What Jim Croce’s Operator So Unique

Rick Beato
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In this episode my friend and fellow BRvidr Mary Spender and I analyze and react to Jim Croce's classic hit "Operator (That's Not the Way It Feels)".

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17 Out 2022



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Comentários 4 460
Rick Schlabowske
Rick Schlabowske 3 meses atrás
I have been a trucker for 50 years. The day Croce died I was delivering a load of beef in LaSalle St in downtown Chicago. I was a big fan of his music. While tuning to WLS one of Croce's songs had just ended when the DJ announced that he had died. Then Operator came on... I was so sad. I had sung along with his songs, played on my 8 track, for 100,000 miles or more. The world is always a little better when I hear his music. Thank you Rick. Thank you ( and I love you) Mary.
Robert Betz
Robert Betz 21 dia atrás
Frankenstein by Edgar Winter had that break too.
Samuel Luria
Samuel Luria 25 dias atrás
@Phil Hofland - If you look at his profile picture, he's gotta be trying to make a joke. He's old enough to know better.
Samuel Luria
Samuel Luria 25 dias atrás
@Jeffrey S - Actually not. They coexisted. Neither one led to the other, although this is a common misconception.
Anthony Brown
Anthony Brown 26 dias atrás
I listen to his music almost everyday at work but on my phone with Bluetooth which I couldn’t even imagine back when my father played his albums in the 70’s.
Wilhelm 26 dias atrás
​​@DanielinLaTuna It's like a fat cassette which is open on the end. Which also means that the amount of 8 tracks in good condition is 0. They were originally invented so you could play music on your private jet and boat. Because reel to reel machines were MASSIVE and records would warble as you bobbed up and down. I think Lockheed or Learjet started them? Honestly though, Im not sure they were ever great quality to begin with. Edit: it WAS Learjet!
Fnipernackle 2 meses atrás
The fact that Croce could play this complicated song but sing it in such a way shows just how great of a musician he truly was.
milamba 3 dias atrás
He couldnt't play them - that was Maury.
Bill Dyszel
Bill Dyszel 3 meses atrás
The genius of this song is the way the character reveals his feelings by the manner in which he denies those feelings. Croce isn't telling the listener how the guy feels, he's leaving the listener to figure it out, which is much more powerful. It's like overhearing someone else's heartbreaking phone call when you're not a party to the call.
kanekila 15 dias atrás
Excellent analysis and spot on. It's like sitting on a bench overhearing someone's call, and then realizing what the guy is calling about. Heavy, man.
Gary Maidman
Gary Maidman Mês atrás
In the same way that I'm Not In Love by 10CC or I'm Not Missing You by John Waite does.
Elizabeth Parson
Elizabeth Parson 2 meses atrás
Great insights!
Glenn Saunders
Glenn Saunders 2 meses atrás
Which is the opposite of our reality-show tell don't show culture.
Fred Andersen
Fred Andersen 2 meses atrás
Which is what it is. It's based on a phone call, he overheard, while he was in the Army Reserve.
Peggy Muehleisen Stahlin
Tears streaming as I listen to your commentary. Knowing that you have recognized our brother Maury’s musical talent is heartwarming. It’s 49 years now and the memories are like an unbelievable yesterday. Thank you for remembering and honoring their lives.
Kieran Lobo
Kieran Lobo 3 horas atrás
Both Maury and Jim have changed my life. The way that Maury was able to put together such eloquent licks with so much feeling was something really special... especially at such a young age. I hope everyone also listens to his Gingerbread album to understand how much of a versatile talent Maury was. Maury's legend will live on through my Martin D35 named after him.
bassplyrbobo 6 dias atrás
Peggy...I never could have ever imagined being able communicate to Jim Croce or a relative of Maurys. I grew up in the 80s (I'm 54) and listen to Jim and Maury on my older brother Jeff's 8-track which played all night through my sleep and still played as I awoke to the brilliant guitar works of your brother and Jim. "Lovers Cross", "Operator", "Roller Derby Queen", "NY NMH"....those songs, the sound...they're in my DNA, I've know them since I can remember ...they're my brother will be be elated when I tell him that I sent you a message. Your brother's instrumental work is some of the greatest guitar ever played and recorded. There will never be another Jim or Maury.
Joel Fletcher
Joel Fletcher 12 dias atrás
Peggy, I can only add to the chorus of folks who were so inspired by Maury's extraordinary talent. He and Jim made magic with a pair of six strings. The music remains as fresh fifty years later ad it did back then.
Jim Daniels
Jim Daniels 14 dias atrás
I was a big Jim Croce fan back in the day, and of course still am, and I had to google Maury Muehleisen, and WOW!! what I found... realizing what a big part Maury was of Jim's development, Jim's music, props to Rick for pointing out Maury's guitar parts. In hindsight, Maury's presence in the songs and his influence on Jim is so obvious, and now I'll always think of him and know he's there playing alongside Jim when I listen to their music. P.S. I hope Maury got proper songwriting credits on the big hits.
GetReal 18 dias atrás
I appreciate him very much as well, I love his playing and never realized how great his work was until recently. His playing is so unique and one of a kind picking....
OPeCKiE Productions
In my opinion, this song should be the introduction to EVERY songwriting 101 class. Everything about it is just so perfect! Sorry I'm 3 months late to the party on this video, but I'm so glad you two did this! What a gift Jim gave us!
Dean G
Dean G 3 meses atrás
I'm 33, and have never used a payphone and this song is still more relatable than 99% of what gets written these days.
420Gold 18 dias atrás
I’m 32 and remember using a pay phone a few times as a kid. I think it was quarters by that time though, not dimes. There’s actually an old, completely broken and disconnected pay phone right next to my apartment lol
savvymegs Mês atrás
Damn. 33 also haven't?? 37 and I guess I really was born on a cusp!
Itroll Mês atrás
music is relatable its just not relateable to you anymore
FlashCadallic Mês atrás
I can still hear the cling cling sound when you drop a dime in.
