"Taxi" was Chapin's first single. He had his taxi driver's license in New York City and worked as a driver for six months in Long Beach, New York. Sandy Chapin, who was married to Harry from 1968 until his death in 1981, told Songfacts the story
: "He had been working in film, that was how he made his living. Harry's plan at the time was to make enough money in five or six months that he would not have to work for five or six months, and during which time he would write screenplays. And then, the money did run out and he went back to look for some work in film, but there wasn't anything available. He needed a job, he wanted to still to be able to write, so he applied for a cab license. And I was something like eight months pregnant. I felt very positive about it, because I thought, wow, it would be a great experience, because people in cabs will tell him stories, and he'll get all kinds of characters for songs. I think he was feeling pretty low about it, and wrote the song 'Taxi' with the idea that the people he had told his dreams - that he was gonna make a great film - were gonna get into the cab, and so he ended up being a cab driver after all the big talk. And one of whom would be the girlfriend that he had while he was at Cornell. Sue was a real person."