Music Monday: Villanova’s Famous Musical Students

Like many ideas for a blog post, this one just randomly popped into my head. And while it may not be of much interest to many readers, I found it fascinating to find out who are some of the famous musical artists who attended Villanova.

I’ll start with those individuals who actually graduated from Villanova:

  • Jim Croce – known for Bad, Bad Leroy Brown (reached number one) and Time in a Bottle
  • Tim Hauser – singer and founder of the vocal group The Manhattan Transfer, which had a hit with the song The Boy from New York City
  • Ryan Montbleau – a singer-songwriter and guitarist, named the Best Local Male Vocalist in the 2007 Boston Music Awards. He also won second prize for performance in the 2007 International Songwriting Competition. Montbleau was nominated for a 2012 MTV Music Award for Best Concert Experience. The only person on this list who was at Villannova the same time I was.

Here are individuals how briefly attended Villanova:

  • Toby Keith – attended for one year from 1979 to 1980, with plans to be a petroleum engineer; received an honorary degree in 1998
  • Don McLean – attended for three months and did not receive a degree

I thought I’d include one song from Ryan Montbleau, and one from Jim Croce.

The following video from Ryan  has nearly 500,000 view on YouTube:

This next song is an all-time clasic, and it’s a fun animation.

This song also has a special memory for me. I remember my first night in college and for whatever reason as my roommate and I were falling asleep I suggested that we each sing a song out loud in its entirety, so that we would never be embarraeed in front of each other. I have no idea what drove me to suggest such a strange thing, but we ended up being roommates for three years and he was in my wedding several years later. I chose Bad, Bad Leroy Brown, and my roommate chose an Elvis song…

Final fact, a bit of a sad one, is that Jim Croce died in a plane crash at the age of 30 on my 16th birthday.

52 thoughts on “Music Monday: Villanova’s Famous Musical Students

  1. An orchestra, be it Primary or College level, has such great atmosphere, although the conductor’s personality can influence this a lot. Nevertheless, it’s a nest of camaraderie, budding responsibilities and banter too 🙂

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  2. I really like Jim Croce. Brad just got 2 more of his Cd’s recently. Cool that he went to Villanova and interesting on Toby Keith’s plans to be a petroleum engineer. Hmm…singing is just a little different from that!
    So do you have Ryan’s autograph at all from your college days, may make some money now. 🙂

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    1. I didn’t know people still bought CDs! 🙂

      and I like Jim Croce as well.

      I don’t know why Toby would go to Nova for petroleum engineering; I would think somewhere in the midwest or Texas would be better.

      Unfortunately, I do not have Ryan’s autograph 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Brad has a huge CD collection!! He has an ipod with a lot of music on it but he can’t take it to work. They are allowed radios, but can’t get stations in real well So if he wants to have music, he brings his CD’s. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Too bad about that plane crash. He would have no doubt produced a lot more great music had he lived longer. That was a fun animation to watch. And I could have sworn I saw Sonny and Cher in part of it.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Huge fan of Jim Croce. Have you ever watched the Behind the Music Croce episode on VH-1? I never understood the attraction to Bad Bad Leroy Brown. In my opinion, he has twenty songs that are far better than that one.

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  5. An interesting collection associated with your college. I’ve never heard of Ryan before, and for his sake I hope his own songs are more memorable than that cover: Tracy Chapman’s original is hard to beat! As for Jim Croce, I tend to agree with Pete. Leroy Brown and that animation are fun, but I think his more serious songs are better: you mention Time In A Bottle, which is my equal favourite of his with I’ll Have To Say I Love You In A Song. Probably as well you didn’t sing that one to your roommate!

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    1. I’d have to say that I’ll Have to Say I Love You is my favorite Croce song, but you’re right, that would not have been a good way to start off college by singing that to my roommate!

      I was not aware that the song I chose to highlight Ryan was a cover! I should send my music posts to you first for some auditing! I’ll give Tracy’s a listen…

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      1. Wrong signals!

        That song was the first single from Tracy Chapman’s self-titled debut album, in 1988. I just looked it up – the single got to #6 in the US and #4 here, the album was #1 in both countries, and others. Were you in isolation at the time?!


      2. I just listened to Tracy’s version; it was quite good. But that is probably the first time I heard it. I think in 1988 I was busy worrying about trying to get tenure… 🙂

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  6. Jim Croce and Don McLean both attended Villanova? Wow, talk about prolific singer/songwriters. Two of the best. I will admit I am not fully understanding of the purpose of a honorary degree, but as I am not the one handing them out it is not important.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think an honoroary degree can be used to either recognize someone who has made a significant contribution and/or as a way to try and get a donation from that individual…

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Interesting assessment fo famous musicians. I couldn’t watch the second video – not available here. Sad about Jim Croce. You’ll always get that trivia question right.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Love Jim Croce! Bought his single play record when I was a little girl and my dad took it back to the store because it sang the word “damn”. Dad did not think it was an appropriate song for a young girl to sing along to!!

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  9. Never heard of Jim Croce and the video was banned here..but I went over to tube and listened to a couple of his tracks… I liked them didn’t sonny and cheer on the ones I watched…Sounds like your Villanova Orchestra has produced some stars 🙂 x

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  10. Jim, I always enjoy these Music Monday posts. The list of famous music students contains a few special names of interest to me, and both of your selected songs will always be excellent ones to share. Jim Croce was quite a talent, and it was the world’s loss when he was lost so young. His wife deserves credit for promoting his music after his death.

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