KingintheNorth 2 meses atrás
@A. Lee I'm 32 and we were definitely born at an interesting time. Had some exposure to the "pre tech" era when I was younger, didn't have my first cell phone until I was 15 either. There was a pay phone at the bowling alley, etc. We pranked some poor guy named Frank Moscow we found in the phone book relentlessly lol. Another song I'll throw into the ring is "Callin Baton Rouge" by Garth Brooks... also payphone related haha
Pentaholic Productions
Pentaholic Productions 3 meses atrás
i’m a 17 year old girl and i’ve had a strong emotional connection to Jim Croce’s music ever since last year. he’s gotten me through hard times 🤍 young people can totally connect to older music although the lyrics may describe a world we can’t fully relate to, the emotions held in the music transcends the barriers :) 2 meses atrás
Saaaame ^^ first time I heard Croce was in X-Men days of future past, I wouldn't understand english well at that time but I just felt there was smt in this music ! Im still a teenager but I know I am going to make my future kids listen to him :)
Robert Borden
Robert Borden 3 meses atrás
I love that you hear the 1970s in the telling of the story. There couldn’t be a song quite like this today because of how communication has changed, and how people communicate (interrelate) has changed. Would today’s crowd call him a creeper? Would this seem pathetic? But we hear his hurt. We hear longing and wonder if that will be/is presently ourselves. We wonder how he gets through it. Maybe this happens frequently for him. Perhaps dealing with the operator is enough for him, sort of a constructed barrier between him and trying to reach the ex and figuring out a way back to her, or embarrassing himself trying.
Paulette Maximun
Paulette Maximun 3 meses atrás
Check out "Moody Blues" floating free as a bird 60 foot leaps it's so absurd
Area Man
Area Man 3 meses atrás
Sterling James
Sterling James 3 meses atrás
I’m a Gen Xr and it’s refreshing to hear such a young person enjoy a timeless classic. And, thank you Rick/Mary.
Oscar Diggs
Oscar Diggs 3 meses atrás
As a huge Croce fan, I need a cover album of his hits sung by Mary. Such a gorgeous voice for this material.
Andy Weaks
Andy Weaks 13 dias atrás
@A. Lee There is a really good documentary about him floating around. Check it out. He is an amazing person.
Ralex 13 dias atrás
@A. Lee Go check him out, he was a brilliant talent. Died tragically in a plane crash.
Coiner 18 dias atrás
@A. Lee Ha ha. I'm 48 but I'm a music nut. ha ha. This stuff came out before I was born but I love it. Cheers.
A. Lee
A. Lee 19 dias atrás
@Coiner you are so sweet. younger generation. Hahaha! Im almost 50! lol!
Coiner 19 dias atrás
@A. Lee Jim Croce is being rediscovered by the younger generation these days. His songs are in X-Men, Stranger Things, Django Unchained etc. You probably heard some of his stuff in movies. Cheers.
Robert M
Robert M 3 meses atrás
So glad you mentioned Maury Muehleisen! I found his website a few years ago and wrote to his sister to thank her for how Maury and Jim's music affected me (and continues to affect me). She was so kind and appreciative. Maury contributed so much to Jim's music!
I played this song for a 19 year old co-worker (I’m 63) and he was just amazed at the lyrics. He said not only was Jim Croce a great storyteller, he transported you into the role of the person in the song, that you were living the experience and feeling the emotions. I knew he truly got it.
Thomas 21 dia atrás
Most good music has story lyrics... a lost craft....
Robert Betz
Robert Betz 21 dia atrás
Memphis by Chuck Berry is another great operator story song.
Michael Raymond
Michael Raymond 3 meses atrás
Thank you for making this. I grew up with artists like Jim Croce and James Taylor playing in my parents’ cars and I feel grateful that I was exposed to such artful guitar playing and masterful songwriting. Please do more of this type of video and never stop working with Mary. She’s a gem.
Andy Weaks
Andy Weaks 13 dias atrás
Harry Chapin is a great one too.
Alex Rodriguez
Alex Rodriguez 20 dias atrás
Jim was the best and I loved his voice it was so pleasant
Samantha🌿 Mês atrás
I too listen to James Taylor, his song are like an Impressionism art.
Steve Donalson
Steve Donalson 3 meses atrás
Thank you for honoring Jim Croce. He had an extraordinary gift that he shared with us all. He had the incredible ability to effortlessly tell more in three minutes than a two hour movie. He was a true master of the theater of the mind. This song “Operator” was 3:50 in a time when most radio worthy songs were 3:30 or less. Sadly, there are very few in the rock n roll era that come close. And, most are gone.
Mark S C
Mark S C 3 meses atrás
Rick I hate to admit it … but every single time this masterpiece of a tune comes on … someone starts chopping onions 🥲
bob christopher
bob christopher Mês atrás
Me 2!
Tom Shelley
Tom Shelley 2 meses atrás
I love that expression. but Croce said it best in this very song, "something in my eye, you know it happens every time". Doesn't help that my dad was a huge Croce fan and every time I hear a Croce song it reminds me of him, and he's been gone for 8 years now.
Fred Andersen
Fred Andersen 2 meses atrás
Kevin Wilson
Kevin Wilson 2 meses atrás
Strange...same thing happens to me ;-)
Steve Burstall
Steve Burstall 2 meses atrás
I don't have onions at my house, just a lot of open windows pollen can get it and bother my eyes.
Jennifer Corlew
Jennifer Corlew 2 meses atrás
Croce was on another level. I wore his greatest hits record out so many times just listening to it over and over and over. Operator is fantastic, but he wrote so many bangers - songs that hit on such a personal level - Box #10, Lover’s Cross, Tomorrow’s Gonna Be a Brighter Day, Walk-in’ Back to Georgia - all masterpieces!!!
Jim Daniels
Jim Daniels 14 dias atrás
Love them all... I'll see your Box #10 and others, and raise you Car Wash Blues, One Less Set of Footsteps, and New York's Not My Home 🙂And that's just for starters... so many great songs to choose from.
aeonise 2 meses atrás
Truly an incredible artist lost too soon, and one of the rare cases where you can feel the absence of all the music he never got a chance to make.
Tom Sarradet
Tom Sarradet 3 meses atrás
There is more to this story. Jim's inspiration came from this time in the army in the 1960s. I served in the 80s and it was the same. There were pay phones near the barracks and soldiers would line up for their turn calling home to talk to their parents, wives, and girlfriends. That "old friend" Ray had the universal name of "Jody" among soldiers and he was the guy who would steal your girl while you were away. We even had cadences we sang while running and marching about what we would do to "Jody" when we got back home. Many times, the soldier found out during one of these not so private phone calls and the other soldiers in the line could hear enough to know that Jody has struck again. Any soldier who served before cell phones can identify with this part of military service. I recall an interview Croce gave where he explained all this as his inspiration for Operator.
