Jim Croce - Jim Croce's Widow Reveals Couple's Money Problems
Jim Croce's widow Ingrid has opened up about her life with the legendary singer, insisting the couple spent years in poverty despite his chart successes.
The Bad, Bad Leroy Brown hitmaker and his wife assumed their money problems would all but disappear when Croce struck it big in the music business, but Ingrid reveals they were far from financial security at the time of his death - and she's crushed he never got to reap the benefits of his hard work.
Ingrid Croce tells New York Post columnist Cyndi Adams, "(We) never had a dime. At 30, he died on tour in a plane crash... Until that 1973 day, we lived on $200 (Gbp125) a week. Money didn't flow then like now. Artists signed contracts that existed in perpetuity... We lived on nothing.
"(We were) like gypsies. No pension, no savings, no security. Not even insurance when I got pregnant. He sold his guitar to pay rent. He drove a truck when he wasn't performing just so we could live. When things were really tough, he sold airtime...
"A best friend suggested we sign this piece of paper. Jim signed. Neither of us ever saw that contract again. After Jim died, they sent me the first $5,000 (Gbp3,125) I ever got. I live in regret that he never saw it."
And Ingrid is convinced the tragic star was cheated out of money that was rightfully his: "Jim was on the road 300 days a year, and they (his handlers) collected $10,000 (Gbp6,250) each concert but always claimed lots of expenses.
"Besides performing, he wrote these hits. I kept saying, 'This makes no sense.' And that contract guy was his best friend. We rented a little house, separated into three apartments, on the edge of a farm. They charged us $100 (Gbp62.50) a week plus we picked flowers for them. We just didn't know what else to do."
Jim Croce died in Louisiana on 20 September, 1973, aged 30.