I Got a Name is the fifth album by Americansinger-songwriterJim Croce, released on December 1, 1973. It features the ballad "I'll Have to Say I Love You in a Song", which reached #9 in the U.S. singles chart, and the ballad "Salon and Saloon", the last song Croce recorded in his lifetime. The song was written by his guitarist Maury Muehleisen and was included on the album as a gift to the writer. The song is noted for its sparse piano only vocal backing. This would be Croce's final album recorded during his lifetime, as Croce died in a plane crash shortly before the album's title song was released, leaving wife Ingrid Croce and son Adrian J. Croce. The title track, the theme from the film The Last American Hero, was another posthumous hit for Croce, reaching #10 in the U.S. singles chart.
Croce's wife Ingrid Croce has an autobiographical cookbook, Thyme In A Bottle, in which she writes interesting anecdotes about Jim. What she wrote about "I'll Have To Say 'I Love You' in a Song" is this.
"One weekend, after being on the road for many months, Jim got a chance to come home to relax with his family. We settled in to enjoy our time alone together. Though Jim was expecting company the next day, avoiding confrontation he never told me that we were to be joined by an entire film crew! The next morning, 15 people from Acorn Productions descended upon our house to record a promotional film of Jim Croce at Home on the Farm.
"I prepared breakfast, lunch and dinner for the whole film crew and after the group left, I questioned Jim about our finances. After a year and a half of his working so very hard on the road, we were barely making ends meet, but Jim wouldn't talk about it. He hated questions as much as he hated confrontation, especially about money. He stormed out of our bedroom and went down to the kitchen table to brood. The next morning he woke me gently by singing his new song. 'Every time I tried to tell you the words just came out wrong. So I'll have to say "I love you" in a song.'"
Prior to the album's release, the song "I Got a Name" (written by Charles Fox and Norman Gimbel) was featured as the theme song to the 1973 film The Last American Hero (also shown on television as Hard Driver). Croce was chosen by Fox and Gimbel to sing the song after hearing Croce sing for the first time on a Croce record they had been playing. Fox thought that Croce's voice was a perfect fit for both the song and the film. Croce agreed to sing the song after hearing Fox play it over the telephone. The version of the song that appears in the film was recorded exclusively for the film. The version on the album is a totally different recording.