Hindu Scriptures & More w/ Premanand Das Bhagat
When I was in high school my dream was to learn guitar just to play Jim's stuff. 30 years later I still have all his lyrics memorized. One of our greatest songwriters. His stuff is deceptively simple, but very personal.
Mark O'Brien
Mark O'Brien 3 meses atrás
Through this channel I discovered Mary Spender, and through Mary's channel I discovered Reina del Cid, and through Reina's channel I discovered Tony Lindgren, Josh Turner, and Carson McKee. In addition to their own original music, all of them do incredible covers of the music of my youth (I'm 67). Their talent individually and in various combinations together is incredible and they demonstrate a deep appreciation and respect for music of that era. So to answer Rick's question - Yes, younger generations can connect with old songs!
On the Hook
On the Hook 5 meses atrás
I saw his son in concert last year and he explained where this song came from. His father was in the army stationed at Fort Dix, and when the soldiers had free time, they'd line up at the only pay phone on base to wait their turn to call home to talk to their girls. While he waited for his turn, he heard one side of tragedies playing out before his eyes as soldier's girls moved on while they were away. As a song writer, he realized it was pure gold.
Ralex 13 dias atrás
@Hatdrummer A.J. Croce his son very talented too, but Jim was on another level.
Samuel Luria
Samuel Luria 25 dias atrás
@Jim Grassiano - Had that songbook!
Samuel Luria
Samuel Luria 25 dias atrás
@Markle2k - Exactly. "Different World", on multiple levels...not just the mechanics...
have a happy day
have a happy day 25 dias atrás
@RedheadedMusic thank you
RedheadedMusic 25 dias atrás
@have a happy day Gibson
Gunnar 179
Gunnar 179 2 meses atrás
29 years old and I get home to play walkin back to Georgia everyday. Jim is something else and one of a kind. Honestly tearing up seeing the respect in these comments for Jim and Maury
Jonathan Joyhill
Jonathan Joyhill 2 meses atrás
I'm 18 and my most listened artist on Spotify was jim croce. I love his songs:)). Operator is favorite.
joel haaland
joel haaland 3 meses atrás
I was 15 when Jim Croce died. I was an Iowa farm boy and I loved him so much ! I remember buying all his albums. I went out and sat in our hay shed and struggled to hold back the tears. Never be another like him.
Hindu Scriptures & More w/ Premanand Das Bhagat
He doesn't just sing songs, he sings songs about real people in real situations. That's a lost art.
Edward Meade
Edward Meade 3 meses atrás
The thing that I regret was that these songs, 'Operator', 'I've Got a Name', 'Time in A Bottle' all became popular after he died. Before the accident everyone only knew him for 'Leroy Brown' and 'Mess Around with Jim'. I only wish he could have known how much people appreciate his serious side.
Jim Barry
Jim Barry Mês atrás
Edward, Grew up with Jim Croce's music. I respectfully disagree with you about everyone knowing him for Leroy Brown and You don't mess around with Jim. I think I can speak for most of the class of 1972, or there abouts, we all loved him for his more serious songs. Just my humble opinion. Can't take anything away from him, I love his music. It is all great.
Hindsight04 3 meses atrás
I’m 18 years old and he is my favorite artist by far. I love his whole discography from Facets to the home recordings album in 2003, a year i wasn’t even born in yet lol. My friends all poke fun because i listen to Jim Croce and Bread, but I couldn’t think of anything else I’d want to listen to more!
Shaun 3 meses atrás
Thank you!
Jeff318 3 meses atrás
What a wonderful comment. My friends laughed at me when I played Bob Dylan's first album. You have good taste in music.
Rob Anicich
Rob Anicich 2 meses atrás
Even though I was born long after Jim died (36 now) this is one of my favorite songs. I also love "I got a name" . It truly is heartbreaking to think about how he and Maury were taken just as they were blowing up and how many more amazing songs they would have written. RIP Jim and Maury
George Bliss
George Bliss 3 meses atrás
I was 14 when this song was released and I started hearing it on the radio. I knew I was listening to something very special. I saw them perform this song on TV, and it was like magic to me, how could someone come up with something so beautiful. I still feel the same.
Kelsey Curtis
Kelsey Curtis 3 meses atrás
Great video .Hard to believe that Jim Croce has not been in the R&R HOF . What a disgrace by the lake in Cleveland ,Ohio. Songwriting and musicianship of the highest possible level.Thank you so much for doing this video w/ this beautiful woman,men cry too when we hear this song and the discussion that includes how masterful Croce and Muhelheisen were.
Ralex 13 dias atrás
This song still makes me teary eyed, especially when he says, there’s something in my eyes. It’s a masterpiece, they don’t write them like this anymore. Jim Croce was a legend, what a tragic ending to a beautiful soul. Gut wrenching.
321 Guitar Dad - Jesse Norell
You can tell Mary loves this song as much as Rick, which is what makes this video work so well. It's not just a nostalgia trip, I'm convinced that this is an extraordinary song.
Rick Paul
Rick Paul 4 meses atrás
Jim could have won an academy award for his vocal performance on this song. His delivery is upbeat but no one is buying it, and that’s intentional. “I only wish my words could convince myself.” Is the theme here. He’s incredibly sad and acting upbeat. It is absolutely perfect. His “I’m okay” act gets less and less convincing as the song goes on. His voice takes on more agitation, and then finally sadness. I’ve never heard a more perfect lyrical interpretation and he made it sound effortless. Breathtaking.
Walter Bortz
Walter Bortz 3 meses atrás
I saw him in a small place in Brooklyn when I was about 10. He was a national treasure on his way to stand among few others( Springsteen, Dylan, Taylor) A true tragedy to have lost him.
Scott Boyle
Scott Boyle Mês atrás
@Stephen Patt His entire career was small venues. He died going back to a college town he canceled a show at. He is a legend
Stephen Patt
Stephen Patt 2 meses atrás
Bananafish Park? He played small venues like that on his way up...
