I had friends living in North Carolina in the late ’70’s who wanted me to visit, but I couldn’t justify the expense to fly or drive there. Then they called one day and said Harry Chapin was giving a concert at nearby Carowinds Amusement park soon and if I’d visit they’d pay my way to the concert. “Heck yeah!” I said. (Up to this point I was a confirmed Chapin fan but had never seen a concert of his.) So I fly up there and on the day of the concert, it started raining. Bad news since this was an outdoor concert.
We drove to Carowinds and it was drizzly and heavily overcast by the time we arrived. The events office told us it was iffy as to whether the show was going on as planned due to the weather. We reasoned that no one would set up musical instruments in that weather and so we went back to my friend’s house.
What a surprise when we found out via the local news that Harry Chapin did perform that day! He excused the band members and played a half a show in a slow but steady rain with an acoustic guitar for the select few who stayed. What an event to miss!
What I wouldn’t give to go back to that time and be a member of that show! This was the beauty of Harry Chapin. He was determined to give the crowd his best, no matter the weather.
“I had asked Keath to come up with a title to his story and he spit out two; “Singing in the Rain” and “It Was Raining Hard in Carolina”. He then rapidly created, off the cuff, a verse to go along with the title. Below is the song, to the tune of taxi:”
It Was Raining Hard in Carolina by Keath Graham:
It was raining hard in Carolina
I’d flown up just to see his show
The TV warned of bad weather that morn
My friend’s said we’d better not go
But still, we drove on up to Carowinds
Where the organizers doubted he’d play
The sky was turning dark at noon in the park
With the rain driving many away
Late that night I glanced at the TV
When the news mentioned Harry’s name
A smile seem to come to me slowly
It was a sad smile just the same
For they said “He played his heart out”
And they said “For the few that stayed”
“Though the too many showers lasted for hours,
It didn’t affect the way that he played.”
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