A. J. Croce Plays Croce in Knoxville brings memories

Susan EspirituOur Town Arts

Adrian James “A.J.” Croce, son of the late Jim Croce, is coming to Knoxville for the A.J. Croce Presents Croce Plays Croce: 50th Anniversary Tour on Tuesday, February 6, 2024, 7:30 p.m. at the Tennessee Theatre: Tickets to A. J. Croce Plays Croce.

This year is my 5oth wedding anniversary year and Jim Croce was our dating music so seeing his son doing an anniversary tour carries sentimental meaning.

Jim Croce’s story is fascinating. His first album was released in 1966, financed by a $500 wedding gift from his parents that he conditionally must use to make an album. Not that his parents supported Croce’s music career, but were in fact trusting his album would fail so he would give up on his music venture to go into a profession using his college degree in social studies.

However, the album was a success and Croce began years of an up and down career in music filtered with multiple odd jobs until he and his wife, Ingrid, became parents to Adrian James. It was then, purportedly, that Croce became serious about his music, eventually signing a three-record contract with ABC Records in 1972.

Two of these albums, You Don’t Mess Around with Jim and Life and Times had his most famous singles and the one that became our favorite song while dating: Time in a Bottle, which became a No. 1 hit after his death.

During Croce’s Life and Times tour, scheduled for 45 dates, Croce and five others were killed when their chartered plane crashed into a tree on takeoff.

The third album, I Got a Name was released after his death and reached No. 2 on the charts.

In 2022, a Pennsylvania Historical Marker honoring Croce was installed outside his farmhouse in Lyndell, Pennsylvania.

A.J. Croce began the 50th Anniversary tour on October 27, 2024, and will play in cities from coast to coast, including Knoxville. Croce, who lives in Nashville, is described as a virtuosic piano player who taught himself to play the guitar and has created his own legacy of Croce music while now incorporating his father’s brand as well.

“Like father, like son,” takes on a special meaning with A.J. Croce.

All of us have a story and I want to tell yours! Send them to susan@knoxtntoday.com


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