Mike Casey
Mike Casey 2 meses atrás
Watching them play it live with their level of excellence is amazing! They make it look effortless.
Craig Birchfield
Craig Birchfield 3 meses atrás
I used to perform this song when I was playing restaurants as a single eons ago. I always, always thought that Jim was underrated as a songwriter and performer and should have been even bigger. Everytime I would sing this song I would think that these were some of the most haunting and beautiful lyrics ever penned. This and If You Could Read My Mind were my two favorite songs to sing.
Rick Weber Music
Rick Weber Music 2 meses atrás
Jim Croce and Maury Muehleisen were the embodiment of the most exquisite expression of lyrical content and musical composition I've ever seen. Gone too soon.
Carey Rowland
Carey Rowland 3 meses atrás
I have always thought that "You can keep the dime" was one of the best lines ever written in a song.
Scott Boyle
Scott Boyle Mês atrás
Dan Edelen
Dan Edelen 3 meses atrás
Few musicians who died tragically left as big a hole in music of an era as Croce. He was just getting started, just attracting fame, snd then he was gone. The loss is bigger than most of us realize. He was a quiet superstar and we were just beginning to come to grips with his genius. We were all enriched by his music, and all impoverished by his premature passing.
Kebby82 2 meses atrás
I can't agree more. We lost a genius. Life isn't fair.
Karin Berryman
Karin Berryman 2 meses atrás
Our DJ’s were over-obsessed with their substance addicted music. They had no depth.
John Jones
John Jones 3 meses atrás
Well said
KhalDrogo76 2 meses atrás
Jim was a genius of a songwriter and a guitar player, what an incredible person he's greatly missed. These Dreams, New Yorks Not My Home, I Gotta many
Zaritiez Mês atrás
I’m 25 and grew up listening to a lot of Jim Croce & John Denver when we’d drive through the backroads of California. I’m grateful I got to experience this music, I couldn’t imagine living without their songs to bring me joy.
Alex Rodriguez
Alex Rodriguez 20 dias atrás
I agree I remember taking road trips and listening to the songs also
Zaritiez 23 dias atrás
@RV Vasco roads are nostalgic for me as well as the backroads of Livermore through Pleasanton.
RV 24 dias atrás
i plan on doing just what you said this summer you have an all time favorite road or spot in calif
VCR Time Machine
VCR Time Machine 3 meses atrás
One actual positive from Tik Tok is the number of old songs my 18 year old daughter discovered through the application. And that spurred her into seeking out more old music for herself.
camp168 Mês atrás
Having grown up through the 70's in the Philadelphia region where Jim grew up and went to high school, his music has always gripped me! Truly one of if not the greatest story telling song writer ever. Gone way to soon! This song in particular has always fascinated me. It's the story of a man who was betrayed and hurt by two people he cared deeply about, and in a moment of weakness decides he will call them and "let them know he's overcome the blow...". By the end of the song he comes to his senses and figures, "Why call them? What good would come of it! It's over!, Thank you operator, you can keep the dime for listening to me rant!". All that history given to us in a one sided conversation in a little over 3 minute long song! Jim would say to today's 'song writers', "Hold my beer!".
Matt Williams
Matt Williams 3 meses atrás
Jim Croce is one of my favorite artists ever (I’m 30). His music just feels like home. It’s so refreshingly raw and emotive
Garrett 3 meses atrás
Jim Croce was such a phenomenal songwriter because he could make meaningful and deep emotional connections with the listener with conversational diction while being musically fluid yet deceptively complicated. I always recommend him to others in my generation (Millennials), hoping they will take the time to truly listen and appreciate his music.
Jamie Rueffer
Jamie Rueffer 2 meses atrás
@Darkkfated He never wrote "I Got A Name" but yeah a great song.
Zack Taylor
Zack Taylor 3 meses atrás
@Sky Vogel Correct - Written by Fox and Gimbel - offered first to John Denver, who turned it down. Croce was the right person for it. Interesting fact it's a song he did not play guitar on.
Tom Gebarowski
Tom Gebarowski 3 meses atrás
There's a great melancholy to his voice, Cat Stevens had it too!
Tom Gebarowski
Tom Gebarowski 3 meses atrás
His "I've Got A Name" was the song they played at the end of my gal Lynn's high school graduation ceremony. The part where goes "moving me down the highway...moving ahead so life won't pass me by" was the perfect message for graduates back then.
Ralph Casale
Ralph Casale 3 meses atrás
There is so much depth to his lyrics here. "Thank you for your time; Oh, you've been so much more than kind; You can keep the dime" deepens the heartbreak conveyed in this song, since it establishes him as a 'good guy' and therefore 'wronged'.
Byron Woolfrey
Byron Woolfrey 15 dias atrás
Was a teen when this came out. Really loved this song over the years but you added some much more to the meaning for me. You mentioned how young people may have trouble connecting with it. To mention the match book. Back then smoking in bars was very common and encouraged. Often free books of matches were on the bar, and if a girl gave a guy her number he or she would just grab a book of matches and write it down. No putting it in your cell phone then Being old and faded shows he was carrying with him for a long time. As well carrying her in his heart
Takin’ out the Guitarbage (with Bob Sperber)
It took me decades to truly appreciate Jim’s talent - In the 70s I was a Zeppelin-or-nothing kid - but you two really unlocked the magic of his songwriting heart. Now have to play & sing this. Thank you so much, both of you.
NSResponder 2 meses atrás
Jim was a great songwriter, and he could express heartbreak like nobody else. We lost him way too soon.
hurk130 3 meses atrás
One of the genius parts of this channel is it allows me to relisten to music that I have grown up with and appreciate it so much more. I have heard this song tens of thousands of times over the years but never really sat down and listened to it. Gordon Lightfoot's "If You Could Read My Mind," Arlo Guthrie's "City of New Orleans," John Denver's "Leaving on a Jet Plane," Eric Clapton's "Wonderful Tonight" etc... All beautiful songs when you stop and really listen. Thank you Rick!
Brad Witt
Brad Witt 3 meses atrás
I was at his last concert at Northwestern State University in Natchitoches, Louisiana. Such a solid performance that night, the singing, guitar playing, harmony... all of it. He did "I got A Name" which was released the next day. Such a full life, productively, in such a short time span. One of a kind.
