Harry Chapin

Although best known for W*O*L*D, his ballad about an ageing disc jockey reflecting on a fading career, singer-songwriter Harry Chapin actually started his artistic career as a documentary film-maker during which he directed the 1968 Academy Award-nominated boxing documentary Legendary Champions. In 1971 Chapin recruited a backing band, signed a deal with Elekra Records and began a fresh career as a singer. Three albums were released during the next two years, Heads & Tales, Sniper And Other Love Songs and Short Stories, which featured the single W*O*L*D and spent 23 weeks in the UK Albums Chart. After the fourth album, Verities And Balderdash, the group disbanded and Chapin began work on a musical called The Night That Made America Famous. Although widely respected as a writer, Chapin's musical career went into a steady decline with disappointing album sales and the single Sequel, taken from the 1980 album of the same name, was the artist's final top 40 hit. Chapin died when a truck crashed into his car in 1981. As well as his music and film-making career, Harry Chapin will be remembered for his charity work including founding World Hunger Year, a charity set up to bring attention to worldwide famine.

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