On this day, September 20th, in 1973, one of the greatest voices in the music industry was silenced due to a plane crash in Natchitoches, Louisiana. Jim Croce had just completed a concert at NSU’s Prather Coliseum and was flying to Sherman, Texas, for his next concert. The plane crashed an hour after the end of the concert.
Jim Croce, Five Others Die In Plane Crash (1973)
“Natchitoches, La. – Pop singer-songwriter Jim Croce, 30, was killed September 20th when the single-engine plane in which he and five others were riding hit a tree on takeoff.
The other victims in the accident were Croce’s second guitarist, Maury Meuhleisen; road manager Morgan Tell; comedian George Stevens, a booking agent, and the pilot.
Croce had gained headliner status only recently, following his hit records, “Don’t Mess Around with Jim” and the current “Bad, Bad Leroy Brown.” He was en route from a college concert at Northwestern State College, 75 miles southeast of Shreveport, to another in Sherman, Texas.
“It was a single-engine plane, I believe, ” said deputy Walter Braxton. “It was taking off and it did not get any altitude.” The plane went past the runway, hit the tree, and spun around in the air before crashing.
Croce is survived by his wife Ingrid and their two-year-old son, Adrian. Corb Donahue, a friend of Croce’s and an employee at his record company, ABC/Dunhill, described Croce as “simply one of the finest human beings I’ve ever met.” The sentiment was echoed by others who knew him.” – Rolling Stone Periodical (1974)