Radio 71, side B, track 10: “Bad, Bad Leroy Brown” by Jim Croce (plus a bonus 45 RPM track!)

Jim Croce - Bad Bad Leroy BrownOh, Jim Croce, this song brings me waaaay back.  I hadn’t heard it for a long time, but when I was a kid and I mean a little, little kid, a kid who didn’t even know what cassette tapes were or that you could some day record music off the radio, much less listen to it on “the internet”, back when I was that little whippersnapper, I had a collection of 45 records that I’d inherited from other family members that I listened to all the time.  You might even remember my little 45 RPM project that I’ve kind of neglected for quite awhile.  And in that stack of records, there was this little gem.  I listened to this song on my little plastic record player right alongside my “Winnie The Pooh and The Blustery Day” and “Spider-Man in Mark of the Man-Wolf!” read-along records.

I always loved the story of Leroy Brown, though as a kid I didn’t understand the context of most of the lyrics.  Like, what was the purpose of having a razor in one’s shoe?  That sounded dangerous.  And I thought that line of “badder than old King Kong” was “badder than a honking car”, because as a small country boy, I assumed that everyone in the big city honked at each other a lot and that was bad.  Probably better that I didn’t know the King Kong line, because I saw the Jessica Lange remake on TV as a wee lad and couldn’t sleep for weeks thinking about old King Kong’s eye staring in through my bedroom window.

Anyway, Jim Croce, it’s weird listening to this amazing song without the hisses and pops of my old 45 copy.  So we COULD listen to the version I recorded off of BOB in 2013:

OR, we could listen to the version that I listened to over and over and over as a kid, snaps, crackles, and pops included:

Either way we win.

lyrics to “Bad, Bad Leroy Brown”

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