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"There's been a lot of talk about 'How can we fill Harry's shoes?'
The answer to that is that the challenge of Harry's life was NOT one of 'following in his footsteps' or 'filling his shoes.'
The challenge is in filling our OWN shoes:
We carry on Harry's work not just because we loved and admired him.
We do so because it is the proper work of us all ..."
- James Chapin
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Every so often, or when something comes up, I send out an e-mail summarizing all of the Chapin-related events I know about. Since there's no one out there actively promoting all Chapin-related events, it can be difficult for fans to know what's going on. With that in mind, some have found these e-mails a helpful way of staying in touch with what's going on.
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"Oh, if a man tried to take his time on earth and prove before he died what one man's life could be worth, I wonder what would happen to this world?" -- Harry Chapin, 1942-1981.
The Latest Release
Sniper & Other Love Songs
In 1972, Harry released
Sniper & Other Love Songs.
Thirty years would pass before the album would ever reach the CD format. Sniper was finally re-released in June, 2002.
Originally given a working title of Sweet City Suite, the album tells the story of various characters one might run into in
a city. The album features the original studio versions of Chapin classics "A Better Place to Be" and "Circle." But
perhaps more importantly (as those songs are already well-distributed on compilation CDs), the album features seemingly
lost Chapin stories, including "And the Baby Never Cries," "Burning Herself," "Barefoot Boy," and "Woman Child."
Sniper is for the seasoned Chapin fan. New fans would do better to check out
Live. But for Chapin fans who have reached the level of the
Dance Band on the Titanic album, this is the next step. Slightly over-produced and having a little of the "forced"
feel that some of Harry's studio albums possess, this album does not capture the powerfully live Harry Chapin. Nonetheless,
it captures Harry's great iconoclastic songwriting--Harry takes the story song to new heights here. But the album works best
for those ready for it; don't buy it until you are ready to appreciate it!