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Harry CHAPIN

American Harry CHAPIN

born Harry Forster CHAPIN

American singer-songwriter

Source :  Tim DOWLING

Born: on December 07, 1942 in New York City, New York, USA
Died: on July 16, 1981 in Jericho, New York, USA


Biography

Chapin was born into a middle-class family in New York City, the second of four children—including future musicians Tom and Steve—born to Jeanne Elspeth (née Burke) and Jim Chapin, who was a musician—a percussionist. He had English ancestry, his great-grandparents having emigrated in the late 19th century. His parents divorced in 1950, with Elspeth retaining custody of their four sons, as Jim spent much of his time on the road as a drummer for Big band era acts such as Woody Herman. She married Films in Review magazine editor Henry Hart a few years later. Chapin's maternal grandfather was literary critic Kenneth Burke.

Chapin's first formal introduction to music was while singing in the Brooklyn Boys Choir. It was here that Chapin met "Big" John Wallace, a tenor with a five-octave range, who later became his bassist, backing vocalist, and his straight man onstage. He began performing with his brothers while a teenager, with their father occasionally joining them on drums.

Chapin graduated from Brooklyn Technical High School in 1960, and was among the five inductees in the school's Alumni Hall Of Fame for the year 2000. He briefly attended the United States Air Force Academy and was then an intermittent student at Cornell University, but did not complete a degree.

He originally intended to be a documentary film-maker, and directed Legendary Champions in 1968, which was nominated as a documentary Academy Award. In 1971, he decided to focus on music. With John Wallace, Tim Scott and Ron Palmer, Chapin started playing in various local nightclubs in New York City.

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See Also :

- Category Singer & Musician