Sunday, August 1, 2010


Artie Garfunkel

Although it has been 35 years since Bridge Over Troubled Water was recorded, Art Garfunkel's image and signature vocal remain among the most instantly recognizable in popular music. His "beautiful countertenor," as Neil Strauss described Art's voice in The New York Times, is clear and resonant, surely one of the finest instruments in all of popular music, and a time-honored friend to a world of listeners.
The dialogue began for Art at age four, when his father brought home one of the first wire recorders. "That got me into music more than anything else," he recalls, "singing and being able to record it." Seven years later he was singing Everly Brothers songs at school talent shows with a partner, Paul Simon, from his Forest Hills neighborhood in Queens, New York. "Then rhythm 'n blues, rock 'n roll came along." He and Paul set their sights on the Brill Building. "We practiced in the basement so much that we got professional sounding. We made demos in Manhattan and knocked on all the doors of the record companies with our hearts in our throats."
He earned his Bachelor of Arts degree at Columbia College, majoring in Art History; later he earned his Masters degree in Mathematics at Columbia University. But he never stopped singing, and even recorded several solo singles (as 'Artie Garr') while in school. When he met up again with Simon in 1962 and they began to rehearse, the decision was clear to get back together as a duo.
(Biography of Art Garfunkel at

Paul Simon

During his distinguished career Paul Simon has been the recipient of many honors and awards including 12 Grammy Awards, three of which ("Bridge Over Troubled Water", "Still Crazy After All These Years" and "Graceland") were albums of the year. In 2003 he was given a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award for his work as half of the duo Simon and Garfunkel. He is an inductee of The Songwriters Hall of Fame and is in the Rock n' Roll Hall of Fame both as a member of Simon and Garfunkel and as a solo artist. His song "Mrs. Robinson" from the motion picture "The Graduate" was named in the top ten of The American Film Institute's 100 Years 100 Songs. He was a recipient of The Kennedy Center Honors in 2003 and was named as one of Time Magazine's "100 People Who Shape Our World" in 2006.
(Biography of Paul Simon at

Tom & Jerry

Tom & Jerry Complete Recording


Paul Simon and Artie Garfunkel

Paul Simon and Artie Garfunkel

Paul Simon and Artie Garfunkel, 1964

Paul Simon and Artie Garfunkel 1966

Old Friends Live On Stage
Simon & Garfunkel Bild © by SonyBMG

Paul and Art formed the group Tom and Jerry in 1957 and had success with the hit single "Hey, Schoolgirl", but subsequent singles failed to achieve much. After high school they both went to separate colleges. In 1963 they independently discovered an interest in the emerging folk scene and when they met up again they recorded Wednesday Morning, 3 A.M. (1964). Unfortunately, it was not an immediate success and in 1965 the pair broke up, with Simon moving to England to pursue a solo career. Later that year, a track from the album, "The Sounds of Silence", began to gain popularity, finally reaching the No.1 spot in 1966. This prompted Simon's return to the States to record a series of successful albums in the 1960s starting with 1966's Sounds Of Silence. The soundtrack to The Graduate (1968) resulted in a Grammy for "Mrs. Robinson".
(Biography of Simon & Garfunkel at

Simon & Garfunkel - Sounds of Silence 1966 live

(Written By Paul Simon)
Hello darkness, my old friend,
I've come to talk with you again,
Because a vision softly creeping,
Left its seeds while I was sleeping,
And the vision that was planted in my brain
Still remains
Within the sound of silence.
In restless dreams I walked alone
Narrow streets of cobblestone,
'Neath the halo of a street lamp,
I turned my collar to the cold and damp
When my eyes were stabbed by the flash of a neon light
That split the night
And touched the sound of silence.
And in the naked light I saw
Ten thousand people, maybe more.
People talking without speaking,
People hearing without listening,
People writing songs that voices never share
And no one dare
Disturb the sound of silence.
"Fools" said I, "You do not know
Silence like a cancer grows.
Hear my words that I might teach you,
Take my arms that I might reach you."
But my words like silent raindrops fell,
And echoed
In the wells of silence
And the people bowed and prayed
To the neon god they made.
And the sign flashed out its warning,
In the words that it was forming.
And the sign said, "The words of the prophets
are written on the subway walls
And tenement halls."
And whisper'd in the sounds of silence.
(Lyric from

