Bad Bad Leroy Brown

Jim Croce died in a plane crash on September 20, 1973 when he was only 30 years old.  A few days after his death, his wife Ingrid received a letter from him telling her that he had decided to quit music and stick to writing short stories and movie scripts as a career, and withdraw from public life.  Bad Bad Leroy Brown hit #1 on the charts just two months before his death.

The song was inspired by a tough private he met while in the army.  Croce and Brown used to hang out and sing together … until one day when Leroy Brown went AWOL.

Bad Bad Leroy Brown
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

Songwriters: James Croce

Bad Bad Leroy Brown lyrics © BMG Rights Management US, LLC, Warner/Chappell Music, Inc, Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

34 thoughts on “Bad Bad Leroy Brown

  1. “Time in a Bottle” is my favourite of his too. But I have been wondering lately if you know the music of the Beau Brummels (especially the “Triangle”) album, starting at https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=Lw9I0-UY9qo&start_radio=1&list=RDLw9I0-UY9qo, or Lewis and Clarke Expedition (especially the short collection “Memorial to the American Indian”) found at https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=tnv-hiTSyxQ. These are generally little know records that are all in my top 100 of all time. If you like these, I have even more up my pantlegs. You already know what’s up my sleeves. LuL.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I remember the Beau Brummels from my high school days, and think I liked them, but for the life of me I cannot think of a single song they did! I don’t recognize the songs in the links you sent, but I like both … especially the 2nd one. Thanks … and yes, I would like to hear more. LuL!

      Like

      • Beau Brummels Early Hits include:
        Laugh Laugh
        Tell Me Why
        Just a Little
        Don’t Talk to Stangers
        Still in Love with You Baby
        My favourite albums of theirs are “Triangle” and 1975’s “Beau Brummels.”

        The Moody Blues’ theme albums:
        Days of Future Past
        In Search of the Lost Chord
        On the Threshold of a Dream
        A Question of Balance
        plus more

        The Yardbirds sinngles:
        Heart Full of Soul
        For Your Love
        Evil Hearted You
        Good Morning Little Schoolgirl
        I’m A Man
        Smokestack Lightning
        Mr. You’re a Better Man Than I
        Shapes of Things
        Over Under Sideways Down
        Happenings Ten Years Time Ago

        plus many other bands like:
        Them
        The Kinks
        The Who
        The Guess Who
        The Zombies
        The Hollies
        Manfred Mann
        The Temptations
        The Four Tops
        Mitch Ryder and the Detroit Wheels
        Tommy James and the Shondells
        The Grass Roots

        and every time I try to dtop more names keep popping up in myhead, saying “What about us?”:
        The Turtles Dave Clark Five
        Paul Revere and the Raiders
        Jefferson Airplane
        Buffalo Springfield
        The McCoys
        … … …

        Like

  2. Dear Jill,

    Jim Croce could spin a story that was set to music. He was obviously a great story teller and would have been a true talent with writing short stories and movie scripts. He is missed. I hate it when the good ones are taken too soon from us.

    Hugs, Gronda

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, I love that one, too! And you are right … I wonder if he would have kept to his word to get out of music and concentrate on his writing, or if music would have called him, had he lived. We’ll never know.

      Like

  3. Jim Croce…a voice that has never been matched! I love that voice! “Time in a Bottle” and “I Got a Name” and “One Less Set of Footsteps” and many more are favorites. The first record of his that I bought was the 1969 Jim & Ingrid Croce vinyl album. I think that it was later released under other titles, for reasons that I don’t know. Thank-you!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I LOVE JIM CROCE, PLAY HIM ALMOST EVERY DAY ON MY PRIME MUSIC AS WELL AS PANDORA RADIO. I SURE DIDN’T KNOW ABOUT THAT LETTER THOUGH. NOW I WISH HE HAD STAYED HOME EARLIER EVEN IF IT WOULD HAVE MEANT LESS MUSIC FOR US. AND I ALSO THINK THE PLAYLIST ENTERED ABOVE BY KEITH IS GREAT. I HAD EVERY ONE OF HIS ALBUMS ON VINEL,(sp) BUT HAVE ONLY KEPT THEM ON MY PANDORA SINCE MY OLD RECORD PLAYER BIT THE DUST AND VINYL RECORDS BECAME HISTORY. HOW BOUT THAT — THIS TIME I SPELLED IT RIGHT. SHOULD GO BACK AND CHANGE IT ABOVE BUT TOO TIRED AT THIS TIME TO CARE. THANKS FOR THIS ONE, JILL.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m very glad you enjoyed it! Did you know that vinyl is making a comeback? I see them everywhere I go — in bookstores & music stores, especially! And you can get a decent turntable fairly cheap … I bought my daughter one for Christmas for, I think $78. But personally, I find the internet easier anyway 😉

      Liked by 1 person

      • I’ve seen the turntables on Amazon and if I still had any of the old vinyl I would get one in a flash! Unfortunately they were all left behind in the old farm house when I moved to town and the sun warped them, so not much use for that kind now. Oh well, the internet works well when it works at all, so much easier this way. I also have my CD and DVD players so I’m pretty much covered as far as music goes. If the electricity holds out for them, anyway, and if the electric isn’t working I’ll be sitting here in the dark anyway. Hopefully in that case I’ll find my old Q Chord and play my own music then.

