One of popular music’s consummate storytellers, Harry Chapin is a bona fide musical legend. His too-short career spanned but nine albums in as many years; by his own admission, he was not much of a singer; his music was critically derided as overly sentimental and heavy-handed; he never attained the broad popularity of fellow folkies James Taylor or John Denver; but… as any fan will tell you, there was something about his music. A direct connection to the soul, perhaps.
Chapin wrote about real people, imperfect humans in an imperfect world, and his tales of their endurances and collapses touched a chord in his listeners that endeared him to them, forever. Sadly, forever was cut short; Chapin died in a car accident on the Long Island expressway at the age of 39. Happily, he left a legacy of tender, wistful story-songs, as well
as a Tony-nominated Broadway show (The Night That Made America Famous) and a charity organization dedicated to fighting world hunger. His conscience has thus made a loving and indelible mark on our consciousness.