Richard Evers
Richard Evers 28 dias atrás
@Lee. Suabedissen - He was a phenomenal guitarist. . .
birdman 3 meses atrás
@Lee. Suabedissen Geez. Really takes me back. I remember my mom and dad going to Maury's funeral in the Trenton, NJ area. His parents were customers of my dad's bookshop. I would have been around 13. Such a loss it was.
Lee. Suabedissen
Lee. Suabedissen 3 meses atrás
Maury Muehleisen is my uncle. I never got to meet him but he was my mom’s brother. Can’t believe you were at the last show!
Kelsey Curtis
Kelsey Curtis 3 meses atrás
@Thomas Timlin It was written for the movie Hard drive by Gimbal and Charles Fox. Croce was their ONLY choice to give life to that song. It's now used in many movies.
Cocoy Claravall
Cocoy Claravall 3 meses atrás
Nice 👍
PBales 3 meses atrás
"... cause I can't read the number that you just gave me. There's something in my eyes. You know it happens every time, I think about a love that I thought would save me." One of the most powerful and stirring lyrics ever written. I never listen to this song without having tears well in my eyes.
XdognateX 29 dias atrás
I'm in my early 30s my mom and grandma showed me this song and I was blow away at how good of a song it was. Great song writing and musicianship, song is the total package.
Terry Hanley
Terry Hanley 3 meses atrás
NOTE: The Martin Jim Croce commemorative guitar has a 1973 dime embedded in the 12th fret. PERFECT ! I've been a fan of Jim & Maury for the better part of my 60 years & my kids love the Greatest Hit album, that I still play regularly. THANK YOU so much for doing this.
Donald Cook
Donald Cook 8 dias atrás
‘Martin commemorative guitar?..’ Really ?.. Only ever saw Mr. Croce playing his Ovation Artist …
peteman7354 20 dias atrás
Rick, Thank you for giving Maury the praise he deserves. I always somewhat liked him a little bit more than Jim just because you can easily see his guitar skills are a little more intricate. He was way ahead of his time and very underappreciated by their fans. His wife and Jim's wife are still friends to this day. It's amazing to see the love they shared for their music was so strong, you could clearly hear that in the musical nuances. Their music will live on forever and people will continue to listen to these songs without knowing half of the brains behind the operation.
John Carbutt
John Carbutt 3 meses atrás
This hits home as I grew up near Lyndell where Jim lived and wrote many of his songs. Friends of mine remember seeing him sitting on the bridge over the Creek writing lyrics. He was an amazing songwriter!
Miles Wilson
Miles Wilson 3 meses atrás
The really poetic thing about this song is how the "operator" is the only one who hears his struggle between sadness and acceptance. In the face of the operator's absolute stoicism he forgoes his effort to reach out, his tenuous acceptance yields to his profound sadness. It's as if he's speaking to the Oracle at Delphi, to whom he leaves his dime offering. Maury's upper register embellishments makes the melody.
jvburnes 2 meses atrás
He's on the telephone and on the telephone the operator is God. He's speaking to God. It's basically a plea to God.
Wendi Blount
Wendi Blount 3 meses atrás
I think that the silence of the operator highlights the devastating emptiness of his life after the two people who once filled his life have left him. The poignant pointless echo of his longing for them bouncing off the silence of a faceless stranger. Then his intimate expression of gratitude towards the operator reveals his need to make even this unfulfilling call real. In a way his forgiveness and kindness is an affirmation in the face of devastation. Very moving meanings hidden in between the notes and spaces of this song.
jamie t
jamie t 3 meses atrás
Yeah, it's sad that we can openly and expressively tell our feeling to strangers yet find it impossible to tell them to who they are meant for. Rejection is a bitch.
I'm out
I'm out 3 meses atrás
Dang, going all mike row on us
L. Alexander
L. Alexander 3 meses atrás
Spot on
smoothpicker 2 meses atrás
Operator is one of my favorite all time songs. I was about 10 when it came out and was just learning g to play guitar and I remember just having to learn how to play it. It took some time but I finally did and even after all these years I still love playing it when I have another guitarist to play along with. Damn plane crashes have ruined a lot of lives.
D Fairly
D Fairly 2 meses atrás
One on a short list of songs that I can listen to again as soon as it's finished. I get goosebumps at the same time Mary did. You know it happens every time.
You Forget 1000 Things A Day
I'm twenty six and was raised with older music. Was raised by my granny and let me tell you, I get instant chills when I hear Jim Croce. Reminds me of all the memories of my childhood.
The Dude
The Dude 2 meses atrás
You were blessed us that grew up in the seventies got to taste the best music that's ever been written as deep in our hearts why Americans all hate each other though is deafening to me now
Darius Morgan
Darius Morgan 3 meses atrás
Man hearing Jim Croce's voice and playing snaps me right back to being a 5yr old kid circa '78. What a shame he passed juuuust as he was starting to get some success finally. He'll forever have a place in my heart. 'I Got A Name' Just a beautiful song. 'Photographs & Memories' he knew how to write a melody and place it perfectly.
Yverian 3 meses atrás
So many awesome songs came from Croce's short but brilliant career. "Lover's Cross", One Less Set Of Footsteps", "I Got A Name", "Time In A Bottle", and my favorite "Roller Derby Queen" (Talk about really cool lyrics :)). And let's not forget "Rapid Roy The Stockcar Boy" Jim will never be forgotten. He was like Van Gogh or Mozart, much too good to last. The World just can't seem to bear perfection.
Richard Kelley
Richard Kelley 3 meses atrás
Jim Croce, along with Maury Muehleisen were incredible. Jim wrote great songs with wit and poignancy. As a guitarist Maury was a huge influence on me, especially my arranging. I love how Jim's and Maury's guitars intertwined to make a whole that was greater than the sum of the parts. Great commentary on the lyrics by Mary and Rick. Lyric writing is often about economy of expression, and that line "best old ex-friend Ray" is genius.
John Johnson
John Johnson 2 meses atrás
Thank you Rick and Mary, I’m smiling with tears in my eyes. I remember when he was very popular and I loved his music.
