Harry Chapin

Folk Rock | 2006

Raised in Brooklyn Heights in the 1950s, Harry Chapin moved to Huntington after he married to start a family. Elektra Records released his debut album, Heads & Tales in late 1971; the album yielded his early signature song, “Taxi.” A string of albums followed, including Sniper and Other Love Songs, Short Stories, which included the song “W.O.L.D.,” and Verities & Balderdash, which featured the chart-topping hit single “Cat’s in the Cradle.” In addition to his music, Chapin is also best known for his crusade against world hunger. Along with Gordon Lightfoot, James Taylor, and John Denver, Chapin formed The Food Policy Center, which was a lobbying group that monitored the President’s Commission on World Hunger of which Chapin was a member. The Harry Chapin Memorial Fund was created in 1981. Chapin played many benefit concerts and was the driving force behind the formation of the Long Island Philharmonic.

On July 16, 1981, Chapin was killed while on his way to perform a free concert at Long Island’s Eisenhower Park. He was 38 years old. In recognition of his efforts, Chapin received the Congressional Medal of Honor in 1985.

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