Simon And Garfunkel

 Simon And Garfunkel

 Art Garfunkel – circa 1969

 “Time, time, time, see what’s become of me / While I looked around for my possibilities / I was so hard to please” – ‘Hazy Shade Of Winter’ (Paul Simon)

“Paul, I think it behooves you to come back to the States because our record has just got into the top ten and it looks as if it is going to be number one!” writes Art Garfunkel.  The ‘Paul’ to whom he addresses himself is Paul Simon, the other half of the American folk rock duo Simon And Garfunkel.  It is 1965 and Paul Simon is in England, working on a potential solo career.  The record under discussion is ‘The Sound Of Silence’.  The duo recorded the song to meagre effect before Simon’s overseas jaunt.  Without the knowledge or consent of either Paul Simon or Art Garfunkel, record producer Tom Wilson added another ingredient that totally transformed the song and its fate.  The added element is electricity.

Paul Frederick Simon is born 13 October 1941 in Newark, New Jersey, U.S.A.  He comes from a Jewish / Hungarian background.  His father, Louis Simon, is an educator who also has a small jazz combo.  Paul’s mother, Belle Simon, is an English teacher.  Paul has a younger brother, Eddie (born 14 December 1945).  The boys are raised ‘in a middle-class residential district of New York.’

Arthur Ira Garfunkel is born 5 November 1941 in Forest Hills, New York, U.S.A.  He is of Romanian Jewish descent.  His father, Jack Garfunkel, is a salesman.  Art’s mother, Rose Garfunkel, is a housewife.  Art has two brothers, Jules (14 November 1939 – 17 September 2006) and Jerome (born 5 June 1945).

Art Garfunkel says, “Paul [Simon] and I go back to the sixth grade where we grew up in Queens, [New York}.  They cast the two of us in the elementary school graduation play, ‘Alice in Wonderland’.  I was the Cheshire Cat…”  Paul Simon takes up the narrative.  “We met when we were 11 years old in ‘Alice in Wonderland’.  I was the White Rabbit.  It’s a leading role.  And Artie was the Cheshire Cat, a supporting role – a very important supporting role.”

Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel both attend Forest Hills High School in Forest Hills, New York.  “We started to sing together when we were 13 years old,” Simon says of his partnership with Art Garfunkel – and then quips, “And we started to argue when we were 14.”  They are exposed to early rock ‘n’ roll music as teens.  Paul takes a particular interest in doo wop, a vocal harmony style practiced by young African-American singers.  Paul Simon learns to play guitar.  Although he is otherwise left-handed, Paul plays guitar right-handed.  The duo begins writing songs together in 1955.  Their first song is ‘The Girl For Me’ in 1955.  Although the copyright for the song is secured, it is never recorded.

“We made our first record when we were 16 years old,” recounts Paul Simon.  “They called us Tom And Jerry and our song was called ‘Hey Schoolgirl.’”  The Tom And Jerry cognomen is taken from the cat and mouse, Tom and Jerry, appearing in MGM’s theatrical short cartoons.  The singing duo extend the aliases to the fabricated names Tom Graph (Art Garfunkel) and Jerry Landis (Paul Simon).  Based on the vocal harmonies of pioneering rock act The Everly Brothers, ‘Hey Schoolgirl’ (US no. 49) (a tale of falling in love at too young an age) is recorded as a demo for fifteen dollars.  Big Records puts out the single in 1957.  Tom And Jerry perform the song on television’s ‘American Bandstand’ in the same episode that premieres ‘Great Balls Of Fire’ by piano-playing wild man Jerry Lee Lewis.

The success of ‘Hey Schoolgirl’ suggests a bright future for Tom And Jerry, but the follow-ups ‘crash’.  Two singles in 1958, ‘Our Song’ and ‘That’s My Story’, 1962’s ‘Surrender, Please Surrender’ and 1963’s ‘I’m Lonesome’ all fail to make any impact and the duo split up in 1964.

During this time Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel finish high school and go on to further education.

