Workin' at the Car Wash Blues

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"Workin' at the Car Wash Blues"
Single by Jim Croce
from the album I Got a Name
B-side "Thursday"
Released May 1974[1]
Format 7" 45 RPM
Recorded 1973
Genre Folk rock
Length 2:32
Label ABC
Writer(s) Jim Croce
Producer(s) Terry Cashman
Jim Croce singles chronology
"I'll Have to Say I Love You in a Song"
(1974)
"Workin' at the Car Wash Blues"
(1974)
"Chain Gang Medley"
(1975)
I Got a Name track listing
"Age"
(4)
"Workin' at the Car Wash Blues"
(5)
"I'll Have to Say I Love You in a Song"
(6)

"Workin' at the Car Wash Blues" is a 1974 single written and recorded by Jim Croce. It was the third single released from his album I Got A Name. It reached a peak of #32 in July 1974 on the Billboard Hot 100. It was also the fourth single released (including Christmas-themed release "It Doesn't Have To Be That Way") after Jim Croce's passing in September 1973.

Content[edit]

Jim Croce described this song as having a "funky street feel". During a performance, he explained the song as "a story about a guy who thinks he thinks he should be ruling the universe somewhere, but he is really working at a car wash". Croce explained he came up with the idea for the song while in the military at Fort Jackson running telephone cables on poles and thinking he should be doing something else. While on top of the pole he thought about everyone in the same situation thinking they should be doing another "gig" and have a different job.

In the song a man has just been released from county prison. He goes out looking for a job in an executive position but nobody will hire him. The only job he can get is at a car wash and it causes him to have the blues and be unhappy. He fantasizes about working in an air-conditioned office and flirting with his secretary but the reality of working at the car wash sets in again.

Live performances[edit]

A live version of the song was released on his album "Have You Heard: Jim Croce Live" which includes an introduction to the song where he explains the origin of it.

Covers[edit]

The song "Workin' at the Car Wash Blues" was covered by American country singer Tony Booth in 1974, the same year as Jim Croce's single. It was also covered by Jerry Reed on his tribute album Jerry Reed Sings Jim Croce.

Gonzo the Great performed the song with some chickens on an episode of The Muppet Show.

Track listing[edit]

7" Single (ABC-11447)[2]

  1. "Workin' At The Car Wash Blues" - 2:30
  2. "Thursday" - 2:20

Chart performance[edit]

Jim Croce[edit]

Chart (1974) Peak
position
U.S. Billboard Hot 100 32
U.S. Billboard Adult Contemporary 9[3]
U.S. Cash Box Top 100 20[4]
Canadian RPM Top Singles 18[5]
Canadian RPM Adult Contemporary 2[6]

Tony Booth[edit]

Chart (1974) Peak
position
U.S. Billboard Country Singles 27
Canadian RPM Country Singles 18

References[edit]