Jim Croce was a popular early-1970s folk singer/songwriter known for hits such as "Operator (That's Not the Way It Feels)," "Bad, Bad Leroy Brown" and "Time in a Bottle." Born in Philadelphia, he taught himself to play guitar as a child and eventually decided to turn to music as a profession during his college years. He toiled for years as a struggling artist, often turning to low-profile gigs and commercial jingle work as a way of making ends meet. However, by the time he'd released his second album, 1972's You Don't Mess Around With Jim, Croce found himself thrown into the mainstream spotlight due to the success of the aforementioned singles. Taking slight bits of inspiration from rock and roll, his songs for the most part were direct and simple, alternating between feel good pop, tender acoustic ballads and rollicking singalongs. Croce enjoyed an impressive but ultimately short-lived period of success that lasted only about a year. In 1973, just a couple months after "Bad, Bad Leroy Brown" topped the American charts, he died in a plane crash on his way to a performance at Austin College in Texas.