On this day in music history: December 29, 197…

On this day in music history: December 29, 1973 – “Time In A Bottle” by Jim Croce hits #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 for 2 weeks, also topping the Adult Contemporary chart for 1 week on the same date. Written by Jim Croce, it is the second and final chart topping single for the Philadelphia, PA born singer and songwriter. By early 1971, musician Jim Croce is still struggling to succeed in the music business, and has taken odd jobs driving a truck and working in construction to make ends meet, when a major life changing event occurs. Croce’s wife Ingrid tells him she is expecting their first child. This gives the musician the motivation to secure his family’s future, and the catalyst for one of his most popular and beloved songs. The Croces have a son named Adrian James (A.J.) Croce, born on September 28, 1971. By early 1972, Jim Croce is signed to ABC Records and scores a hit right out of the box with the title track to “You Don’t Mess Around With Jim”. Another track on the album titled “Time In A Bottle” is inspired by the birth of his son A.J. and his wife. With the main body of the track recorded, producer Terry Cashman adds the crowning touch. He spots a harpischord in the studio that had been rented for another session and is about to be hauled away. Cashman asks the men if they can wait while he uses it, laying down two tracks of the instrument on to the master tape. The song is not considered for single release, and lies dormant on the album, until it is included in a television movie titled “She Lives” which airs on the ABC television network on September 12, 1973. The film is broadcast just eight days before the plane crash that claims Croces’ life and five others on board. ABC receives thousands of inquiries about the song following the broadcast, leading to ABC Records to rush release it as a single. Entering the Hot 100 at #79 on November 17, 1973, it races to the top of the chart six weeks later. The song becomes the third posthumous number one single of the rock era after Otis Redding’s “(Sittin’ On) The Dock Of The Bay” and Janis Joplin’s “Me And Bobby McGee”. “Time In A Bottle” is certified Gold in the US by the RIAA.