’t the performance of “I Got A Name” itself; it’s the incredibly brilliant musician that left us his legacy in the form of songs that still make us laugh, cry, sing, and dance decades after his passing.