Producer For Jim Croce, Tommy West, Dead at 78
Ron Gletherow / Youtube
Music producer, singer and songwriter Tommy West, best known for his work with Jim Croce, has passed away at the age of 78 in hospice care in Morristown, New Jersey. According to his family, West died from Parkinson’s disease-associated complications.
West started his career in music as a co-founding member of doo-wop group The Criterions along with future Manhattan Transfer founder Tim Hauser. He met Croce three years later in 1961 at Villanova University and he recruited the latter for the folk act the Villanova Spires. West and Terry Cashman co-produced three LPs for Croce in the ’70s – 1972’s “You Don’t Mess Around With Jim”, 1973’s “Life and Times” and “I Got a Name”.
Croce’s career was cut short following a tragic plane crash at 30 years old, just when he was about to retire from the music industry.
“Well, in the beginning, Jim and I used to sing as a duo. First of all, we were in a twelve folk group at Villanova in ‘62 and ‘63,” West recalled to Huffington Post. “Then I graduated, and then he graduated in ‘65, and by that time, he had met Ingrid and they became a duo.”
Tommy West is survived by his wife, a daughter and two stepsons.