        Liked by 1 person

        • I completely agree with you. Much easier to find what you want and have it playing into your ears while you work, troll the ‘net, argue on social media, or whatever. I use my ipod or cellphone to play tunes while I’m out walking or working around the house, and my laptop while I’m writing (which is about 12-14 hours a day!). I certainly hope your electricity holds out, but if it doesn’t and you have no tunes, do what I do … SING!!! (Being mostly deaf, I am the absolute worst singer in the world, but … who cares? It makes me happy!)

          Liked by 1 person

          • I tend to sing along with the music anyway. Ye old church musician coming out to play I guess, just use my Q Chord now instead of my guitar, which I can’t seem to convince my dear son to return to me! But the Q works with batteries and I keep those on hand now for all the times I have those die on me — always at the most inconvenient times, of course. Not sure why they don’t ask me if it’s convenient before they poof out, but then no one asked me about the water main either and it broke at an inconvenient time. Chee! You would think I asked for the moon or something the way these things just happen without my knowing what’s going on because I’m doing 2857 things at once and just don’t lift my head up to see if the sun is shining or it’s dark yet. Usually in that case I finally look up to find it’s not morning any longer, in fact it’s usually around midnight! I spend a lot of time with my favorite laptop also, with the music streaming from my TV Fire Stick, one of the best investments I’ve made all year. My photos streaming across the screen while the music plays — who could ask for anything better?

            Liked by 1 person

            • It’s funny, but my cell phone and mouse never ask me if it’s convenient for the batteries to die, either! I think it’s a conspiracy!!! I had to look up a Q Chord, for I had no idea what one was! Interesting looking, but out of my price range at the moment. HAH!!! You look up to find it is midnight, while I raise my head from my work to find that it is nigh on 5:00 a.m.!!! My average bedtime these days is 3:00, but quite often it ends up being 5:00. Funny, I am busier now that I’m retired than I ever was when I worked full-time! But I wouldn’t have it any other way. 😊

              Liked by 1 person

              • I’m retired also — at least that’s what they tell me, but if I make it to bed before 1:00 am I’m lucky, especially since I wake up at 4 am. Inner alarm clock from all those years on the farm, getting up to make breakfast for the guys before they headed out to work. If everything worked on the same size battery it would make life easier, but my stuff runs the gamut from AAA to D, so I’m always buying the wrong size, thinking they are the ones that are low.
                My Q Chord is pretty old, and only cost a quarter of what they cost now. I looked them up on Amazon while checking to see if they have an AC adapter for them. They do, fortunately, not very expensive, but when I saw the price of the instrument itself I almost choked on my disbelief. Just the Q Chord cost several times what I paid for the Q and the hard shell case back in the early ’90’s. I thought things went down in price after they had been on the market for a few years — except for my Martin guitar which is worth waaaaayyy more than I could ever afford.

                Liked by 1 person

                • I hear you on the batteries. I don’t think I have anything that takes ‘C’ or ‘D’ batteries anymore, but I can never remember if it’s ‘AA’ or ‘AAA’. The ones I hate the most are the round disk-shaped ones, for they come in all sorts of weird denominations. My glucose monitor, bathroom scale, and a few other things take those sort. Yes, I was amazed at the price of the Q Chord when I looked it up! Things typically DO go down in price, especially electronics, once the R&D costs have been recouped and the manufacturing process becomes more efficient. But there are exceptions. Cell phones is another such exception. My last one was over $700 and I was in sticker shock for weeks!

                  Liked by 1 person

  5. Jill, we adore Jim Croce. His body of work for such a short life is huge. In addition to the more well known songs, he has some terrific songs that did not get much air play, such as “Alabama Rain,” “Lover’s Cross,” and “One less set of footsteps.” His ability to tell stories in song is memorable. Listening to “Operator,” “New York’s not my home,” “Working at the car wash blues,” or even “Roller Derby Queen,” he reveals humanity at its most vulnerable and melancholy.

    I did not know the story behind Leroy Brown. That is cool. I am old enough to remember his wife accepting his Grammy post mortem. Thanks for the memories. Keith

    Like

    • Thank you for the re-blog! Yes, his death was tragic and I wondered if he would truly have stopped making music as his letter to his wife claimed, or if it was in his blood and he would have gone back to it. We’ll never know. Thanks again!

      Liked by 1 person

I would like to hear your opinion, so please comment if you feel so inclined.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s