Paul Simon, even while Tom And Jerry is a going concern, is exploring other options.  In March 1958 he issues ‘True Or False’ backed with ‘Teen Age Fool’ under the pseudonym of True Taylor.  In 1959 comes ‘Anna Belle’ b/w ‘Loneliness’, a single released under the name of Jerry Landis.  Somewhere around this time, Simon also finds the time to act as lead singer for a couple of ‘semi-professional groups’, The Passions and The Mystics.  ‘Don’t Take The Stars’ is a 1959 single by The Mystics.  Paul Simon also becomes involved with a group called The Cosines in 1959.  This is a studio collective that cuts demos for songwriters.  One of his fellow Cosines is Carole Klein, better known later as the singer-songwriter Carole King.  In 1960 ‘Just A Boy’ is issued by Jerry Landis, ‘All Through The Night’ by The Mystics, and ‘Swanee’ by Jerry Landis.  In 1961 come two more Jerry Landis singles, ‘I Wish I Weren’t In Love’ and ‘Play Me A Sad Song’.  In 1961 Amy Records puts out ‘Motorcycle’ b/w ‘I Don’t Believe Them’, a single credited to Tico & The Triumphs – which is Paul Simon ‘with a handful of vocalists’.  The year 1962 brings ‘Express Train’ by Tico & The Triumphs, ‘Cry Little Boy’ by Tico & The Triumphs, ‘The Lone Teen Ranger’ (US no. 97) by Jerry Landis, and ‘Cards Of Love’ by Tico & The Triumphs.  While conducting all this musical business, Paul Simon also graduates from Queens College of the City University of New York (CUNY) with a B.A. in English.  He also studies Law, but drops out in early 1964.  He records ‘He Was My Brother’ in 1964 using the alias of Paul Kane.

Art Garfunkel says, “I thought I was going to college” after his brief flirtation with fame.  He does a Bachelor of Arts in art history at Columbia University, though that is not completed until 1965.  At the same university he also obtains a Master of Science in Mathematics in 1967 and was going to pursue his PhD but his music career prevents that.  However, even during his more academic days, Art Garfunkel still dabbles in music.  Under the name of Artie Garr he releases ‘Beat Love’ in 1959 and ‘Forgive Me’ (US no. 102) in 1961.  These singles appear on the Octavia and Warwick labels.

In 1964 Paul Simon goes to England and begins performing in folk clubs.  He meets Kathleen Mary Chitty – better known as Kathy – on 12 April 1964 and falls in love with her.  She is a secretary from Essex.  Paul Simon makes the acquaintance of British folk music performers like Bert Jansch and Martin Carthy.  The latter performs a traditional folk tune, ‘Scarborough Fair’, which piques Simon’s interest.  Judith Piepe is impressed with Paul Simon’s own work and starts touting him to record companies.

Paul Simon returns to the U.S.A. in 1964 and re-teams with Art Garfunkel.  Although the duo started out as Everly Brothers-style rock harmony singers in 1957, over the successive years the first blush of rock has faded and folk music has become more popular.  Simon’s own experiences in the U.K. have been as an acoustic folk singer rather than as a rock musician.  Probably the central figure in the whole folk music scene is the American singer-songwriter Bob Dylan.  Tom Wilson produces Dylan’s second through fifth albums (1963 to 1965).  Columbia Records (home to Dylan) takes an interest in ‘He Was My Brother’, the song Simon recorded as Paul Kane, and offers a recording contract.

This time, the duo is known as Simon And Garfunkel, not Tom And Jerry.  “When we first formed our group, I wanted to call us Garfunkel And Simon,” says Art with – presumably – tongue-in-cheek.  With Tom Wilson as producer, Simon And Garfunkel record their first album, ‘Wednesday Morning, 3 A.M.’ (1964) (US no. 30, UK no. 24), which is released in October.  The contents are a mix of traditional folk songs and Paul Simon originals.  It is a very basic recording – just Simon’s acoustic guitar and the two voices.  Despite the presence (in acoustic form) of ‘The Sounds Of Silence’ [sic], the album’s ‘initial impact is minimal.’

Paul Simon decides to return to England.  He reunites with Kathy Chitty.  “Paul was having a ball in England.  It was one of the happiest times of his life,” Art Garfunkel explains.  “He had this terrific lady friend [Kathy Chitty]…Working in folk clubs [he] was making thirty pounds a night, which was good money then.”  A solo album, ‘The Paul Simon Songbook’ (1965) is released in August.  The album is produced by Reginald Warburton and Stanley West.  The cover photo shows Simon with Judith Piepe, his long-time supporter.  Like ‘Wednesday Morning, 3 A.M.’ this is a stripped-down, acoustic album.  It also includes ‘The Sound Of Silence’ and another couple of songs that will also be revisited later, ‘I Am A Rock’ and ‘Kathy’s Song’.  Paul Simon works through England and Europe promoting the disc.  In Paris, France, in 1965 he shares a bill with a Peruvian folk group, Los Incas.

