Jim Croce Bad Bad Leroy Brown

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Jim Croce Bad Bad Leroy Brown

Jim Croce Bad Bad Leroy Brown

Folk Rock Music

The song was written by Jim Croce. Part of the inspiration for the song was an person named Leroy Brown, whom Croce met while in the U.S. National Guard. Croce enjoyed the man’s style and would sing with him. Brown, unfortunately, went AWOL and then returned at the end of the month to get his paycheck. He was arrested. The song was released on Croce’s 1972 album Life and Times. In 1973, it was released as a single, backed with “A Good Time Man Like Me Ain’t Got No business (Singin’ The Blues). The song went to #1 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100, U.S. Cash Box Top 100, and in Canada. It  peaked at #11 in Australia and was in the Top 40 in The Netherlands and Germany. The song sold more than one million copies and received RIAA Gold certification. “Bad, Bad Leroy Brown” was still on the charts when Croce died on September 20, 1973 in a plane crash in Natchitoches, Louisiana.

Two trivia tidbits regarding the song are as follows. The piano riff, which is played by one of the producers Tommy West, at the beginning was based on Bobby Darin’s song “Queen of the Hop.” The woman named Doris is in the song is based on the other producer Terry Cashman’s sister Doris, who was a Dominican nun and a big supporter of Croce’s music.

There have been covers of the song by a number of artists. The long list includes Frank Sinatra, Anthony Armstrong Jones, Dolly Parton, The Max Levin Ensemble, Jerry Reed, Little Willie Littlefield, Kim Carnes, Celtic Thunder’s Ryan Kelly, Dean Martin, and many more.

Personnel on the album include Jim Croce (guitar, vocals), Maury Muehleisen (guitar, vocals), Kenny Ascher (organ), Terry Cashman (vocals), Gary Chester (drums), the famous songwriter Ellie Greenwich (vocals), Michael Kamen (synthesizer), Joe Macho (bass), Alan Rolnick (guitar, vocals), Tasha Thomas (vocals), Eric Weissberg (violin), and Tommy West (bass, keyboards, vocals).

Here are the lyrics to “Bad, Bad  Leroy Brown” by Jim Croce:

Well the South side of Chicago
Is the baddest part of town
And if you go down there
You better just beware
Of a man named Leroy Brown

Now Leroy more than trouble
You see he stand ’bout six foot four
All the downtown ladies call him “Treetop Lover”
All the men just call him “Sir”

And it’s bad, bad Leroy Brown
The baddest man in the whole damned town
Badder than old King Kong
And meaner than a junkyard dog

Now Leroy he a gambler
And he like his fancy clothes
And he like to wave his diamond rings
In front of everybody’s nose
He got a custom Continental
He got an Eldorado too
He got a thirty two gun in his pocket for fun
He got a razor in his shoe

And it’s bad, bad Leroy Brown
The baddest man in the whole damned town
Badder than old King Kong
And meaner than a junkyard dog

Now Friday ’bout a week ago
Leroy shootin’ dice
And at the edge of the bar
Sat a girl named Doris
And oo that girl looked nice
Well he cast his eyes upon her
And the trouble soon began
And Leroy Brown learned a lesson
‘Bout messin’ with the wife of a jealous man

And it’s bad, bad Leroy Brown
The baddest man in the whole damned town
Badder than old King Kong
And meaner than a junkyard dog

Well the two men took to fighting
And when they pulled them off the floor
Leroy looked like a jigsaw puzzle
With a couple of pieces gone

And it’s bad, bad Leroy Brown
The baddest man in the whole damned town
Badder than old King Kong
And meaner than a junkyard dog

And it’s bad, bad Leroy Brown
The baddest man in the whole damned town
Badder than old King Kong
And meaner than a junkyard dog

Badder than old King Kong
And meaner than a junkyard dog

For another song by Jim Croce: “Time in a Bottle.”

For More 70s Tunes

The System has daily featured music from all sorts of genres of 1970s music. You’re welcome to listen to any of the 40+ selections in The System. Thank you for stopping by. Hope you enjoyed “Bad, Bad Leroy Brown” by Jim Croce.

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