Jim Croce’s “Time In a Bottle” Posthumously Hits #1 on the Charts
This Week in Rock History, on December 23, 1973, Jim Croce’s “Time In a Bottle” hit #1 on the Billboard charts. Croce was inspired to write the songs lyrics after learning that his wife Ingrid was pregnant with his child.
The theme of the song is related to mortality and wishing we had more time in this life. Tragically, Croce’s life was lost in a plane crash in September of 1973. Although the label did not originally plan to release the song as a single, they changed their mind in light of the accident.
First the song received much radio play as an album track, which had built pressure on the label to release the single. The song, once released, became Croce’s 2nd and last #1 hit.
Here’s what else happened this week in rock history:
Born This Week in Rock History
Jorma Kaukonen: December 23, 1940 (guitar, Jefferson Airplane and Hot Tuna)
Ray Tabano: December 23, 1946 (guitar, Aerosmith)
Adrian Belew: December 23, 1949 (guitar and vocals, King Crimson)
Dave Murray: December 23, 1956 (guitar, Iron Maiden)
Lee Dorsey: December 24, 1924 (R&B vocalist)
Ian Fraser Kilmister aka Lemmy: December 24, 1945 (bass & vocals, Motörhead)
Noel Redding: December 25, 1945 (bass, The Jimi Hendrix Experience)
Jimmy Buffett: December 25, 1946 (Rock Singer-Songwriter)
Annie Lennox: December 25, 1954 (keyboards and vocals, Eurythmics)
Matt “Guitar” Murphy: December 27, 1929 (Blues Guitarist)
Died This Week in Rock History
Eddie Hazel: December 23, 1992 (guitar, Parliament-Funkadelic)
Ray Collins: December 24, 2012 (vocals, Frank Zappa and the Mothers of Invention)
James Brown: December 25, 2006 (Soul Singer-Songwriter)
Johnny Ace: December 25, 1954 (R&B Singer-Songwriter)
Curtis Mayfield: December 26, 1999 (Soul Singer-Songwriter)
Freddie King: December 28, 1976 (Blues Singer-Songwriter & Guitarist)
Music Releases and Top of the Charts
Joni Mitchell’s “Ladies of the Canyon” goes gold: December 23, 1970
Rod Stewart releases “D’ya Think I’m Sexy”: December 23, 1978
The Beatles Rubber Soul tops the charts, their third year in a row with the number one album on Christmas: December 24, 1965
The Eagles’ Hotel California is certified gold: December 24, 1976.
Poison’s “Every Rose Has Its Thorn” hit #1 on December 24, 1988.
The Beatles’ “I Feel Fine” hit #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 charts on December 26, 1964.
“Someday We’ll Be Together” by Diana Ross & The Supremes hit #1 on December 27, 1969.
John Lennon’s “(Just Like) Starting Over” reached #1 on the charts posthumously on December 27, 1980.
Jim Croce posthumously hits #1 with “Time in a Bottle” on December 29, 1973.
This Week in Rock History
On December 23, 1959 Rock and roll pioneer Chuck Berry is arrested for taking a 14 year-old girl, Janice Norine, across state lines. Although he was sentenced to five years in jail, Berry was released after it was discovered that the judge in the case made racist comments.
Brian Wilson of The Beach Boys had a nervous breakdown on a flight from L.A. to Houston on December 23, 1964. Wilson left the band and focuses his efforts on writing and producing instead of performing.
The last episode of Ready Steady Go! aired on December 23, 1966 and and featured Mick Jagger, The Who, Eric Burdon, The Spencer Davis Group, and Donovan.
A woman named Cristin Keleher broke into George Harrison’s Maui home on December 23, 1999 and cooked a frozen pizza, drank a beer from his fridge, did her laundry and called her mother, who was living in New Jersey. Keleher was arrested and charged with theft and burglary.
The UFO club opened in London on December 23, 1966. The house band is called Pink Floyd.
Elton John met with his team, including songwriting partner Bernie Taupin, to begin work on his first solo album on December 23, 1969.
The New York Dolls played their first show, a Christmas party at New York’s Endicott Hotel, on December 24, 1971.
Joni Mitchell, Carly Simon, and James Taylor went Christmas caroling together in Hollywood on December 24, 1974.
George Harrison and girlfriend Pattie Boyd got engaged on December 25, 1965.
The Supremes made their first live appearance ever on The Ed Sullivan Show on Sunday, December 27, 1964, where they performed their #1 hit single “Come See About Me.”
– Brian M. Reiser,