A.J. Croce to perform late father Jim’s songs in concert at Southern Theatre


A.J. Croce was eight days shy of his second birthday when he lost his father, folk-soft rock star Jim Croce, but he is helping to keep the late balladeer’s music alive.

Since last year, the younger Croce has sold out venues across the country with his “Croce Plays Croce 50th Anniversary Show,” which comes to the Southern Theatre, 21 E. Main St., on Sept. 8.

Tickets start at $49.50 and can be purchased at the CBUSArts Ticket Center at the Ohio Theatre, 39 E. State St., online at capa.comcbusarts.com and by phone at 614-469-0939.

In addition to Jim Croce’s music, the “Croce Plays Croce” show includes songs by A.J. Croce − a Billboard-charting singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist in his own right − and songs that influenced both him and his father.

The 52-year-old A.J. Croce has been playing music for a living since he was 15 and toured with B.B. King and Ray Charles before turning 21. His style, described as “part New Orleans, part juke joint, part soul,” pulls from genres, including blues, jazz, soul, pop and rock.

In the early 2000s, after 10 studio albums and three decades of touring the world establishing his own career, A.J. Croce taught himself guitar and several of his father’s classics. In 2012, he performed an entire set of Jim Croce’s songs publicly for the first time.

Jim Croce was just 30 years old when he died in a 1973 plane crash. Though he recorded only five studio albums, 12 singles came out of those albums, including the hits “Bad, Bad Leroy Brown,” “Time in a Bottle,” “I’ll Have to Say I Love You in a Song,” “You Don’t Mess Around with Jim,” “I Got a Name,” “Operator (That’s Not the Way It Feels)” and “Workin’ at the Car Wash Blues.”