When I found out that Harry Chapin had a brother who was a musician, and that I’d seen him on TV I asked a couple of friends if they wanted to see him perform at the Birchmere. This was the old Birchmere – the cozy one.
Tom Chapin is mostly a children’s singer – and sings whimsical songs about family life and animals and kids. He did sing a couple of Harry’s songs, and said some self-depreciating remarks. I felt bad for him – as he seemed to think the patrons were expecting Harry’s Brother, not Tom Chapin.
I’m pretty sure I’m the only one in my party who enjoyed the music, but we had a good enough time. During the intermission I ran into Tom Chapin in the little store at the Birchmere. He asked me how I liked the warm-up act, I said I thought she was good, he said he did too. I wanted to tell him that I was there to see him, not Harry. That while I liked Harry and his music, I was ready to be entertained by a different musician. But I didn’t say any of that.
That night I bought a couple of his recordings. We’d play them in the car for our children on long car rides – we soon learned many of the lyrics and would all sing along. Don’t tell their friends, but my kids still like to hear Tom Chapin’s songs in the car.
Here’s a video of Tom Chapin singing State Laughs, one of the songs we liked: