Petitioning Board of Directors, Songwriters Hall of Fame

Induct Harry Chapin Into the Songwriters Hall of Fame


"Songwriters are lucky people. If they can put the dreams and hopes of their fellow human beings into a few minutes of melody, words, rhyme, and rhythm, their songs may become part of a nation, and go from person to person for generations. For centuries. Harry Chapin was such a songwriter." -- Pete Seeger

Letter to
Board of Directors, Songwriters Hall of Fame
As one of the countless music fans around the world who has been profoundly moved by the lyrics and melodies of the late Harry Chapin, I am writing to urge you to support his posthumous nomination and election into the National Academy of Popular Music's Songwriters Hall of Fame this year.

"Songwriters are lucky people," wrote the great Hall of Fame composer and American music icon Pete Seeger. "If they can put the dreams and hopes of their fellow human beings into a few minutes of melody, words, rhyme, and rhythm, their songs may become part of a nation, and go from person to person for generations. For centuries. Harry Chapin was such a songwriter."

Those thoughtful words from Pete perfectly reflect my sentiments, and are echoed by the statements of many of Harry's other Hall of Fame peers.

Harry's best-known songs, like the American repertoire standards "Cat's in the Cradle" and "Taxi," and some of his lesser-known but still beloved compositions, such as "W*O*L*D," continue to have their timeless impact more than three decades after his passing.

He wrote more than 400 songs, created 10 albums (two of which have been certified Double Platinum, one Platinum and 3 Gold), and was able to bring to life his songwriting talents in numerous forms of art and media, including theatre (through the Broadway show "The Night That Made America Famous" and the musical "Cotton Patch Gospel," which continues to be performed on stages across the country today), movies and television shows. He also performed his story songs in 150 to 200 concerts each year.

Harry's extraordinary career as a singer-songwriter and philanthropist has already been celebrated by the United States Congress, which awarded him a posthumous Congressional Gold Medal in 1987, the nation's highest civilian honor. It would be enormously fitting for his peers of the Songwriters Hall of Fame to this year -- the fortieth anniversary of the publication of "Cat's In the Cradle" -- bestow upon him the greatest peer honor a composer can achieve.

Thank you for your consideration.