1973: Jim Croce Dominates The Year With ‘Time In A Bottle’

1973: Jim Croce Dominates The Year With ‘Time In A Bottle’ | Society Of Rock Videos

via Guy Van Nimmen/YouTube

A Lovely Ballad

“Time in a Bottle” originally appeared on Jim Croce’s 1972 debut album You Don’t Mess Around with Jim. He wrote the lyrics in 1970 after his wife Ingrid told him she was pregnant – they’ve been married for five years at the time. In 1973, it was featured on the made-for-television movie titled She Lives! – a story about a young couple Andy and Pam. Pam was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Disease and it was during the end credits when “Time in a Bottle” was played.

The film aired on September 12, 1973 and TV stations were bombarded with calls asking about the song. The following day, ABC Records received 50,000 orders for You Don’t Mess Around With Jim. By the end of the month, they sold over 200,000 copies.

And although the label didn’t plan on releasing it as a single, they finally did after Croce’s tragic death on September 20, 1973. He and five other people were killed in a plane crash including his guitarist Maury Muehleisen.

“Time in a Bottle” received heavy airplay and ended up becoming Croce’s second and final #1 hit – it was also the last #1 song of 1973. It topped the US Billboard Hot 100 for two weeks (the first one was for the week ending December 1, 1973) while You Don’t Mess Around With Jim dominated the chart for five weeks.

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