It"s been practically 40 years due to the fact that folk singer-songwriter bother Chapin died in a vehicle crash on his way to a brand-new York concert. He was 38.

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Now, a new documentary sheds brand-new light on the performer, turning to his brothers, children, document executives and performers such as Billy Joel for behind-the-scenes details on Chapin"s life on and off the stage.

"Harry Chapin: as soon as In Doubt, execute Something" hit movie theaters and also virtual cinemas on Friday. That producers include wife Sandra and stepson Jason.

The film"s relax date synchronized with human being Food Day, which was aimed at drawing attention come poverty and hunger. Chapin was recognized for his philanthropic work, in details when it pertained to combatting hunger. In 1975, that co-founded the organization WhyHunger.


Chapin"s very first foray right into the music service came together a teenager performing v siblings Tom and also Steve as part of the Chapin brothers in the so late 1950s and 1960s. As a solo artist in the 1970s, he recorded such hits as "Cat"s In The Cradle," "Taxi" and "I Wanna learn a Love Song."

Ahead the the premiere, here are 5 takeaways from the documentary:


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Chapin"s at an early stage family life was rocky

The performer"s mom, Jeanne, had four sons by the moment she to be 25. Her marital relationship to Jim Chapin was generally rocky, Tom Chapin says, and the two divorced when the boys were quiet young.

"Dad was a jazz drummer and he was on the road and also he love jazz and he love women and also it didn"t work," Tom says.

In 1952, Jeanne married Henry Hart and also the family moved from new York"s Greenwich village to Brooklyn, living in a brownstone purchased for $16,000. Steve Chapin describes Hart together a "storybook evil stepfather."

"He to be well-meaning, but he just couldn"t handle 4 boys cultivation up," he says.


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Harry had a love the film, his brother say, and also at one time yearned to do documentaries. 

He got a chance to head to Ethiopia to make a documentary and took it, leave the tape for six months. When he returned, he acquired the poor news: He"d been dumped by his brothers, who"d reshaped the tape in his absence.

"I sat there and also I said him, "Harry, we"re kicking you out of the band," Tom recalls.

Steve said the band had evolved and also "there to be no method (Harry Chapin) can walk back in."

"He wasn"t a singer," that said. "We currently had 2 guitarists in the band. In ~ this time, the didn"t bring anything to the table."

Record-breaking record deal inked

It wasn"t long prior to Harry rebounded. He launched his solo career and also soon a bidding battle erupted in between labels that wanted to authorize him come a recording contract.

The win bidder was Elektra Records founder and also CEO Jak Holzman, who confronted off against other heavy hitters in the industry, consisting of Columbia records executive Clive Davis.


"Clive and also I had actually gone toe come toe on various other artists," Holzman says. "We were used to scrapping through each other."

Holzman go to great lengths to seal the deal, banging on the former door of harry Chapin"s house one morning at 6. "I said, "I"m no leaving here until we have a deal,"" that recalls. 

In 1972, Chapin inked a transaction with Elektra records that was amongst the biggest to date.

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"It"s not a time I"d choose to relive, but it made united state a most money," Harry says in the film.