Friday, October 1, 2010

Tom Chapin: Not just kid's stuff

By Helen Klein

Grammy winner Tom Chapin is coming home, and he’s taking requests.

The Brooklyn Heights native brings his special brand of family-friendly music to the Brooklyn Center for the Performing Arts at Brooklyn College on Sunday, Oct. 3 for an afternoon of folk tunes that enchant not only his youngest listeners, but their parents, too. 

“It’s fun to write, kid-friendly and adult-safe, and people can play it in their car over and over and over again,” said Chapin.

It was through his own parenting experience that Chapin realized music for kids just didn’t cut it anymore — especially with his then-6-year-old and 8-year-old listening to the Beatles, Eagles and Bob Marley.

“They understand humor. They understand a story,” he said. “They aren’t interested in little duckies anymore.”
Since 1988, Chapin has devoted himself to giving children something else, cutting 11 family albums, with a 12th on the way. 

In advance of his show, you can log on to his website to request songs from his immense catalogue.

Well before there was such a thing as a website, the guitarist cut his musical teeth as one of the Chapin Brothers, singing with his late brother, Harry, renowned for such classic songs as “Cat’s in the Cradle” and “Taxi,” and another brother, Steven, at Brooklyn Heights’ Grace Church, where he was a choirboy. The brothers’ folk music act was formally honed at Brooklyn Technical HS.

“It’s been an amazing journey,” said Chapin. “I feel so blessed that this is where I have placed my marbles.”

Tom Chapin at Brooklyn Center for the Performing Arts [Campus Road and Hillel Place in Midwood, (718) 951-4500], Oct. 3 at 2 pm. Tickets $6 in advance ($7 at the door). For info, visit To request a song during the performance, visit


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