From the outside, it’s impossible to fathom what two people who love each other feel: why the attraction starts and how a relationship grows. But I can tell you that in the case of Jim Croce and me, it felt right. The music, chemistry, and youthfulness that brought us together formed an intense and unbreakable bond. And though Jim has been gone from this Earth for almost forty years, there isn’t a day in my life that goes by without him.
When Jim and I fell crazy in love, we were just kids. He wasn’t famous then, but he was a star to me. He made me happier than I’d ever been. And because he showed me in so many wonderful ways that I made him feel that way too, I knew we’d be together forever.
When we met in the early ’60s, I was a teenager, and Jim was a sophomore at Villanova University. Music brought us together, and it was the music business that not only tested our relationship but plagued it, constantly challenging our survival.
We were both intense individuals. When it was good, it was magnificent, passionate, and soulful. But when we hurt each other, when our friendship and trust were challenged, it was horrific, painful, and empty.
Although Jim Croce was a private man, people feel they know him through his songs. His voice, stories, humor, and sincerity touch them in a way that makes them believe Jim understood what they felt, that his experiences were theirs too. And yet the stories I tell here, about the life behind the songs, reveal something closer to who Jim really was and how he came to create such timeless music.
For many years, I felt compelled to write about my life with Jim, but I was reluctant. Now I feel the time is finally right.
- Ingrid Croce