ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Music Rewind: The Activism & Storytelling Of Harry Chapin - Part 2

Updated on November 30, 2009

He returned to New York City and got a job with a film maker who specialized in documentaries with the assistance of Richard Leacock, Harry's uncle who was famous movie director.

Harry quickly took to the art of documentary film making and soon began ploughing through half a century of clips from famous boxers such as Jack Dempsey, Jack Sharkey, and even Theodore Roosevelt, the US President who in his youth was a fairly decent boxer.

Through judicious editing of all of these clips Harry was able to create a coherent narrative documentary which he entitled Legendary Champions. He intended this first documentary to be only the first third of a trilogy of the sport of boxing but never got to the other two parts. As it was, Legendary Champions was nominated for the 1969 Academy Award for best documentary feature.

The documentary did not win the Academy Award in 1969, however it did manage to land Best Documentary Honours at the Atlanta Film Festival and the New York Film Festival.

By now things were finally looking up in Harry's life. His brother Tom had landed the role of a Saturday morning TV series host in the 1970 series Make a Wish and Harry provided all the original music. Harry went on to write music for films such as She Lives and TV series such as Ball Four. About this time Harry married Sandy Gaston Cashmore and suddenly became the stepfather to three children... a situation which harkened back to the reverse situation when he was a child with Henry Hart.

Beginning in 1972 Harry started his tremendous song writing and recording run of eleven albums including three which were double albums and countless single records. In any given year Harry Chapin would play up to 300 separate concerts and at least half of them were set up so that all proceeds would go to charitable organizations.

His gross earnings through many years of his life were in the millions of dollars but his generosity and donations to various charities throughout America were so profound that he was often completely out of money.

Harry exclusively wrote songs that were stories from his own experience in some way or another. The fans of Harry Chapin, even so many years after his death, still hold his music in their hearts. His double album with the title of Greatest Stories Live still sells strongly and some of his other albums such as Dance Band of the Titanic, Lost and Found, Verities and Balderdash and the Bottom Line Encore Collection are treasured by Harry Chapin fans all over the world.

His songs were covered by some of the greatest artists by both pop and country music. For example, Johnny Cash, Ricky Scaggs and Judy Collins have recorded Cat's in the Cradle. In 1975 Harry had written and self-published a collection of his poems entitled Looking Seeing. As a self-published vanity press book he was not backed by any major publisher, however it swiftly became so popular that the T.Y. Crowell publishing company purchased the rights and published it as paperback. Many of his poems were the actual lyrics to Harry's songs and now Looking Seeing is a collector's item.

Continued In Music Rewind: The Activism & Storytelling Of Harry Chapin - Part 3

Back To Start


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)