Harry Stewart was in the right place at the right time. The result is that he composed the theme for the film “Green Card” – and, more important, is no longer homeless.
Stewart was discovered performing in a subway Peter Weir, who directed Touchstone Pictures’ “Green Card.” Stewart had organized a group of a cappella singers while staying at Harlem’s Emmaus Shelter for the Homeless, performing inspirational songs and hymns in the streets, parks and subway stations.
“I knew there were a lot of people down there making money,” Stewart said. “The cops hassled us at Grand Central [Terminal] because we had a crowd of 200 people, so they told us to go to the Port Authority [Bus Terminal].”
Weir happened to be passing through and was so taken with the group and Stewart that he approached him about auditioning some music for the film. Stewart asked about the story line and wound up composing the theme “Eyes On The Prize,” which speaks to the enormous obstacles facing “Green Card’s” unlikely lovers.
Stewart grew up in Reading, Pa., surrounded music in churches, and he later directed church choirs. He moved to New York to pursue a career, and among his projects was performing as an opening act for Elektra artists 10,000 Maniacs. He also arranged a song for the group.
He soon will appear in the film “Cadence,” the result of his getting to know Martin Sheen when they were arrested several times during antinuclear demonstrations in New York. Stewart contributes a song, “End Of My Journey,” to the soundtrack and sings others.
Stewart says that before he got his break, “I found out I couldn’t afford to live in the city.” He moved to the Emmaus shelter and admits the hopelessness of the homeless situation “made it easy for me to get involved in drugs.”
Stewart’s situation now has changed for the better. After a stint in rehab, he has moved to Los Angeles to seek a recording contract .