Maury Muehleisen 1949-1973
Maury Muehleisen was born on January 14th, 1949, in Trenton New Jersey. From the age of 9, Maury took piano lessons and was already an accomplished pianist by the time he began teaching himself guitar at the age of 17.
While at Glassboro State College, Maury became a student of Joe Salviuolo (aka Sal Joseph), who was an old friend of Jim Croce. Sal instantly recognized Maury's musical genius and they became good friends, playing and singing together at local coffee houses. Sal was so sure of Maury's talents and potential that he quit his job as communications professor and gave up his tenure to manage Maury full time. Maury achieved some success as a solo artist and recorded an album,"Gingerbreadd", for "Capitol Records". Unfortunately, his record did not achieve the recognition it deserved, and Maury had hoped for. Around this time, Jim recorded an album with his wife, Ingrid, which also failed to gain success. Meanwhile, Maury was playing gigs, but needed a back-up guitarist. Sal suggested he try out his old college buddy, Jim Croce, as his side-kick. Their chemistry was instantaneous, and magical. The two became inseparable. Jim soon began writing new songs in a whole new style, incorporating the unique "Maury" sound into his songs. Soon Maury became Jim's back-up guitarist, and the rest became history.
Maury soon became Jim's "band", a gifted combination that created Jim's three ABC albums - You Don't Mess Around With Jim, Life and Times, and I Got A Name in 1972 and 1973. His career with Jim was rewarded with three gold albums and two gold singles.
Tragically, Jim and Maury's career was cut short on September 20th, 1973, when the plane they had chartered crashed and they were both killed, along with Jim's road manager Dennis Rast, his booking agent Ken Cortese, their opening act comedian George Stevens, and the pilot Robert Newton Elliott.
More information on the brilliantly talented Maury Muehleisen can be found on his web page, www.maurymuehleisen.com, run by his sister and our dear friend, Mary Muehleisen.