Operator (That's Not the Way It Feels)
|"Operator (That's Not the Way It Feels)"|
|Single by Jim Croce|
|from the album You Don't Mess Around with Jim|
|B-side||"Rapid Roy (The Stock Car Boy)"|
|Released||August 23, 1972|
|Format||7" 45 RPM|
Vertigo (UK, Mexico)
|Jim Croce singles chronology|
"Operator (That's Not the Way It Feels)" is a 1972 single written and recorded by Jim Croce. It was released August 23, 1972 and was the second single released from his album You Don't Mess Around with Jim. It reached a peak of 17 on the Billboard Hot 100 in December 1972 after spending twelve weeks on the chart.
The song is about the narrator's conversation with a telephone operator and trying to find the telephone number of his former lover who has moved to Los Angeles with his former best friend. The narrator wants to confront his former lover by telling her he is over her leaving him. At one point during the call, the operator gives the speaker his ex-lover's phone number, but he is so overcome with emotion that he cannot read the number the operator just gave him (presumably due to the tears in his eyes). As the song continues, the narrator realizes he is not over her and decides not to call her.
The story was inspired during Jim Croce's military service, where he saw lines of soldiers waiting to use the outdoor phone on base, many of them calling their wife or girlfriend to see if their Dear John letter was true.
In 1973 Croce performed "Operator (That's Not the Way It Feels)" on the series The Midnight Special. Live versions of the song have also been released on the albums Jim Croce Live: The Final Tour, and "Have You Heard: Jim Croce Live".
The song "Operator (That's Not the Way It Feels)" has been covered by a number of artists, in both recordings and live performances:
- By Toby Lightman on the Everwood soundtrack album.
- By Rodney Crowell on the tribute album Jim Croce: A Nashville Tribute.
- By Jesse Malin on his 2008 covers album On Your Sleeve.
- The Avett Brothers often play this song in concert. Their rendition usually features Seth Avett playing the guitar and singing. He is usually joined by the band's bassist, Bob Crawford.
- Tori Amos also covered the song in concert, which was recorded and released on one of the albums in her The Original Bootlegs package.
- Garth Brooks for the 2013 "The Melting Pot" album in the "Blame It All on My Roots: Five Decades of Influences" compilation.
7" Single (ABC-11335)
- "Operator (That's Not The Way It Feels)" - 3:45
- "Rapid Roy (The Stock Car Boy) " - 2:40
|Canadian RPM Top Singles||11|
|U.S. Billboard Hot 100||17|
|U.S. Cash Box Top 100||14|
|U.S. Billboard Easy Listening||11|
- Dean, Maury (2003). Rock 'n Roll: Gold Rush : a Singles Un-cyclopedia. Maxwell Hunter Publishing. p. 235.
- Jim Croce - Operator (That's Not The Way It Feels) / Rapid Roy (The Stock Car Boy)
- Top Singles - Volume 18, No. 20, December 30 1972
- Cash Box Top 100 12/09/72
- Operator (That's Not the Way It Feels)