On This Day: Jim Croce Dies in Natchitoches
Northwest Louisiana is the site of many history alerting moments in the music sphere. While most stories are positive, there are some tales of woe and tragedy. This is definitely the latter.
On September 20th 1973, Jim Croce was at the height of his success. The 30 year old singer already had massive hits with songs like "Operator" and "Bad, Bad Leroy Brown". On September 21st, his new single "I Got a Name" was set to be released by ABC Records. Croce was set to become an international superstar.
Sadly, he never got to reach his full potential. Less than an hour after performing at Northwestern State University's Prather Coliseum, Croce and 5 others were killed in a tragic plane crash. According to reports, the pilot of the plane hit a pecan tree at the end of the runway in Natchitoches and caused the tragic accident. The saddest part was the accident should have never happened. The group was set to spend the night in Natichitoches, but wanted to get to Austin Texas early (Croce and company were nearing the end of a grueling world tour).
Following his death, the album I Got a Name was released on December 1st, 1973. The album reached number 2 on the Billboard charts and featured 3 hit singles. In 1990, Croce was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame.