Harry Chapin–Remembering When The Music (REWIND)

Originally Published on July 16th, 2016 

On July 16, 1981, singer-songwriter-activist Harry Chapin died in an automobile crash on the Long Island Expressway in New York. He was 38 years old. He was best known in the mainstream for his number one hit, “Cat’s In The Cradle” and for his song, “Taxi”.

NEW YORK - 1981: Singer and song writer Harry Chapin performing at the Dr. Pepper Summer Concerts at Pier 81 in New York City in 1981. (Photo by Waring Abbott/Getty Images)

Somewhere around 1979 I bought my first Harry Chapin album, and fell in love with the music and songs that his fans loved. The music that was rarely played on the radio due to their length or their “un-commercial-ness”. His “live” albums taught me more about Harry’s activism and his passion for helping people. As he introduced each song, he told the stories that inspired the songs and he spoke of his causes.

On the night of his death, after hearing the news; a friend of mine and I listened to every Harry Chapin album I owned. We sang along to each of Harry’s stories, and knew that even though Harry was gone–his fight and struggle would continue.

Harry’s fight was to end world hunger. In 1977 he was instrumental in forming the Presidential Commission on World Hunger. He co-founded World Hunger Year with radio personality Bill Ayres and after his death was the inspiration for USA for Africa and Hands Across America. Harry was known for putting his money where his mouth was, and often did two concerts in a city; one to pay the band and live, and the other to give the proceeds away. Harry’s efforts to sway politicians to fund programs for the hungry made him a frequent presence in Washington, D.C. In 1987, Chapin was posthumously awarded the Congressional Gold Medal for his humanitarian work. WhyHunger.Org still exists today and still does the work to fight hunger in the world.

UNITED KINGDOM - SEPTEMBER 01: Photo of Harry CHAPIN; performing live onstage, (Photo by David Redfern/Redferns)I have had many inspirations in my life, and Harry Chapin was one of the biggest. Harry taught me that fame, fortune, and success mean nothing, unless you help people along the way. An income is useless unless one also uses it to benefit the less fortunate. It was not enough for Harry to perform and sing for his audiences, it was his calling to inspire us to do something with our lives; to sing for a reason.

“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.”

Since, I am a comedian; I’m also a frustrated singer and “wannabe” musician. That seems to be a trait among many comedians. My favorite Harry Chapin song is his closing number that he would perform at his concerts. I always envisioned myself one day singing that “story” to my audiences.

A story of a performer, singing his last song of the night. Tired, hoarse, and ready to go home; but willing to sing one more for the audience that gives him back so much more than he gives them. Harry always gave more.

It’s your “Saturday Diversion”, but in no way whatsoever, was Harry Chapin’s life a diversion.


“When in doubt, do something.
To know is to care, to care is to act, to act is to make a difference.”

Harry Chapin

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“Sunday Thoughts”

“Our time should be devoted to knowing the Truth that sets humanity free from the divine-within-aky-hero_1problem of  ignorance; that Truth which alone can bring enlightenment to the world, that war should cease, that people should live together in harmony because they have recognized the Divinity within each other.”

–Dr. Ernest Holmes


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The Devil Went Down To Jamaica

Tonight’s “Saturday Diversion” needs a few clarifications..

First, the song featured tonight DID NOT appear on The Disney Channel’s Muppet Show®.  The video used was for the Original Charlie Daniels song, “The Devil Went Down To Georgia”. (Which was featured on the show). The video was dubbed using tonight’s song.

Second,, the song IS NOT sung by David Allan Coe as is being reported at some sites erroneously.

johnnyjamaicaThird, tonight’s song’s lyrics and music is a parody of the Charlie Daniels’ song and was was written and performed by Travis Meyer. I can find little about Travis on the Internet other than the proper attribution for his work.  If somebody out there knows about him let me know.


Fourth and finally,  we here at “On The Road With Dave” in no way condone the illegal use of marijuana and only support the medicinal use as is legal in many parts of the United States.

But, it’s Saturday…so who care’s?  Fire up that bowl! Roll a fat one, and enjoy life!-and don’t “bogart that shit!”.


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Moving Things Around

Back when I was growing up, my Momma could not totally clean house without moving furniture around into new configurations.  Inevitably, when she got into one of these “cleaning jags”,  she would call on my assistance to move the heavy furniture.  I hated these times.

movingfurniture-briancraneI’m the type of person that once you set the furniture into a good spot, it should stay there.  But, I guess, that is not true when it comes to managing a blog.

I like creating new banners/headers and backgrounds to keep “On The Road With Dave” up-to-date and current.  A new photo always adds a little something to the appearance of the blog and readers aren’t met each day with the same old images.  About a week ago, I noticed that I had named some of the masthead headers/banners with the “header”or “banner” distinction.  It made finding the images a little more time-consuming when searching for the files.  So, I decided to “fix” the problem.

Let me explain.  Let’s say I wanted to post a OTRWD Header about Summer.  I would have an image named OTRWD-Beach-Header in .jpg format.  I might also have had an image named OTRWD-Beach-at-Night-Banner with a .png format.  The inconsistency in file names was bugging me, and I wanted to change ALL the headers, banners, and formats to one uniformed constant.  So, I set out on that mission.

First, I downloaded in stages, all the files that were named with “Banner” and in the JPEG format.  I changed all those files to the PNG file format and renamed them all with a “Header” designation.  I saved those images on my computer and then deleted the images from my blog library.

Then, I reloaded the images back to the blog with their new names and designations.

After that, I made sure the remaining OTRWD-Header images that were originally done in JPEG were then downloaded, converted, to the PNG format and upload back to the blog library.

dave-headerdave-headerCurrently, I’m tracking down any other OTRWD image that I use in the masthead; but is not named “Header” or “Banner” and renaming the file with a “Header” designation and PNG format.

All this did cause one large, but surmountable issue.

Because, on many of my blog entries, I use a Unique Header plug-in on my blog, and add a specific header images to particular posts; (Christmas, Thanksgiving, Veterans Day–entries like that, have a special image apart from the regular rotating masthead images.) these entries have lost those images dues to the old image formats being deleted from the library.

So, now I have posts with no header at all.  I have to go back and individually add the unique headers back into the entries.  That’s gonna take a few more days.

If you happen to be perusing the “Archives” and come across a header-less entry, feel free to leave a comment and alert me. I’ll go back and fix it.

Now, to answer that burning question that is on everybody’s mind:

“Dave, Why In The Bloody Hell Did You Go To All That Trouble?!”

Apparently, I do like moving “furniture” around.

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