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 Harry Chapin

Harry Chapin

Birth
New York, New York County (Manhattan), New York, USA
Death 16 Jul 1981 (aged 38)
Jericho, Nassau County, New York, USA
Burial Huntington, Suffolk County, New York, USA
Memorial ID 1819 · View Source
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Singer, Songwriter, Activist. He originally wanted to become a filmaker, and his socially-conscious folk-rock ballads showed a decided flair for storytelling. His signature song, the six-minute "Taxi" (1972), reveals the hard-bitten observations of a cab driver, while "W. O. L. D." (1973) describes the life of a disc jockey. "Cat's in the Cradle" (1974), Chapin's only Number One hit, is about a businessman who realizes too late how he sacrificed his relationship with his son to his career. Critics accused Chapin of heavy-handed moralizing and sentimentality, and claimed his lush arrangements were too ostentatious for the material. But he had a devoted following in the 1970's, and in the years before "Live Aid" Chapin used his music to promote public awareness of World Hunger. Chapin was born in New York's Greenwich Village, the son of a jazz musician. He directed "Legendary Champions" (1968), a documentary about boxing that was nominated for an Academy Award, but after other movie projects fell through he turned to music. Between 1972 and 1980 he produced 11 albums for Elektra Records, two of them reaching gold status. He also wrote a Broadway musical, "The Night That Made America Famous" (1975), which closed after 75 performances. After that he became increasingly involved in social activism and was a key figure in the creation of the Presidential Commission on World Hunger in 1977. He gave most of his own money away, performed 100 benefit concerts a year and personally raised over $3 million for food-related causes. Chapin died at 38 in a fiery car crash on the Long Island Expressway. He was on his way to yet another benefit gig. In 1987 he was posthumously awarded a Congressional Gold Medal for his charitable work. The Harry Chapin Foundation still provides food relief to afflicted areas of the United States.

Bio by: Bobb Edwards


Inscription

OH, IF A MAN TRIED TO TAKE HIS TIME ON EARTH AND PROVE BEFORE HE DIED WHAT ONE MAN'S LIFE COULD BE WORTH, I WONDER WHAT WOULD HAPPEN TO THIS WORLD.


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  • Maintained by: Find A Grave
  • Added: 1 Jan 2001
  • Find A Grave Memorial 1819
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Harry Chapin (7 Dec 1942–16 Jul 1981), Find A Grave Memorial no. 1819, citing Huntington Rural Cemetery, Huntington, Suffolk County, New York, USA ; Maintained by Find A Grave .