Back in the U.S.A., Tom Wilson re-examines the material from ‘Wednesday Morning, 3 A.M.’.  In July 1965, The Byrds topped the U.S. charts with a version of Bob Dylan’s ‘Mr Tambourine Man’.  The Byrds used electric guitars and drums, creating the hybrid folk rock sound.  Wilson thinks that such a contemporary sound may work for ‘The Sounds Of Silence’, so he arranges for overdubs.  Wilson is correct, the song races up the charts, and Art Garfunkel summons his erstwhile partner back to the U.S.A.  The only negative aspect is that Paul Simon’s departure from England also ends his relationship with Kathy Chitty.  A shy girl, she wants no part of Simon’s impending fame and bids him farewell.

Simon And Garfunkel are usually characterised as a folk rock act.  They started out as Tom And Jerry, a rather polite rock ‘n’ roll duo.  Simon And Garfunkel’s debut disc and Paul Simon’s solo album are, essentially, pure folk music.  However it is folk rock that makes the duo’s reputation.  Folk rock takes the more literate and thoughtful lyricism of folk and weds it to a rock music beat, embellished by electric guitars and keyboards.  Folk’s political dimension is largely lost in the transition.  Simon And Garfunkel’s brand of folk rock becomes increasingly complex and stylised.  A certain grandiosity and ambition (pretentiousness?) is ever present.

Although Simon And Garfunkel co-wrote in the earliest days of Tom And Jerry, it is now almost exclusively Paul Simon who composes their material.  “Artie is a singer, and I’m a writer and player [of acoustic guitar] and a singer.  We didn’t work together on a creative level and prepare the songs.  I did that,” insists Paul Simon.  Their most casual fans may see them as equals, but the reality is very different.  “Paul’s the writer,” Garfunkel concedes.

Even when it comes to the vocals, Simon And Garfunkel is a partnership weighted towards Paul Simon.  He generally takes the lead, with Art Garfunkel confined to providing high harmonies.  There are some songs that showcase Garfunkel’s fragile, ethereal voice and these work out well.  “Without Arthur’s voice, I never would have enjoyed that success,” Simon admits.  “So many of the songs I wrote were greatly enhanced by the fact that Art Garfunkel sang on them.”

Although still in his 20s, a common theme in Paul Simon’s songs is time and aging.  He was never really built for crafting party anthems or odes to the power of rock.  Instead, Paul Simon’s works are more bookish and thoughtful.  Such paths of musing naturally enough lead to issues of impermanence and the passage of time.  Although Simon And Garfunkel may never have been a hard rock act, their more genteel sensibilities allow them to connect with a broader and larger audience than many of their rock music peers.

The career of Simon And Garfunkel really gets underway when the electric version of ‘The Sound Of Silence’ (US no. 1) becomes a U.S. hit in November 1965.  Its folk rock frames an oblique and enigmatic lyric that, towards the end, proclaims that, “The words of the prophets are written on the subway walls / And tenement halls.”

The album, ‘The Sounds Of Silence’ (1966) (US no. 21, UK no. 13), is released in January.  Both this and the next Simon And Garfunkel album are produced by Bob Johnston.  Ironically, Johnston replaced Tom Wilson (the innovator of Simon And Garfunkel’s folk rock sound} as producer of their Columbia Records label-mate Bob Dylan as well.  Beyond the revised model of ‘The Sound Of Silence’, this disc includes the two other previously mentioned tunes from ‘The Paul Simon Songbook’, ‘I Am A Rock’ and ‘Kathy’s Song’.  ‘I Am A Rock’ (US no. 3, UK no. 17) nails its colours to the mast as the declaration of an introvert, an anthem of intellectual fortitude: “I have my books / And my poetry / To protect me.”  ‘Kathy’s Song’ is about Kathy Chitty of course.  In its beauteous melody it evokes Simon’s former love.  ‘We’ve Got A Groovy Thing Goin’ attempts to be more upbeat and full-bodied while ‘Richard Cory’ looks at rural poverty and injustice.