420Gold 18 dias atrás
I’m 32, and croce is one of my absolute favorites, and my favorite song write hands down. His lyrics, along with how he picks the chords are absolutely genius. I listened to an absurd amount of croce in the second half of my 20s, and learned to play about 1/3 of his songs, including operator, which is still one of my favorites to play. Some of his lyrics are certainly a bit dated, but I still completely relate to them.
asdic888 Mês atrás
Mary's obvious love for one of this old man's favorites has me laughing and in tears. 😂
Mark Crum
Mark Crum 2 meses atrás
I love this video. Jim was not only one of three of my favorites.... Today, he still is. The man and Maury are still alive certainly in my heart. I believe the two of them were magic together.
Mark Baughman
Mark Baughman 3 meses atrás
I'd been binge watching Jim Croce concerts recently. There's a show he did on BBC, and as big a fan as I was when he did these songs in the 70's, I had no sense of how great a musician he really was. I was amazed at how well he and Maury played all those intricate guitar lines of Operator and the other songs live, not lip-synching.
Shaun Mason
Shaun Mason 3 meses atrás
Oh, man. This video made me tear up. I got my first guitar when I was 10, in 1971. I started learning chords and was just becoming able to play and sing songs when Jim Croce really hit. I was obsessed with him and learned all his songs as best I could. I am totally one of the guys Rick talks about having Croce's greatest hits record and trying to learn everything on it. His biggest hits were kind of novelty songs (Don't Mess Around With Jim and Bad, Bad Leroy Brown), but those of us who worshipped Croce and lived for the sparse appearances he was able to make on television shows of the day, like the Midnight Special, knew that his more heartfelt material was the special stuff. As Operator shows, he was the absolute master of bittersweet understatement, infused even with self-deprecating humor (you can keep the dime!) to mask the crushing heartbreak. I already follow Mary, but the two of really have chemistry when it comes to talking about songwriting. I could be there right with you geeking out over this song. Thank you so much for going over this touchstone of the earliest part of my musical journey.
Zipperlip 3 meses atrás
So, we are the same age ... And I started guitar at 9 years old in 1970 ... also a huge Jim Croce fan ... I used to fantasize about playing the lead in a Jim Croce biographical movie ... I can kind of sound like him ... But moreso, I just loved his music ... Sadly, that movie never happened ... There is a great book though, btw ... Worth finding if you haven't already ... Sadly, Croce never made it close to our age! Way too late to star in that movie now!
Lyle Smith
Lyle Smith Mês atrás
I was a young kid when he died.. Croce was my sisters favorite artist and I could understand why she was crying over someone she didn’t know. As I grew and listened to his incredible music I understood. Now I get very sad when I think about it. But, what incredible players both guys were. Great cover you guys.
Lyle Smith
Lyle Smith Mês atrás
Josh Hutcheson
Josh Hutcheson 7 dias atrás
The lost of this talented man is not discussed enough. The music world would have been so different if Jim continued to make music. I wasn’t even alive then but, when I learned how he died and his story, I felt I lost a first 20 years before I was born. That’s the power of his music. Crazy.
Don DeCaire
Don DeCaire 24 dias atrás
Great song and all the little tells on how old it is make it that much better in my opinion. One of my all time favorites. Croce sold it so well and instrumentally just perfect. Imagine what he could have produced had he lived a long life, it's one of the great tragedies and triumphs of American music, someone that produced such great work but for such a short time, thank you Jim Croce for a lifetime of great music.
Rob Kittle
Rob Kittle 7 dias atrás
I love Jim's story telling ability with his songs. I think that is a lost art, and a tragedy. The art of telling a story you actually want to hear!
Old Grizz
Old Grizz 2 meses atrás
One of my all time favorite love songs, by a great artist, being discussed by two incredible talents.....maybe one of my favorite videos. The props in the song maybe dated but the heartache is timeless.
Sesimie StreetFighter
Sesimie StreetFighter 3 meses atrás
This is a major reason i don't listen to newer music. I want to hear songs that take me on a journey...or tells a story. We are over saturated with Beats. The older I get (44) the less I'm impressed by technical brilliance and the more i'm into the lasting memories. Mary Spender is a Treasure!
Whammy Bard
Whammy Bard 2 meses atrás
I still listen to newer music. You can still find great songwriting if you search for it. But I totally agree about how technical brilliance impresses me less and less as I get older. The songs that stick with me are the ones that leave an emotional mark.
Chris Bruford
Chris Bruford 3 meses atrás
By definiton a melody is (in homophonic music) a sequence of notes independient from the harmony. There is no song without melody, you should try to learn basic music theory. It is true most songs today are unmemorable but there are Good artist today (even if they are Not your tastes) that make complex rythms, harmonies and music: jacob collier, dream theater (prog metal), muse, bilie eilish, etc. By the way if most of your "exquicite" music tastes concist mostly from 60s and 70s rock songs I wouldn't call your tastes "complex" at all. Go listen to late romantic and neo-classical music.
Paul Revere
Paul Revere 3 meses atrás
​​@Clyde Kimsey It's not just music and it's certainly not just people stuck based on their age group although there is a little of that. There may be individuals who have talent still, but things have really degraded far in the predominantly English speaking world. Yes there is lots of contrived garbage getting too much coverage, but if there really is great stuff that matched the 60s and 70s it wouldn't all stay hidden. I suspect that it's actually mediocre range stuff even if it's far better than the contemporary "top hits" with the standards being so gutter low right now.
Clyde Kimsey
Clyde Kimsey 3 meses atrás
@ProsyMe I've heard that a thousand times. Finding songs with melodies after the mid 80s are like needles in haystacks
Clyde Kimsey
Clyde Kimsey 3 meses atrás
@ElroxVGC im proud to not move along with the masses who listen to trashy "music" that has no melody
Blue Sky Music
Blue Sky Music 23 dias atrás
Songs like these are timeless. The writers are amazing. It's so sad to see music today.
PlataxJazz 2 meses atrás
You have to be my age, middle 70's, growing up in the 1960s and with that base of music transitioning into the 1970s to really appreciate Jim Croce. Jim Croce was so very talented. I still listen to his music. Mary really understands the emotions and the story of "Operator". The line: "you can keep the dime", he felt the conversation with the operator was worth the cost of the call that he never made. Now I have something in my eyes. Rick and Mary, well done.
jim harrison
jim harrison 2 meses atrás
Agree. I am 74 and really remember the impact Jim made on me. So many of his songs affected me greatly
Steve Gabbert
Steve Gabbert 3 meses atrás
To me, when he sings, "You can keep the dime." he's realizing that the operator has been nice enough to sit and listen to him, while he pours out his heart break. The operator goes from being just worker, to a temporary friend that's been sitting there, lending him her ear. The album came out 2 years out of high school for me, and my all time favorite of all of them.
