Harry Chapin (Harry Forster Chapin)
BiographyNew York City, New York, USA
A singer/songwriter and activist for many charitable causes, especially in the realm of ending world hunger, Harry Chapin never let the often lukewarm reviews of his music-making abilities phase him and as a result of his strong folksy persona, the fans he made stuck by him throughout his career and continue to this day. Born December 7, 1942, in New York's Greenwich Village the son of a big-band drummer, Harry's musical influence took hold at an early age. Read more... a homegrown musical act that was well received in the folk era of the 1960s. After a short stint in the Air Force Academy and studying architecture and later philosophy, at Cornell University, Harry tried his hand at film-making and found himself to be quite good at it, directing an academy award-nominated film about boxing heavyweights, Legendary Champions (1968), released in 1968. In the '70's, Harry joined Electra Records and produced a number of albums capitalizing on his story-telling abilities, resulting in his first major hit, "Taxi", which was one of the longest songs played on radio up until that time. He also found the time to produce a number of Broadway show and write songs for his brother Tom's children's TV series, "'"Make a Wish' (1970)'". Other recordings followed, such as the hits "Cat's in the Cradle" and "W.O.L.D". As Harry decided to put his fame to work, establishing himself as an activist for charitable causes as well as supporting self-sufficiency, he convinced President Jimmy Carter to create a Hunger Commission exploring ways to eliminate world hunger. His own organization, "World Hunger Year", formed with Bill Ayres, strenuously fought the good fight with Harry and his band performing virtually every other concert solely for the causes he espoused. In 1981, while on the way to another benefit, Harry's life was tragically ended in an automobile accident on the Long Island expressway.