‘Parsley, Sage, Rosemary And Thyme’ (1966) (US no. 4, UK no. 13, AUS no. 14) in October offers another strong menu of music.  ‘Homeward Bound’ (US no. 5, UK no. 9), a song of life on the road, was written by Paul Simon during his sojourn in England.  He began the song while waiting for a train in Lancashire: “I’m sittin’ in a railway station / Got a ticket for my destination.”  When the song speaks of going home “Where my love lies waiting silently for me”, this refers once again to Kathy Chitty.  The album’s title, ‘Parsley, Sage, Rosemary And Thyme’, is taken from the song ‘Scarborough Fair / Canticle’ (US no. 11, AUS no. 5).  The four herbs cited in the lyric (and the album title) ‘are associated with death and are traditional charms against the evil eye.’  ‘Scarborough Fair’ is the folk tune Martin Carthy brought to Paul Simon’s attention during the New Yorker’s stay in the U.K.  The song is interwoven with ‘Canticle’, a Simon original from ‘The Paul Simon Songbook’.  Given the mixed origin of the piece, the songwriting credit is shared between Simon and Garfunkel since they adapt and arrange the blended traditional folk tune and the Simon song.  “Are you going to Scarborough Fair? / Parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme / Remember me to one who lives there / She once was a true love of mine,” it commences before becoming a sort of roundelay with overlapping lyrics.  It is delicate, yet mysterious.  ‘Scarborough Fair / Canticle’ is Simon And Garfunkel’s best song.  It defies time, sounding like something from medieval days gone by, yet remaining somehow timeless as well.  Given that time is one of Simon’s lyrical motifs and the song sports some of their loveliest vocal performances, it stands as their definitive work.  ‘Cloudy’ is light and wistful, tripping along on a bell-like melody.  Light in a different way is ‘The 59th Street Bridge Song (Feelin’ Groovy)’.  Cringing, Paul Simon claims he would hate to be remembered for this song.  He’s being rather harsh on himself.  Sure, this brief (1.41) track is feather-light but, with its carefree whistle, it is so genial, the feel-good atmosphere fairly radiates outwards from it in a pleasant glow.  At the other extreme, the album contains a couple of the duo’s most self-consciously poetic works.  ‘The Dangling Conversation’ (US no. 25) poses such questions as “Can analysis be worthwhile? Is the theatre really dead?”  The same listeners might see ‘For Emily, Whenever I May Find Her’ (featuring Art Garfunkel’s lead vocals) as being about the poet Emily Dickinson (who is name-checked in ‘The Dangling Conversation’).  Both these songs feature elaborate string sections in their instrumentation.

The single ‘Hazy Shade Of Winter’ (US no. 13) is released in November 1966.  This is about the nearest thing in Simon And Garfunkel’s catalogue to outright rock.  It boasts a fairly aggressive electric guitar line.  This makes for a nice change of pace.

The March 1967 single ‘At The Zoo’ (US no. 16) is ‘playful’ and whimsical, almost like a children’s song.

The motion picture ‘The Graduate’ (1967) includes musical contributions from Simon And Garfunkel.  The album, ‘The Graduate – Soundtrack’ (1968) (US no. 1, UK no. 3, AUS no. 1), is released in January 1968.  The young lead character in the movie, played by Dustin Hoffman, is seduced by Anne Bancroft’s older woman, Mrs Robinson.  Paul Simon was writing an as-yet-untitled new song and found it had a gap with the same number of beats as the name of Bancroft’s character so he called it, jokingly, ‘Mrs Robinson’ (US no. 1, UK no. 4, AUS no. 4).  When director Mike Nichols learned about the song, he demanded to hear it and put it in the film, even though, title aside, it has nothing really to do with the story.  In an early example of cross-promotion, the popularity of the song helps the film and the popularity of the film helps the song.  ‘Mrs Robinson’ is an addictive slice of acoustic strumming and picking as Simon asks, “What’s that you say, Mrs Robinson? / Joltin’ Joe has left and gone away.”  ‘Joltin’ Joe’ is baseball star Joe DiMaggio as the lyric later confirms: “Where have you gone Joe DiMaggio?”  “’Mrs Robinson’…has nothing to do with Joe DiMaggio,” Paul Simon insists.  What the song seems to be about is the loss of a better, more innocent, past, perhaps characterised by such famous sportsmen of days gone by.  It’s a common theme to the aging Mrs Robinson and Paul Simon, whose familiar subject of time’s passage resurfaces here.

