What a talent and gone WAY to soon. We were just getting to know singer/songwriter Jim Croce in the early 1970’s with hits like “Bad, Bad Leroy Brown” and “You Don’t Mess Around With Jim” when he hits us with this insightful story-song, “Operator,” also commonly referred to as “That’s Not the Way It Feels.” “Operator” was written and recorded in 1972 single Croce as part of his Don’t Mess Around With Jim album and was released as a single on August 23, 1972. Ultimately it peaked at #17 on the Billboard Hot 100 in December of that year, spending twelve weeks on the chart.
Croce’s widow, Ingrid, claims the song was inspired during Jim’s national guard, where he saw lines of soldiers waiting to use the outdoor payphone on base, many of them calling their wives or girlfriends to see if their Dear John letter they had received was true.
Less than a year after this performance, on Thursday, September 20, 1973, during Croce’s Life and Times tour and the day before his single “I Got a Name” was released, Croce and five others died when their chartered plane crashed into a tree during take-off from the Natchitoches Regional Airport.
This is a great LIVE performance that shows you what a couple of guys with guitars can do.