Jim Croce was possibly one of the first singer-songwriters that I knew in my youth. I’ve mentioned before on the site that while growing up, music wasn’t present in my household. It wasn’t forbidden of course, we just didn’t listen to the radio or LP’s much. However when driving the radio was on and I found myself a young fan of Croce’s folk singing. Particularly his humorous songs like 1972’s You Don’t Mess Around with Jim and of course Bad, Bad Leroy Brown.
Released on the 1973 album Life and Times. Bad, Bad Leroy Brown rocketed Croce to the top of Billboard‘s Hot 100. A mere three months after it’s release as a matter of fact. Furthermore Billboard would go on and rank it the second most popular song for 1973.
Sadly Jim Croce and five others on a Beechcraft E18S were killed during a crash on September 20, 1973.Minutes after take off as they were headed to a concert at Austin College. Indeed, a single day before his moving I Got a Name was released. I was just an infant when Croce tragically died but I can recall how sad I was years later when my Father told me of his fate. Thankfully Croce left us an amazing amount of great music. As well as keeping in public consciousness thanks to films and television shows using his work. Like the second season of Stranger Things for example!
Now then, while I was a fan of Croce’s music thanks to the car radio. I somehow was oblivious to the fact that there was an animated music video for Bad, Bad Leroy Brown. A segment it turns out that aired on an episode of the Sonny and Cher show.
Friends, it really is a nice little animated short. I should add that upon watching it for the first time. Which was just last week. I found the animation style to be very similar to that of the Friz Freleng studios of the Pink Panther fame. Turns out that the animator for this was John David Wilson, his studio Fine Arts Films was responsible for the short. Wilson by the way worked on 1952’s Lady and the Tramp and Peter Pan. As well as working on such television shows as Mr. Magoo, the Carol Burnett Show, and Peter Pan and the Pirates to name a few.
Now then, you’ve learned a little about Jim Croce and John David Wilson. So enjoy this animated music video for Bad, Bad Leroy Brown!
Did you know that none other than the legendary Paul Lynde tackled the song as well?