Remembering Harry Chapin

Harry Chapin was an incredible musician, a gifted storyteller and a committed activist for social justice who co-founded WhyHunger in 1975. Just a few years later, on July 16, 1981, Harry’s life was tragically cut short.

WhyHunger honors Harry every day by carrying forward his work to end hunger and build a just world. We invite you to use the simple form below to share your memories of Harry. We also invite you to help WhyHunger bring about Harry’s vision of a hunger-free world by joining Harry’s Giving Circle, a special group of monthly donors who know that together we can have a bigger impact!

Join the Giving Circle

  • Harry Chapin performs during Hungerthon in the 1970s.

    Photo credit: Diane Maple
  • Bill Ayres and Harry Chapin at WNEW FM for WhyHunger's annual Hungerthon broadcast.

    Photo credit: Diane Maple
  • Harry Chapin inspiring listeners and asking for donations during yet another Hungerthon.

    Photo credit: Diane Maple
Joe Pisauro: Remembering Harry

Taxi came out the year I was graduating from high school. I have been a fan ever since. His music just appeals to me and his vocation for preventing hunger added to my love for him and of his music. Whenever he was in the area I would go to see him. The last time I saw him was in Elizabeth, NJ, which might have been his last NJ concert. I still love his music as I have seen his brothers perform and most recently saw Steve who was joined with big John Wallace. His music will never die and will live on in his fans. 

Monday, 18 July 2016
Dave Robison: Remembering Harry

I'm a blogger and Harry was a great inspiration for me and still is. I remembered him today with a special blog entry.

Harry Chapin--Remembering When The Music

Thanks so much for all you do.

Sunday, 17 July 2016
Karen Perich: Remembering Harry

I never met Harry or had the opportunity to go to any of his concerts sadly enough. Harry's efforts in giving back to the world through his successes by helping to end hunger continues on through his memory and songs. A selfless individual trying to give back to many. An inspirational song that has had an impact on my life is "Cats in the Cradle" simply because it reminds oneself how precious life is and teaches you to get your priorities straight and never take for granted the time you were given to spend with your children and not putting the unimportant things first because you will miss out on those unforgettable moments that you can never get back ever again. So thank you, Harry, for your wisdom that you left us.

Sunday, 17 July 2016
Chris Dougherty: Remembering Harry

Where to begin?  I fell in love with Harry's music while in high school and saw him for the first time at Saint Francis College in Loretto, Pa in 1973.  My mother was a huge fan of his and would always watch him on shows like Mike Douglas in the afternoon.  His commitment to his causes was a real inspiration to all of us.  I saw him in Central Park with his father Jim Chapin and the Jazz Tree.  There was a fellow sitting in front of my friend and I who kept standing up and taking pictures and finally , at one point, Harry threatened (in his gentle humorous way) to come down from the stage and break his camera if he took another pictures.  The last time I saw him was with his brother Tom in Elizabeth, NJ a few short months before his death.  At that show I got his autograph for my mother.  I was stunned and shaken when I heard of his death, the news coming when my sister, her boyfriend and I were heading to a concert featuring Southside Johnny.  I played the live album to death and Taxi remains a definitional song for with one of the great opening lines,' It was raining hard in 'Frisco...."  I saw Tom some time back and the tradition lives on and my wife and I saw Jen in Union, NJ and she carries the Chapin torch very well.


Saturday, 16 July 2016
Angela Albertus: Harry Chapin
  1. Harry Chapin was one of the best singer/songwriters of our time. His voice captured the pain of common experiences detailed in lyrics that paint a clear story of the      event(s) he was singing about. When i was a young child, i walked around the house saying "Harry, Keep the Change." I probably didn't understand that lyric at the time and what it meant in the context of harry and sue but that phrase is still powerful to me today when i hear that song. Similarly, Cats in the Cradle (which i understand was written by his wife and not him) was another song I loved as a child and now as a working mom have more appreciation for it that words can say, especially due to the demands of my job. I was about 14 years old when he died. I had wanted to go to his concert at Eisenhower Park but my mom said no and said I could go to one another time. Ever since I have been old enough to go to concerts on my own, I never pass one up, because there might not be "another time."

(the word "that" in the Cats in the Cradle sentence should be "than" but am having troubling editing in this box)

Saturday, 16 July 2016