« Build a PC in your old NES system. | Main | Caller ID on your TiVo! »

August 28, 2003

Did anyone ever really like Harry Chapin?

So I’m channel surfing and Harry Chapin is in concert on WGBH, clearly taped like 25 years ago. Anyway, as I remember it he died quiet young. Anyway, I know a few of his songs still get airplay on various stations but my god, this guy is horrible. Really really horrible. This is got to be the cheesiest loungeroom singer I have ever seen. Then here comes the shocker, they (WGBH, our local PBS affiliate) break into the “concert” to do fund raising - and giving away the CDs and videos of the show as pledge bonuses. Seriously? He’s still big? People will give $150 to GBH to get this show for their home viewing? Watching him makes you feel warm and charitible? Oh for the love of Jebus.

Ok, I had to know. Is he still big? Of course, thanks to Google, I never have to have human contact again. Anyway, clearly I hadn’t a clue on the magitude of the Harry Chapman enterprises. (Note, as I write this, Harry’s just come out for his first, and hopefully, encore. Just him and the pianist. Does he even play an instrument?)

Back to the empire. When you search Google for Harry Chapin, someone even paid to advertise on that result page. More than 67,000 pages later, I am convinced.

OK, Tom Chapin is singing now. All my life’s a circle… blah blah blah. Wait, it’s a duet. I assume that his brother. Wow, he’s just as bad. No, he’s worse. Now a third guy is singing another duet. And now the woman playing the cello is singing and she really really can’t sing. She is horrible and can’t hit or hold any notes. I’m sure she’s a fine celloist but I’m dying here. Stop, it’s a frickin’ train wreck. I can’t look away.

Posted by Joshua at August 28, 2003 10:46 PM


hey! you young'uns just don't know good music when you hear it. and it's cello.:angry:

Posted by: lavonne at August 29, 2003 12:01 AM

"young'uns" - I'm flattered.

Posted by: joshua at August 29, 2003 06:21 AM

I have never seen the concert in question, but I definitely like Harry. I can see how he might really schmaltz out in concert, though, but it was the early 80's. Every one schmaltzed out back then. He has some truly truly great songs, even if the production of the songs doesn't hold up to todays standards and comes off as a little folksy/cheesy.

I'll have to check out the concert, because they will probably repeat it 17 times a day on pbs for the next month, like they always do.

Posted by: Denis at August 29, 2003 09:30 AM

I love that "all the world's a circle" song. And "WOLD" ("I am a morning DJ on WOLDDDDD"). And that "Taxi" song. I cry every time. "She said, Harry, we must get together, but I knew it'd never be arranged." I mean, come on. This stuff is classic.

Posted by: Ian at September 1, 2003 07:51 PM

He blows. One of the amazing things in the music world is that Mary Chapin Carpenter's pedigree is considered a selling point. She might as well have been named Mary Hitler Stalin as far as I'm concerned. Now don't get started about how the Carpenters are hip and shit. They suck too.

Posted by: at September 3, 2003 03:30 PM

Er, I am responsible for that last comment.

Posted by: Magee at September 3, 2003 03:31 PM

On second thought, if you can play a Harry Chapin song on guitar, it is probably a pretty good way to get laid. Not that I would know.

Posted by: Magee at September 3, 2003 03:34 PM

I promise I will shut up soon, but before anyone catches it, I have spent my life in the mistaken impression that Mary Chapin Carpenter comes from the Harry Chapin and musical Carpenter family bloodlines. Neither is true - her father was named Chapin Carpenter, and she was originally named Mary-Chapin Carpenter in some weird quirk. The record company asked her to remove the hyphen, probably to create the sort of confusion that yours truly has been a victim of.

Sorry, Mary. I still think Harry Chapin and the Carpenters both blow. I don't have a very strong opinion on Mary.

Posted by: Magee at September 3, 2003 04:29 PM

Harry Chapin... I'm 25 and I like him... the "Greatest Stories Live" cd is great. Too bad he's not still with us...

Posted by: Josh at September 3, 2003 09:08 PM

Harry Chapin was awesome. I have all of his albums and attended all of his Atlanta concerts. I actually attended a reception he gave for everyone who bought tickets to a 2-night concert at the Fox Theatre back in 1979. I met him, he signed my tee shirt, and gave me a big kiss right on the mouth!

Posted by: Jenny at September 17, 2003 09:44 AM

You definitely need to broaden yourself. Harry Chapin was a true storyteller. It wasn't just about his vocals, it was about the feeling and stories behind his songs. He died tragically in an auto accident in July 1981. You must be an Ozzie Ozborne fan!

Posted by: Jenny at September 17, 2003 09:49 AM

Harry Chapin was an amazing songwriter, there is no doubt about this. However, he was an even better story teller. If you can't picture exactly what he is talking about in each of his songs, you need to re-evaluate your life. How could anyone say this man's music was horrible of corny? He is a legend for his music and for his contributions to the world.

Posted by: Bryan at October 2, 2003 02:31 PM

I think you're totally off to diss Harry Chapin just because his vocals aren't the greatest. What's that about?

What about Dylan, Springsteen, and Petty & the Heartbreakers? Their voices weren't exactly golden throat either, yet they're considered one of the greatest musicians of all time. And furthermore, I'm 18 years old. Probably one of the youngest Chapin fans out there!

Unlike other people of my generation, I don't care one darn bit for the modern pop/rock/rap/metal scene. It has no substance whatsoever. Harry, however, was substance. The stories he sang struck a chord with you. Not just "Cat's in the Cradle," but other songs too ("Dancin' Boy," "Short Stories," "Remember When the Music" to name a few).

I'm not trying to force you to like him, I'm just saying that if you're gonna judge him just because his voice is a litttle off key and he plays an acoustic guitar (GOD FORBID ANY ARTIST ACTUALLY PLAY THE ACOUSTIC GUITAR nowadays), then your tastes in music could use a little redefining.

Posted by: Marc at January 24, 2004 08:57 AM

I was lucky enough to see Harry in concert about 25 years ago in Portland, OR. The concert was great, he was very genuine and greeted us all in the lobby after the show. He died shortly after that show but he'll always live in my heart.

Posted by: DizCre8s at April 22, 2004 03:53 PM

Yes, Joshua, there are a lot of us who love Harry Chapin and his music. I've been a fan for all my 35 years, was lucky enough to see him live in concert twice as a little kid, and my 2 year old son insists I sing Cats in the Cradle to him every night.

You don't like him? That's OK with me.

But WE love him

Posted by: Josh at April 24, 2004 02:18 PM

Harry Chapin is cool.

Posted by: *CLICK HERE* at April 25, 2004 09:17 PM

Harry Chapin was a unique and wonderful musician, a great story teller, and a generous humanitarian.

No wonder you don't like him!

Posted by: Harry Fan at August 22, 2004 02:25 PM

Harry chapin's song "Cats in the cradle and a silver spoon" makes me cry every time I listen to it. Now I'm verry young 18 (3/12/1986)

But if you actually like songs for the lyrics like me.. I also like songs with a story. His songs are verry powerfull to me unlike any other song "Cats in the cradle and a silver spoon" will always touch me since I never had a dad and it was really the same way.

...He was a great man no matter what anyone says. I love his music.

Posted by: Jeremy at September 27, 2004 07:28 AM

4017 http://www.e-roulette.info

Posted by: roulette at October 18, 2004 11:34 AM

6158 You know anti wrinkle cream
can work Did you know online degree gets you jobs? online degrees

Posted by: wrinkle cream at October 21, 2004 01:51 PM

Post a comment

Remember Me?

(you may use HTML tags for style)