Harry Chapin
BORN: December 7, 1942, Greenwich Village, NY DIED: July 16, 1981, Jericho, NY
Chapin was never a critically acclaimed singer/songwriter. His critics accused him of over-sentimentalizing his subjects and attaching heavy-handed morals to his socially aware story-songs. Many of his songs were heavily orchestrated arrangements that didn't help his case with the critics. Nevertheless, Harry earned a devoted audience during the '70s, through his music and his charity work as a social activist.

Harry began performing while he was in high school, singing in the Brooklyn Heights Boys' Choir and formed a band with his brothers, Tom and Stephen. During college, he decided to pursue a career as a documentary filmmaker; in 1968, he directed the Oscar-nominated Legendary Champions.

In 1971, he switched his careers, concentrating on a musical career. He recruited a backing band through an ad in the 'Village Voice', and teamed up with bassist John Wallace, guitarist Ron Palmer, and cellist Tim Scott. The group began performing in various clubs around New York and the singer/songwriter was soon signed to Elektra records.

'Heads and Tails', Chapin's first album, was released in the summer of 1972 and became a success thanks to the hit single "Taxi", which soon became the songwriter's signature tune. Later that year, he released his second album, 'Sniper and Other Love Songs', which didn't fare quite as well as his debut. 'Short Stories', Chapin's third album, appeared in the spring of 1973 and spent 23 weeks in the charts due to the hit single "W.O.L.D.", a story about the life of a disc jockey. After recording his fourth album, 'Verities and Balderdash', Harry disbanded his backing band and began work on his musical, 'The Night that Made America Famous'. While he was working on the musical, 'Verities and Balderdash', became a gold record and his biggest hit, peaking at number four on the U.S. charts. The album's success was largely due to the number one single "Cat's in the Cradle", a song about an inconsiderate, career-oriented father that was based on a poem written by Chapin's wife.

The Night that Made America Famous opened on February 26, 1975. It closed on April 6, after 75 performances; the show would earn two Tony nominations. Chapin won an Emmy award that spring for his contributions to ABC television's children's series 'Make a Wish', which was hosted by his brother Tom. That spring, the Harry co-founded 'World Hunger Year', a charity designed to raise money to fight international famine; the organization earned over $350,000 in its first year.

In the fall of 1975, Chapin delivered 'Portrait Gallery', his follow-up to Verities and Balderdash. While the album performed respectably, peaking at number 53, it failed to recapture the mass audience of his previous album.

'Greatest Stories - Live', a double album released in the spring of 1976, became the singer/songwriter's second gold album, peaking at number 48. Chapin was becoming more politically active throughout 1976, as evidenced by his role as a delegate at that summer's Democratic Convention. Late in 1976, he released 'On the Road to Kingdom Come', which spent a mere six weeks on the charts. The 1977 double-album, 'Dance Band on the Titanic', was on the charts for a few more weeks, yet it didn't spawn a hit single. The following year, Chapin met with President Jimmy Carter, discussing the need for a Presidential Commission on Hunger; he also released, 'Living Room Suite', that summer, which peaked at number 133.

Chapin released a second live album, 'Legends of the Lost and Found - New Greatest Stories Live', in the fall of 1979. It wasn't a great success, spending only three weeks on the charts. In 1980, he signed with Boardwalk records, releasing, 'Sequel', that fall; the title track of the album was a sequel to his first hit single, "Taxi," and became his last Top 40 hit.

Harry Chapin's career as a popular singer/songwriter was cut short by an auto accident in 1981. On July 16, Chapin was driving to a business meeting on the Long Island Expressway near Jericho, NY, when his car was rear-ended by a tractor-trailer. The accident caused his gas tank to explode, killing the singer/songwriter in the process. A memorial fund was established in his name following his death, with Elektra Records providing the initial donation of $10,000. Over the years, the fund has raised an estimated $5 million, which has gone to a variety of social causes that were close to Chapin's heart. He left behind a series of recordings that his fans continue to treasure well over a decade after his death.

Having purchased several books and Cd's from Amazon.com, we've always found their service fast and efficient. We have no hesitation in recommending them as being both more economic and more convenient than purchasing products in a shop. We are delighted to bring you this treasured opportunity to own some of our favourite love songs.
If you like John Denver, Bob Dylan or Tom Paxton, then you'll very probably like the songs of Harry Chapin. Amazon.com's business reputation assures you that you are getting the best possible merchandise at an affordable price.
If you don't find what you are looking for, drop us a line and we'll see if we can find it for you.

Order Your CD's
Harry Chapin - Gold medal collection
Gold Medal Collection

Disc: 1

  1. Taxi
  2. Sunday Morning Sunshine
  3. Old College Avenue
  4. Dirty Old Man
  5. I Wanna Learn A Love Song
  6. Cat's In The Cradle
  7. Tangled Up Puppet
  8. Dancing Boy
  9. Thanksgiving Hunger Drives
  10. Flowers Are Red
  11. She Sings Songs Without Words
  12. Shooting Star
  13. Winter Song
  14. Story Of A Life
  15. Commitment And Pete Seeger
  16. There Only Was One Choice

Disc: 2

  1. A Better Place To Be
  2. Mail Order Annie
  3. Performing
  4. WOLD
  5. Mr. Tanner
  6. Corey's Coming
  7. A Child Is Born
  8. Sniper
  9. Calluses
  10. The Rock
  11. Danceband On The Titanic
  12. I Wonder What Would Happen To This World
  13. Sequel
  14. My Grandfather
  15. Remember When The Music (reprise)
  16. Circle
Harry Chapin - Varities and Balderdash
Varities and Balderdash
  1. Cats In The Cradle
  2. I Wanna Learn A Love Song
  3. Shooting Star
  4. 30,000 Pounds Of Bananas
  5. She Sings Songs Without Words
  6. What Made America Famous?
  7. Vacancy
  8. Half-Way To Heaven
  9. Six String Orchestra

Page design by:JayDaxDesigns
© 2000 JayDax Designs