This month on Voices of the Cliff — a wonderful conversation with three time Grammy Award winner Tom Chapin. Tom shares his journey as a performer and community leader from growing up in Brooklyn and Northern New Jersey, to forming a folk group with brothers Harry and Steve, and finding his own voice. Throughout Tom talks about the importance of making decisions based on what moves you and making the world a sustainable and enriched place for younger and future generations.
Listen to this Podcast (15.1 Mb, 15:33) — Program 6 — March 29, 2011
Listen to the Extended Interview (55.9 Mb, 59:26) — Program 6e — March 29, 2011
- 00:00 – 00:30 — Intro
- 00:31 – 01:09 — The importance of Working Together
- 01:10 – 01:42 — Tom’s Biography
- 01:43 – 05:59 — The Journey of Music, Self and World
- 06:00 – 13:18 — Commitment, Quality, Career/Life Choices, Finding Voice
- 13:19 – 14:23 — Filling Our Own Shoes a Little Fuller
- 14:24 – 15:33 — Sign-off
Links Associated with this Episode
- Tom Chapin’s Official Website
- Not on the Test
- New York State Testimony – You Can’t Spell Smart without Art
- Tom’s Album – Let the Bad Times Roll
- Commit Media
- Blue Water White Death
- The Chapin Sisters (Tom’s Daughters)
- Kenneth Burke (Tom’s Grandfather)
- Harry Chapin (Tom’s Brother)
- James Chapin (Tom’s Grandfather)
- Jim Chapin (Tom’s Father)
- Richard Leacock (Tom’s Uncle)
Tom Chapin, the beloved singer / songwriter / humanitarian from Rockland County, NY has dedicated his life to making music, and making the world a better place. He entertains tens of thousands of children and adults annually with his performances locally and across the United States. Teachers embrace the positive messages in his music, addressing issues including the environment, family, diversity, tolerance, and healthy food.
His music and humanitarian work has been showered with awards:
- Grammy Awards (3) – Best Spoken Word Album for Children
- Grammy Nominations (5) – Best Musical Album for Children
- The Magic Penny Award – The Children’s Music Network tribute to people who have dedicated
- their lives to empowering children through music.
- The American Eagle Award – The National Music Council’s prestigious Award to honor a “great
- contribution to music and music education in our nation.”
- The FAME Award, presented by MENC (National Association for Music Education)
- Lifetime Achievement Award – Children’s Music Web
- Entertainer of the Year – American Academy of Children’s Entertainment
- Notable Children’s Recordings – American Library Association
- Parents’ Choice Awards
- Gold Medal Awards – National Parenting Publications
- Green Star Award from the Environmental Action Coalition
In addition to releasing 20 critically acclaimed recordings for families and adults, Chapin’s varied career has taken him to Broadway as lead in the musical “Pump Boys and Dinettes,” off-Broadway as musical director of both “Cotton Patch Gospel” and “Harry Chapin: Lies & Legends” and on television as host of “Make A Wish” on ABC, and as host of the documentary series “National Geographic Explorer.” He has contributed satiric topical songs to National Public Radio’s Morning Edition, poking fun at social and scientific trends in the news; and appeared in a cameo role in Jonathan Demme’s 2004 remake of “The Manchurian Candidate.”
Tom works tirelessly on behalf of many charitable organizations. He is on the Board of Directors of WHYHunger, a hunger organization founded (as World Hunger Year) in 1975 by Tom’s late brother, singer / songwriter / humanitarian Harry Chapin. He is active in environmental causes; and is working to get music and the arts back in schools.
In the past year alone, Tom has appeared locally in support of the following causes: WHYHunger, National Health Care, Haitian Relief, Climate Control, Darfur, Valley Cottage Library, Clearwater, Long Island Philharmonic, Hospice, Grassroots Leadership, Landmark West, Radio Station WFUV-FM, Radio Station WFDU-FM; testified at the NY State Congressional Hearing regarding Funding for the Arts; and will be appearing at upcoming PlanetHugger events, and for the Child Care Council of Westchester. Today, at his birthday concert, he highlights the good work of People To People: feeding, clothing and providing for those in need in Rockland County.
In 2009, Tom presented keynote speeches to the Public Library Association and The Association of Mathematics Teachers of New York State, and will address the New York State Technology Education Association and the North American Association for Environmental Education later this year.
He shares his beliefs with good will, positive energy, and an honest commitment and determination. He is passionate about working toward a better world for his children and grandchildren. Rockland County is proud to have him as a shining light in our community.