Dr. Buzz
Dr. Buzz 3 meses atrás
I absolutely love that you and Mary analyzed this masterpiece... my favorite of his. Thank you. I hadn't thought about how dated the song has become, given the obsolescence of the singer's "counterpart"... I just dialed "0" for the first time in probably four decades, and was sent off in the ether of nothingness. Mary's take on the lyrics differs a little from mine, in that I find deep sadness from the fourth line, and the rest takes it even deeper. Yes, he is trying to cover his grief and anger (maybe desperation?), but it is very obviously there. I don't know which is more impressive - whether he could invent such a character from observation (as John Prine would do), or whether he could so achingly bare his soul if this was from a personal experience. Regardless, it is at once profoundly sad and beautiful. Perhaps someone else wrote this earlier, but Maury's name was actually pronounced MULE-eye-zen. I had heard that as well as Jim Croce wrote, it was actually Muehleisen who came up with the arrangements. And then that frustratingly brilliant guitar work... oy.
Matthew Geer
Matthew Geer 3 meses atrás
I was introduced to this song when it was covered by The Other Favorites, Renia Del Cid, and Toni Lindgren. They completely nailed it (as they do most songs), though they did need two guitars, and bass, a shaker, and four part vocal harmonies to pull it off.
Wes Plybon
Wes Plybon 5 meses atrás
Croce, in his very short career, set himself up next to the other great lyricists of the era like Gordon Lightfoot and Simon and Garfunkel. His ability to craft an environment and emotion succinctly and creatively was truly masterful.
tantraman10 4 meses atrás
And Harry Chapin!!
Don Calderalo
Don Calderalo 5 meses atrás
@Rick Casper Amen. Al is best known for 'Year of the Cat', but the depth of his artistry is still unappreciated by all but his fortunate disciples.
XicaDaSilva22 5 meses atrás
Al Stewart has a special place in my heart along these sort of folksy lines.
Devon Glennon
Devon Glennon 5 meses atrás
@Fornostios or Phil Ochs who was seriously the REAL deal.
Devon Glennon
Devon Glennon 5 meses atrás
Maury and Jim were unflappable. I couldn't agree more!
David Clementi
David Clementi 2 meses atrás
Oh my gosh, Jim Croce and Maury Muehlhausen were two of the most outstanding guitar players and performers ever! Even though the songs may have been written before our time, the wording and the composition of the melodies make them so relevant to our present situations and emotions. He had a talent for capturing the subtle poignancy of our daily struggles with life, love and the relationships that are intertwined with it, and expressing it in such a way that it really connects with our inner soul.... His music always seems to affect our essential emotions...our behaviors. He will never be replaced.
The Georgia Rover
The Georgia Rover 3 meses atrás
Damn, does this one bring back memories. I was a young kid when I first heard this song, back in the late ‘70s. My father was a big Jim Croce fan, and this song was one of his favorites. Honestly, I probably haven’t heard this song in 20 years, but as soon as I saw the thumbnail, all the notes popped into my head, along with all the lyrics. Know every one by heart. Croce was absolutely brilliant.
Michael Bonnardi
Michael Bonnardi Mês atrás
I can remember hearing Leroy Brown on the radio in my parents car as a ten year old. Then, I didn't really know and understand his short time in the spot light. but, there something in my eyes now. What a difference a year can make in ones life. It's been 50 years this year, but it's also still the summer of 1973 ...
wheels 16 dias atrás
I remember getting the 45 for some of my Christmas/birthday gifts. I must have played that lil 45 a hundred times. Playing and then stopping to write out a lyrics sheet. I would practice that song every night after my homework. His death was certainly a heartbreaking moment. Thank you Rick &Mary. Love your channels both. Peace.
Joe Decker
Joe Decker 3 meses atrás
The real deal in songwriting, a lost art today in popular music.
Keith Sparbanie
Keith Sparbanie 5 meses atrás
Jim Croce. Yes. I’m 63. We all had his three albums plus the hits package, “Photographs and Memories.” So talented. Brilliant. Even if we were rockers into the Stones, The Who, Led Zeppelin, Deep Purple, and Black Sabbath… we were also fans of Croce.
Spirit Matter
Spirit Matter 28 dias atrás
Queen; ELO; Emerson, Lake and Palmer; Yes; Cat Stevens; Carole King; Bread; America; the Eagles; The Who; the Stones; Boston….it’s endless, the soundtrack of my teenage years.
Charlie OBrien
Charlie OBrien 3 meses atrás
Keith I'm right there with you. In the 70's we didn't get locked into just one genre or style of music. Good stuff was good stuff and we didn't want to miss out. Among my Bowie and Elton John and Blue Oyster Cult records were also Jim Croce's greatest hits and the Carpenter's Christmas album. Psst, keep that last one on the DL. Lol
delamo 4 meses atrás
I'm 45 (born 77) and growing up Jim Croce was still all over the radio (at least my mom's soft hits stations), have had his greatest hits since I was a teen, next to all my hip-hop, rock, r&b etc. good music is timeless What a great songwriter
ColdCoffeeBear 4 meses atrás
You said it all.
Hube Chen
Hube Chen 4 meses atrás
I love Jim croce songs..great songwriter and so many great songs which I do sing along and never tire .
Anthony Brown
Anthony Brown 26 dias atrás
I listen to this song every day or almost everyday at work along with most of Jim Croce’s others. My father played him on the record player often on weekends prior to his death. I was into Elvis and country which my school friends along with my brother thought I was weird. I understand and can relate to this song for it closely fits why I’m single and still single today. I’ve over come the blow but the pain is still there twenty years later.
Literally Shaking
Literally Shaking 2 meses atrás
Operator is one of the most perfectly written, beautifully sung and masterfully played songs of all time. Even if the lingo has fallen out of the times, it will always be universally understood.
