Happy Birthday Harry Chapin

12/07/2011
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(Gibson) Born in New York on this day in 1940, Harry Chapin would describe himself as a "poor little rich boy", meaning that despite financial restrictions his family of artists, activists and assorted bohemian types enriched the young Harry Chapin with ideas of artistic endeavors and the power of social change.

He didn't spend long on this planet, dying in an auto accident in 1981, but his music and subsequent campaigning against hunger left a valuable legacy of an artist who strived to make things a little bit better.

After teenage years spent in a boys choir, Chapin formed a group with his brothers Tom and Stephen and opted for a career as a film-maker. He found success after directing the Oscar nominated boxing classic, Legendary Champions. By 1971, however, he decided to pursue music and began performing in the New York area. He eventually signed to the always-hip and happening Elektra records.

His song "Taxi," from his debut album Heads and Tails, came out in the summer of 1972 and was a huge hit. The next two albums did ok, with another story song single "W.O.L.D.," this time about a DJ, climbing the charts.

Always looking to expand his boundaries, Chapin worked on the musical The Night That Made America Famous while recoding his Verities and Balderdash album, which became his biggest success. The album contained one of the most memorable songs of the era, the #1 hit, "Cat's in the Cradle." more on this story

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Copyright Gibson.com - Excerpted here with permission.

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