It was decades ago.

Still, I remember so much about this concert because I wanted to see musician Harry Chapin so much.

It was at Western Illinois University, Macomb, where my boyfriend at the time was a graduate student. I can see him now, sitting on the bleachers and singing along.

I also remember how Harry introduced his brother Tom, who was a member of his band, as a singer with perfect pitch. Harry Chapin was a storyteller, with a vast repertoire far beyond “Cat’s in the Cradle,” which seems to be his most-recognized tune.

And he was much more than a musician. “Harry Chapin: When in Doubt, Do Something” is a documentary tribute to his life – especially the activist I knew so little about.

Harry, a child from a talented family, had an interesting childhood, and you’ll learn about that here. You’ll see how he developed as a musician, and how his talent was recognized – he was nominated for an Oscar, a Tony, and a Grammy by the time he was 33.

Critics and his public alike loved Harry. One of my favorite moments in the film shows him with a group of adoring young fans.

Various people – including his wife and musician Billy Joel, along with his children – share their memories of Harry. Billy Joel talks about how supportive Harry was. Pat Benatar shares a funny and sweet moment she shared with Harry when he asked her to audition.

Always, Harry’s positive personality and outlook emerge. He never lost sight of his goal to help people in need. This brilliant musician who died too soon forged the way for other performers such as Bob Geldof to raise awareness and money to help others.

Over the last few weeks I have told anyone who will listen that I have started my “summer concert tour.” Although this involves live performances, I’m so glad I saw this film when I did, because I will include Harry Chapin’s recorded music in my summer listening, too.

If you remember Harry, you’ll appreciate this documentary. If not, you may discover a new musician you love as much as I do.

Thanks, Harry, for giving me so many story songs I’ll never forget. And thanks, Don, for taking me to that concert so many years ago.

3 stars

Running time: One hour and 33 minutes.

Streaming on amazon prime.

Watch the trailer here.

Listen to my favorite Harry Chapin song – yes, it’s in the movie – here.