Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Remembering Harry Chapin

Today is Wednesday, 23 May 2007.

An error in the The New York Times of this date gives me impetus to mention another great musical artist, Harry Chapin.

In July, on Governor’s Island in New York Harbor, a folk music festival “featuring Odetta, Harry Chapin, Richie Havens and a tribute to the spirit of Woody Guthrie”.

Alas: Harry Chapin died when his car was rear-ended by a tractor-trailer on the Long Island Expressway on 16 July 1981. Siblings and friends, collaborators with him back in the day, present the concert as a remembrance of him.

I heard the news about Chapin’s death on the radio, driving to my girlfriend’s apartment, where I arrived in tears. Little did I know that, moving to New York City in 1984, I would end up producing folk music concerts, including Odetta and Richie Havens (both of whom are great human beings as well as artists). Given Harry’s politics and mine, I’m sure I would have produced him, had he lived. My life is poorer for having known him only through his music.

Herewith, one of his finest:


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