You don’t tug on Superman’s cape,
You don’t spit into the wind
You don’t pull the mask off the old Lone Ranger
And you don’t mess around with Jim
These lyrics from Jim Croce’s classic pop song You Don’t Mess Around with Jim have evolved into pop culture expressions used by people the world over. Before his life was tragically cut short in a plane crash in September 1974, Croce wrote many other memorable compositions, including Bad, Bad Leroy Brown, Operator (That’s Not The Way It Feels), I’ll Have To Say I Love You In A Song and my two personal favorites, I’ve got a Name and Time In A Bottle.
Just a few days prior to the holidays, EMI Music Publishing announced that it entered into an exclusive publishing agreement with Croce’s heirs, wife Ingrid and son A.J., for the songwriting catalog of Jim Croce. This important deal gives EMI the North American administration rights to the compositions of the late singer-songwriter.
A South Philadelphia native, Croce began his recording career in 1966 when he recorded his debut solo album, Facets in a Camden, New Jersey studio. He also recorded a 1969 duet album with his wife Ingrid, self-titled Jim & Ingrid Croce which was released on Capitol Records. His career did not really began to sky rocket, however, until he signed with ABC Records, and released You Don’t Mess Around with Jim and Life and Times, both of which featured many of the songs for which Croce is best known. His third solo album on ABC Records was I’ve Got a Name, which was released shortly after his death. ABC later distributed a greatest hits album entitled Photographs & Memories. Jim Croce was inducted into the Songwriter’s Hall of Fame in 1990.
In the announcement on EMI’s website, Ingrid Croce is quoted as saying that she and A.J. were “encouraged that EMI will help us reach a new and diversified audience for Jim’s music. . . .”
For his part, EMI Music Publishing chairman and CEO Roger Faxon is quoted as summarizing: “Jim Croce had that rare ability to write and perform both upbeat and heartfelt
songs, and his music is still as engaging and memorable today as it was more than thirty years ago. We are very pleased to have the opportunity to work with Ingrid and AJ Croce to connect his timeless songs with the music users of today.”