‘Hazy Shade Of Winter’, ‘At The Zoo’ and ‘Mrs Robinson’ are all included on the next Simon And Garfunkel album, ‘Bookends’ (1968) (US no. 1, UK no. 1, AUS no. 3), in April.  This and the duo’s next album are co-produced by Simon And Garfunkel and Roy Halee.  Paul Simon describes ‘Bookends’ as “the quintessential Simon And Garfunkel album.”  It is ‘mostly dark’ and ‘deals with people in positions of despair and anxiety.’  The title track medley of ‘Old Friends / Bookends’ is, naturally, a song of two parts.  ‘Old Friends’ is an extraordinary meditation written by a young man (Simon is 27 at the time) about being old: “How terribly strange to be 70.”  Still, it fits with Simon’s work on the passing of time.  The companion, ‘Bookends’, is more opaque: “A time it was and what a time it was / It was.”  The album’s other notable track is ‘America’.  A young couple set out to ‘find’ the true America in a piece that moves from delicate acoustic miniatures to sweeping orchestration.  Simon sings, “’Kathy, I’m lost,’ I said / Though I knew she was sleeping / ‘I’m empty and aching / And I don’t know why.’”  This is the last manifestation of ‘Kathy’ in Paul Simon’s songs.  However, it is a name only inspired by Kathy Chitty, since – so far as is known – the real Kathy never left the U.K. and didn’t travel across the U.S.A. with Simon.

The single ‘The Boxer’ (US no. 7, UK no. 6, AUS no. 3) is released in April 1969.  Paul Simon calls this “a really nice record.”  It has a broad, cinematic canvas.  The track is assembled from, supposedly, over one hundred hours of sessions.  These take place in multiple venues including Nashville, New York’s St Paul’s Church, and the Columbia studios.  “People often called us perfectionists,” Paul Simon acknowledges.  “I am just a poor boy / Though my story’s seldom told,” begins the narrative.   “Just a come on from the whores on Seventh Avenue,” is all the pugilist of the title receives.  This line raises eyebrows in some quarters.  The folky chorus is punctuated by percussive booms, simulating punches thrown.  In the climax, the song states, “In the clearing stands a boxer, and a fighter by his trade / And he carries the reminders of every glove that laid him down or cut him till he cried out in his anger and his shame, ‘I am leaving, I am leaving’ / But the fighter still remains.”  Although ‘The Boxer’ works as a straight account of a struggling fighter, it can also be interpreted as a metaphor for a struggling rock musician.

In late autumn 1969 Paul Simon marries Peggy Harper.  They have a son, Harper James Simon (born September 1972), presumably named after his mother’s maiden name.

Simon And Garfunkel’s finest album, ‘Bridge Over Troubled Water’ (1970) (US no. 1, UK no. 1, AUS no. 1), is released in January.  It marks both the end of the 1960s and the end of Simon And Garfunkel’s partnership.  “A great deal of the time during ‘Bridge’, Artie wasn’t there,” Paul Simon points out.  Art Garfunkel was in Mexico, appearing in the movie ‘Catch 22’ (1970).  ‘The Only Living Boy In New York’ obliquely refers to this, since it takes the form of a message to an absent friend named Tom (remember Garfunkel was Tom Graph in the duo’s Tom And Jerry days).  ‘Bridge Over Troubled Water’ includes ‘The Boxer’ as well as some of the duo’s most musically expansive work.  The title track, ‘Bridge Over Troubled Water’ (US no. 1, UK no. 1, AUS no. 1), is sung by Art Garfunkel alone and, aided by Larry Knechtel’s sensitive piano-playing, is an achingly lovely performance.  “He felt I should have done it,” Simon reports, “and many times I’m sorry I didn’t.”  Nonetheless, Simon calls it, “A very good song.  Artie sang it beautifully.”  The song is written for Simon’s wife, Peggy.  However, what sets it apart is that it is composed in the style of the gospel group The Swan Silvertones.  It is this almost elegiac grace that gives ‘Bridge Over Troubled Water’ a universal currency due to it being, as its author puts it, a “hopeful…resting, peaceful song.”  “When you’re weary / Feeling small / When tears are in your eyes / I will dry them all,” sings Art Garfunkel.  ‘El Condor Pasa’ and ‘Cecelia’ both absorb music from other cultures, a trademark of Paul Simon’s later solo recordings.  Simon writes an English lyric for ‘El Condor Pasa’ (US no. 18, AUS no. 6), an eighteenth century Peruvian folk song by Jorge Milchberg and Daniel A. Robles.  Los Incas, the folk group from Peru Simon met in 1965, are called upon to provide the exotic backing music infused with flutes.  Although characterised as ‘slightly calypso’, ‘Cecelia’ (US no. 4) actually sounds more African with its emphasis on percussion and rhythm.  The slightly risqué lyrics run, “Makin’ love in the afternoon with Cecelia up in my bedroom / I got up to wash my face / When I come back to bed someone’s taken my place.”  The unusually boisterous ‘Keep The Customer Satisfied’ bumps its way to a brassy pile-up of horns in the finish.  ‘Song For The Asking’ closes the disc and acts like a musical after-dinner mint.  Although ‘Bridge Over Troubled Water’ may be the work of a disintegrating partnership, its lush and varied musical palette makes this the duo’s most satisfying album.

