“His musical career began in 1958 as a co-founder of doo-wop group, The Criterions, with childhood friend and future founder of Manhattan Transfer, Tim Hauser,” said Ragogna.
West had met Croce while they were both students at Villanova University in 1961.
West and Terry Cashman co-produced three albums for Croce in the early 1970s, which reached platinum status. You don’t mess with Jim, life and time and I have a name included the No. 1 Billboard Hot 100 singles “Bad, Bad Leroy Brown” and “Time in a Bottle”. You don’t mess with jim topped the Billboard 200 album charts for five straight weeks in early 1974. “Leroy Brown” received a Grammy nomination for Record of the Year for Croce and Cashman & West.
Croce was killed in a plane crash in Louisiana aged 30 in 1973.
In 1972, Cashman & West had a top 30 on the Hot 100 as recording artists. The single, “American City Suite”, was a three-part suite that was running at 7.44am. They released it on Dunhill / ABC, which was Croce’s label.
The team also wrote songs for the TV musical sitcom. the Partridge family, starring David Cassidy and his stepmother Shirley Jones.
West teamed up with Mary Tyler Moore’s MTM Records in Nashville in the 1980s to produce for country artists like Holly Dunn and Judy Rodman.
In his later career, West operated his studio Somewhere in New Jersey inside a barn in the upstate part of the state.
He is survived by his wife, a daughter and two step-sons.
His funeral will be private, his family said.