Mark (mhaithaca) wrote,

  • Mood:
  • Music:

Remember when the music came from wooden boxes strung with silver wire...

And as we sang the words, it would set our minds on fire,
   For we believed in things, and so we'd sing.

Thanks to rtsindo for reminding me that this is the anniversary of Harry Chapin's passing, killed in a random car accident on the Long Island Expressway. That day in 1981 I was a teenager, a camper at Lincoln Farm (where I met acappellasinger a year or two later), and the news hit me like a ton of bricks. I remember talking briefly with Harold Loren, the camp director, about Harry, who he'd met several times.

Somewhere, though I haven't seen it in a long time, I have a cassette recording of the WNEW rebroadcast of Harry's 1,000th concert, which they'd broadcast live from the Bottom Line not long before his death. Scott Muni introduced the rebroadcast, which happened shortly after Harry's death, and it was clear that he was affected. (Scott, himself one of the legends of rock radio, died last fall.) There'd actually been three Bottom Line shows the same week, and pieces of each of the shows made it onto a CD release from "The Bottom Line Collection" a few years ago. Great recording.

I listen to Harry's music a lot, especially in the car, and it amazes me how much time and energy Harry put into setting a good example... not for the sake of setting a good example, but because that's how he wanted to live. And while he was at it, he brought us along for the ride. (Have you donated to World Hunger Year lately? If not, Harry would want to know WHY.)

Next year it'll be 25 years. We'll have to do something.

Don't you remember when the music
   Was a rock that we could cling to so we'd not despair
And as we sang we knew we'd hear an echo fill the air
   We'd be smiling then, and we would smile again.

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