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Harry Chapin Tribute
Various Artists
Harry Chapin Tribute
Genres: Folk, Pop, Rock, Children's Music


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CD Details

All Artists: Various Artists
Title: Harry Chapin Tribute
Members Wishing: 7
Total Copies: 0
Label: Relativity
Release Date: 7/1/1991
Genres: Folk, Pop, Rock, Children's Music
Styles: Traditional Folk, Contemporary Folk, Singer-Songwriters, Tributes, Folk Rock
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaCD Credits: 1
UPC: 088561104726

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CD Reviews

The friends of Harry Chapin perform his songs to honor him
Lawrance M. Bernabo | The Zenith City, Duluth, Minnesota | 08/08/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Harry Chapin died on July 16, 1981 in an auto accident near his home on Long Island. In addition to being a talent singer-songwriter whose story songs from "Taxi" and "A Better Place to Be" to "Flowers Are Red" and "Cat's in the Cradle," Harry was a tireless worker in the cause of the fight to end hunger. Harry did 200 concerts a year on average, with half of those being benefits. A major force behind the President's Commission on World Hunger in 1977, the world did not really catch up with Harry Chapin until 1984 when the famine in East Africa prompted Bob Geldof to launch his Band Aid project. Then Harry Belafonte and Ken Kragen, Harry's manager, organized the USA For Africa project. Both Geldof and Belafonte (who served as Master of Ceremonies for the concert) acknowledged the Chapin was an inspiration to such efforts.

In 1987 Harry Chapin was awarded the Congressional Gold Medal, the highest civilian award. To celebrate the honor a benefit concert was held on December 7, 1987, what would have been Harry's 45th birthday, at Carnegie Hall. Of course, it was more than a concert because in addition to singing Harry's songs there were stories about Harry and a reminder of the work he had left unfinished. The concert began with Pete Seeger and Oscar Brand, the elder statesmen of the folk movement, singing "Circle" with Harry's brothers Tom and Steve and ended with Bruce Springsteen telling how Harry relentlessly lobbied him to become more involved in social issues before singing a poignant acoustic version of "Remember When the Music."

There are plenty of gems on "Harry Chapin Tribute," with the lovely version of Harry's #1 hit "Cat's in the Cradle" being the most memorable. But there is also Graham Nash dedicating "Sandy" to Harry's widow, Dolores Hall doing "When I Look Up" in full force gospel style, and Big John Wallace doing "Last Stand." The Smothers Brothers do their own take on "Six String Orchestra," Pat Benatar tells how Harry gave her sage advice on how to sing, and Richie Havens does a stirring version of "W-O-L-D." The finale is a reprise of "Circle" with Peter, Paul & Mary joining everybody else.

Some of the choices of songs will strike you as peculiar, but then what singer would be brave enough to try one of Harry's celebrated story songs on a night such as that? It is not included in this collection, but Tom Chapin tried to sing "Taxi" and became caught up in his emotions, with the audience helping him to finish the song. The night ended with Harry's son Josh accepting the Gold Medal from a Congressional delegation, walking across stage, and placing it on the empty stool upon which rested Harry's guitar.

The liner notes for this album finish with a choice quotation from Harry: "Think about it. If a man tried to take his time on earth, to prove before he died what one man's life could be worth, well I wonder what would happen to this world."

What a Wonderful Storyteller
S. G. Wozniak | Milwaukee, WI United States | 05/18/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)

"I started listening to Harry Chapin in 1975. I was 16 years old and was introduced to his music by my older friends. Harry Chapin has such a rich storytelling style. I fell in love with his songs and bought every album he made before and after hearing him sing.

I went to three of his concerts and what a wonderful time I had. I brought friends and family with me to the concerts each time I went. When I was pregnant with my first child I sang the songs to him. I loved the stories and it made me think of what was behind those stories and the struggles and triumphs that Harry and his family and friends must have been going through.

I was devastated to hear that he had passed in a car accident and I thought back to one of his songs where he stated that he made it past 33 years of age. I wonder if he felt that he had a lot to do before his time here was over.

Well, he made a big difference in my life. I donate to the Second Harvest Foundation and I try to make a difference. Harry Chapin said that he always looked at the people who were famous and felt it was their duty or responsibility to lead the way by example to others. When he realized that he was now in that same category, he felt that he needed to put his money where his mouth was.

We miss you Harry!!"
In Awe
freeline | TorCan | 04/20/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)

"I saw this concert/tribute on PBS, way back ( 199? ). Originally, I was waiting for Richie Havens to sing, WOLD. Fantastic. Then, Pat Benetar rendered " Shooting Star " and Terry Klausner trilled thru " Tangled up Puppet ". I now own the DVD and would dearly love to have the DVD of the concert. Originally, PBS offered the VHS tape of the concert if you donated. Guess I should have paid at the 100 $ level ( ?) and got the VHS tape. Obviously, awe inspiring for the reach and depth of Chapin's anthology. The artists were exceptional. Plus Graham Nash, Bruce Springsteen etc. Buy this CD, its forever."