Philotomy Ba'ar
Philotomy Ba'ar 3 meses atrás
I really enjoy this format, with a dialogue about “What Makes this Song Great.” And it makes me feel better that even Rick finds this challenging. I had a vocalist suggest covering this some years ago and I was shocked at how tricky it was! And I was a Berklee guitar major, so I thought I was losing my edge. 😂
Bruce Langsteiner
Bruce Langsteiner Mês atrás
Every time I listen to this song I'm always struck by the incredible guitar work. The lyrics are so incredible!!
Ireland831 3 meses atrás
I love the song...I have memories of driving in our old Dodge station wagon with this song, (along with tons of other AM tunes). I hated them at the time, but these put me back to my young self going to swimming lessons in the summer and rainy days to school, (the very few days I got a ride vs walking). Mary's beauty is so distracting...what a lovely woman and fun to hear her perspective on things she didn't live through. I try to tell my kids about pay phones and all the other oddities of the 70's. Bravo Rick and will seek out Mary's material as she is an old soul and a wonderful partner to dissect this Jim Crocce tune.
VengerDFW 3 meses atrás
So much to say here... yes, the Operator does say something to him, but not to us... he can't read the number she just gave him. But we only hear Jim. What an amazing talent - on the level of a Van Gogh or Mozart frankly, true genius for his art. His life cut tragically short, and most sadly, as he was winding his tour down to spend more time with his wife and very young son. To my surprise and happiness, my own son heard Jim Croce through my music playlists and very much enjoys him, so it is reaching younger generations - and how couldn't it, the fundamental humanity that is in Jim's lyrics can touch us all, if we let ourselves listen, and truly hear it.
Steve A!
Steve A! 3 meses atrás
Well said brother, glad someone could sum up more concisely than I, where Jim's coming from, and comment on what a level demeanor he had to have...
Jerry Chappelear
Jerry Chappelear Mês atrás
I'm 56 years old..been playing guitar since I was 12. .I love this song..I get emotional every time I hear it...I have recently been working on learning it and it is a monster...I haven't even gotten the rhythm half decent but the fills....all the twings and twangs...that to me makes the music...I haven't attempted yet....great choice of songs...
Dale Greer
Dale Greer 9 dias atrás
I've just started learning this song. It never made me cry the million times I've heard it before, but when I get to "Let's forget about this call" it breaks me down. I feel like "'You can keep the dime" is short because it's between stifled sobs. There's just the right amount of time after "so much more than kind" to collect yourself for one short sentence followed by another stifled sob. Also, it's like he's paying for a therapy session. He recognizes the operator has been "more than kind", he knew the whole thing was futile from the start, that he just wanted to talk to someone about it in a therapeutic way. You can't really talk to your friends about that kind of thing more than a couple of times before they start trying to move you along because they're sick of hearing about your obsession. Another thing, the part about "I've learned to take it well", yeah that's what you say about a permanent injury. You learn to compensate, and can almost convince yourself that you're doing fine without that right hand. Losing it was a personal growth experience! Also, it occurs to me that Scarborough Fair is similar - "Are you going to Scarborough Fair? Look ye up that lass who I don't care about anymore? I ne'er loved her really, but she lives by the way. Remember me to her, will ye?"
James Murphy
James Murphy 3 meses atrás
Love Jim Croce. This song made me cry when I heard it back in the early 70's. It is so relatable. Perfect and poignant story telling lyrics. Amazing duel acoustic guitars that just compliment each other. And all done in 3.44 minutes.
Paul Callahan
Paul Callahan 2 meses atrás
I grew up loving Jim Croce, which my older siblings played when I was little. In the 80s, a college friend of mine dismissed it as "elevator music" and I have never been willing to admit I like Croce since then. I think it's time to get over my shame. Yes, this is a beautiful song.
Gerry 3 meses atrás
Maury’s lead acoustic playing is so unique.
Mike VanWyk
Mike VanWyk 3 meses atrás
I went through a huge Jim Croce discovery period in high school, and I graduated in 1991, so his music was a little "before my time" so-to-speak. I have often described Croce's writing as that he had the ability to take 'War and Peace' and condense it into three verses and a chorus. A total and complete lyrical genius! Some of my favorite songs of his are ones that weren't even the biggest hits! He was taken from us way too soon.
Elizabeth Parson
Elizabeth Parson 2 meses atrás
I was getting dressed for school, listening to the radio when the D.J. gave us the news. I sat or fell down and just cried. I skipped school that day.
try_me_guy 3 meses atrás
@Chris D classical music is my chill background noise music but that's pretty cool you knew all about it and maybe know the difference between Vivaldi Beethoven and Mozart
Chris D
Chris D 3 meses atrás
@try_me_guy Mine split the difference. I got kind of pop-folk music topped off with classical training. Instead of Woodie Guthrie and Jack Elliott, I got Beethoven, Mozart, and Tchaikovsky. I could tell the difference between a bassoon and a bass clarinet, or the difference between The Nutcracker and The Marriage of Figaro by the time I was 8, but I had no idea who Michael Jackson was.
try_me_guy 3 meses atrás
@Chris D sounds like your folks had great taste in music my mom and dad was really into stuff like bluegrass Jimmy Rogers Woody Guthrie ramblin Jack Elliott a lot of that old timey folk music
try_me_guy 3 meses atrás
All Die hard music fans should have a Jim Croce phase! he practically created his own genre!
marshallcrank Mês atrás
Definitely one of the greatest of all time .I can't imagine what great songs that were lost in his passing.
Tony Ramey Music Channel
Love this: I always thought the genuis in the way he crafted the tune. Essentially, the operator’s ears become the audiences’ ear. The faded number makes the matchbook signify the time that’s passed between him and his old love (and the fire that died inside her) and still he’s hanging on. The love triangle sort of adds depth to the story in just a half line. We’ve filled in the blanks, as you and Mary extrapolate. The whole song takes place in a moment-a moment that essentially he has been reliving for perhaps even decades. The irony of course of his denial caps it off. One of the greatest songs ever…
Meg O'Fiachra
Meg O'Fiachra 3 meses atrás
I also think that line, “You can keep the dime,” is said quickly, because he has to get it out and finish the conversation before he breaks down. It’s as if it’s the last words he’s able to squeeze out before his emotions take over and he can’t talk. Oof. I agree, the perfect song. And the guitar! I never get tired of listening to any Croce song.
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