“We’d known each other since we were kids,” says Paul Simon, “but I thought we’d gone about as far as we were going to go as a duo with the ‘Bridge Over Troubled Water’ album.”  He continues, “We’re really two different guys…The bigger we got, the more insistent we got that each of us should have his way.”  Simon attributes the split to “ego”, while Garfunkel points instead to “tiredness.”

Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel go on to separate solo careers.  While Simon And Garfunkel never again becomes an ongoing creative concern in a major way, there are a number of reunions and détentes.

On 14 June 1972 a reunited Simon And Garfunkel are one of the acts involved in a fundraising show for U.S. Presidential candidate George McGovern.  The concert takes place in New York’s Madison Square Garden.  The occasion virtually coincides with the release of ‘Simon And Garfunkel’s Greatest Hits’ (1972) (US no. 5, UK no. 2, AUS no. 10) in June, an album whose contents mix-and-match live recordings with the better known studio versions of the duo’s output.  Simon And Garfunkel next join forces on 18 October 1975 on ‘NBC’s Saturday Night’ television program.  This publicises a new song they have recorded together, the dynamic ‘My Little Town’ (US no. 9, AUS no. 1), which shows up on both Paul Simon’s ‘Still Crazy After All These Years’ (1975) and Art Garfunkel’s ‘Breakaway’ (1975).  In 1977, singer-songwriter James Taylor makes it a trio, joining Simon And Garfunkel for a cover version of Sam Cooke’s 1960 hit ‘Wonderful World’ (US no. 17).  This recording is included on Art Garfunkel’s album, ‘Watermark’ (1977).  Perhaps the duo’s most celebrated reunion is for a free concert in New York’s Central Park on 19 September 1981.  This yields the live album ‘The Concert In Central Park’ (1982) (US no. 6, UK no. 6, AUS no. 5) and a world tour in 1982-1983.  Excitingly, plans are made for a new Simon And Garfunkel album to be titled ‘Think Too Much’.  However, these plans fall through and the material is recycled for Paul Simon’s solo album ‘Hearts And Bones’ (1983).  Their next get-together is for the duo’s induction to the Rock ‘N’ Roll Hall of Fame in 1990.  In 1993 Simon And Garfunkel again work together, putting on twenty-one shows in New York.  A joint appearance at the Grammy Awards on 23 February 2003 leads to a U.S. tour from October to December 2003.  With another live album (plus DVD), ‘Old Friends – Live On Stage’ (2004) (US no. 154, UK no. 61, AUS no. 22), to their credit, Simon And Garfunkel tour the U.S. and Europe in June-July 2004.  When Paul Simon appears at New York’s Beacon Theatre on 15 February 2009, Art Garfunkel joins him for three songs.  Simon And Garfunkel tour Australia, New Zealand and Japan in June-July 2009.

The personal lives of Simon And Garfunkel also go through changes after the duo splits in 1970.

