Bad Bad Leroy Brown – Jim Croce

THIS DAY IN MUSIC…………………………………………….on July 21st 1973 Jim Croce’s, “Bad Bad Leroy Brown”, taken from his second LP, “Life and Times”, was the number one song on Billboard’s Hot 100. Jim said that the Leroy Brown character was inspired by a tough guy that he had met in the Army a few years earlier. When Jim Croce would introduce this song, he said there were two people he encountered in the military who inspired this song: a sergeant at Fort Jackson and a private at Fort Dix. The actual Leroy was the sergeant, but it was the private who went AWOL and returned for his pay check. This was Jim Croce’s first #1 hit (“Time in a Bottle” was the other). It topped the charts 10 weeks before he died in a plane crash. Jim’s widow Ingrid runs Croce’s Restaurant & Jazz Bar in San Diego, where she keeps Jim’s legacy alive and hears from many patrons who were touched by Jim’s songs. Says Ingrid: “I have a lot of staff members that come up to me and say, ‘You know what, there’s a guy named Leroy Brown, he kind of looks like the part, and he’s sitting at our bar right now.’ I say, ‘Well, I’ll be glad to come over and say hi.’ There’s so many Leroy Browns who have come up to me and said, ‘I’m sure I’m the one he was talking about.'” The piano riff at the beginning was based on Bobby Darin’s “Queen of the Hop.” The song was not released as a single in the UK.