Paul Simon’s marriage to Peggy Harper ends in divorce in 1975.  Simon has a relationship with the actress Shelley Duvall from 1976 to 1978.  He marries actress Carrie Fisher on 16 August 1983.  Although Simon and Fisher divorce in July 1984, they go on dating for a number of years before finally calling it quits in 1991.  On 30 May 1992 Paul Simon marries singer and musician Edie Brickell.  They have three children: a son named Adrian (born December 1992), a daughter named Lulu (born April 1995), and a son named Gabriel (born May 1998).

Art Garfunkel weds Linda Grossman, an architect, on 1 October 1972.  They divorce in 1975.  Garfunkel is then romantically linked with actress and photographer Laurie Byrd from March 1974 until her suicide in 1979.  He dates actress Penny Marshall from 1984 to 1985.  In late 1985, Art Garfunkel meets Kathryn (Kim) Cermak.  The couple marry on 18 September 1988.  They have a son, James (born 15 December 1990).  Art Garfunkel fathers a second son, Beau (born 5 October 2005), via a surrogate mother.

If Paul Simon had not responded to Art Garfunkel’s summons back to the U.S.A. in 1965, things could have turned out very differently.  Yet, in a way, Simon’s subsequent solo career investigates what that would have been like anyway.  Would Paul Simon alone have enjoyed the same level of success as Simon And Garfunkel in the 1960s?  It’s hard to say – but perhaps not.  Art’s prettier voice may have helped the duo reach a wider audience and he may have modulated some of Simon’s greater self-indulgences with an eye towards accessibility.  With the possible exception of ‘Wednesday Morning, 3 A.M.’, the duo’s five albums of studio material [this count does not include their contributions to ‘The Graduate’ soundtrack] are fairly consistently high quality work.  The themes of time and aging in Paul Simon’s songwriting are also reflected in the career of Simon And Garfunkel.  They had already had a career as Tom And Jerry and broke up before reuniting as Simon And Garfunkel…only to break up again…only to reunite periodically after 1970.  The pattern repeated as they aged.  Time passes, but some things remain constant…like the music of Simon And Garfunkel…and that’s entirely fitting.  ‘Simon And Garfunkel combined the best of the folk tradition and the rock revolution all in one place.’  They offered ‘intimate harmonising, observant lyrics, innovative arrangements and singular tunes.’


  1. ‘Simon And Garfunkel – 20 Greatest Hits’ – Sleeve notes by Glenn A. Baker (Sony Music Productions Pty. Ltd., 1991) p. 3, 4, 6, 8, 9, 10, 11
  2. Notable names database – -as at 20 January 2014
  3. ‘The Illustrated New Musical Express Encyclopedia of Rock’ by Nick Logan, Bob Woffinden (Salamander Books, 1978) p. 72, 209
  4., ‘Simon And Garfunkel’ by Richie Unterberger, ‘Paul Simon’ by Mark Deming as at 17 March 2014
  5. Internet movie database as at 18 March 2014
  6. ‘Old Friends – Live On Stage’ – DVD Directed by Kate Twitchell and Ken Erlich (Sony Music Entertainment, 2004)
  7. ‘The Rolling Stone Illustrated History Of Rock ‘N’ Roll’, ‘Paul Simon’ by Stephen Holden (Plexus Publishing, 1992), p. 319, 320
  8. as at 20 January 2014
  9. ‘The Illustrated Rock Handbook’ edited by Roxanne Streeter, Ray Bonds (Salamander Books, 1983) p. 71, 90, 193, 194, 195
  10. ‘Rolling Stone Rock Almanac’ by the Editors of ‘Rolling Stone’ magazine (Papermac, 1984) p. 104, 201
  11. as at 20 January 2014
  12. ‘The 500 Greatest Albums Of All Time’ – ‘Rolling Stone’ magazine (February 2004) p. 44, 59, 63
  13. ‘Friday On My Mind’ by Ed Nimmervoll (Five Mile Press, 2004) p. 86
  14. ‘Old Friends – Live On Stage’ – ‘Picking Up A Dangling Conversation’ Sleeve notes by David Wild (Sony Music Entertainment, 2004) p. 6, 35
  15. ‘Good Morning America’ (U.S. television program, ABC Network) – Simon And Garfunkel interview (15 September 2003)
  16. as at 20 January 2014

Song lyrics copyright Jonathan with the exceptions of ‘The Sound Of Silence’, ‘Homeward Bound’, ‘I Am A Rock’ (all Essex) and ‘Bridge Over Troubled Water’ (Warner)

Last revised 3 April 2014


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