"The Sounds of Silence" is the song that propelled the 1960s folk music duo Simon and Garfunkel to popularity. It was written in February 1964 by Paul Simon in the aftermath of the November 22, 1963 assassination of U.S. President John F. Kennedy.
The song features Simon on acoustic guitar and both Simon and Garfunkel singing. It was originally recorded as an acoustic piece for their first album Wednesday Morning, 3 A.M. but on the initiative of the record company was later overdubbed with electric instruments and rereleased as a single in September 1965. The single reached number one on New Year's Day 1966 and was included in the 1966 album Sounds of Silence.
The song was originally called "The Sounds of Silence" and is titled that way on the early albums in which it appeared and on the single. In later compilations it was retitled "The Sound of Silence". Both the singular and the plural form of the word appear in the lyrics. In his book Lyrics 1964–2008 Simon has the title in the singular.
Simon began working on the song sometime after the Kennedy assassination. He had made progress on the music but had yet to get down the lyrics. On 19 February 1964 the lyrics apparently coalesced, as Simon recalled, “The main thing about playing the guitar, though, was that I was able to sit by myself and play and dream. And I was always happy doing that. I used to go off in the bathroom, because the bathroom had tiles, so it was a slight echo chamber. I'd turn on the faucet so that water would run — I like that sound, it's very soothing to me — and I'd play. In the dark. 'Hello darkness, my old friend / I've come to talk with you again”.

(Paul Simon)
We'd like to know
A little bit about you
For our files.
We'd like to help you learn
To help yourself.
Look around you. All you see
Are sympathetic eyes.
Stroll around the grounds
Until you feel at home.
And here's to you, Mrs. Robinson,
Jesus loves you more than you will know (Wo wo wo).
God bless you, please, Mrs. Robinson,
Heaven holds a place for those who pray (Hey hey hey, hey hey
Hide it in a hiding place
Where no one ever goes.
Put it in you pantry with your cupcakes.
It's a little secret,
Just the Robinsons' affair.
Most of all, you've got to hide it
from the kids.
Coo coo ca-choo, Mrs. Robinson,
Jesus loves you more than you will know (Wo wo wo).
God bless you, please, Mrs. Robinson,
Heaven holds a place for those who pray (Hey hey hey, hey hey
Sitting on a sofa
On a Sunday afternoon,
Going to the candidates' debate,
Laugh about it,
Shout about it,
When you've got to choose,
Every way you look at it you lose.
Where have you gone, Joe DiMaggio?
A nation turns its lonely eyes to you (Ooo ooo ooo).
What's that you say, Mrs. Robinson?
"Joltin' Joe has left and gone away" (Hey hey hey, hey hey hey).
(Lyric from

MRS. ROBINSON was written for the movie The Graduate, starring Anne Bancroft as Mrs. Robinson, a middle age woman who seduces the much younger Dustin Hoffman. Although Bancroft has had a long and successful film career, she is still best known for her part in this movie.
Regarding the famous line, "Where have you gone Joe DiMaggio?": DiMaggio was a star baseball player for the New York Yankees who was briefly married to Marilyn Monroe. Simon was using him to represent heroes of the past. DiMaggio was a little miffed when he heard this, since he was still very much alive even though he retired from baseball in 1951, but he realized that he had become a new icon now with the baby boomer generation due to this song's success.
Simon explained in a 1990 interview with SongTalk magazine: "The Joe DiMaggio line was written right away in the beginning. And I don't know why or where it came from. It seems so strange, like it didn't belong in that song and then, I don't know, it was so interesting to us that we just kept it. So it's one of the most well-known lines that I've ever written."
Paul Simon was a much bigger fan of Mickey Mantle than Joe DiMaggio. On The Dick Cavett Show, Simon was asked by Mantle why he wasn't mentioned in the song instead of DiMaggio. Simon replied, "It's about syllables, Mick. It's about how many beats there are."
When DiMaggio died in 1999, it was a very emotional event for many baseball fans who grew up watching him play. The part of this song that mentions him summed of the feelings of many people who felt there was no one left to look up to. Simon wrote an editorial about DiMaggio in The New York Times shortly after his death.
Simon began writing this as "Mrs. Roosevelt." He changed it to "Mrs. Robinson" for the movie. He may have written this about Eleanor Roosevelt. Some of the lyrics support this such as "We'd like to help you learn to help yourself. Look around you, all you see are sympathetic eyes" and "Going to the candidates debate. Laugh about it, shout about it. When you've got to choose. Every way you look at it, you lose." Roosevelt was a female rights and black rights activist, always helping everyone but herself during the Great Depression. A lot of the time she seemed to have been running the country as much as FDR, but never would have actually won the presidency because she was female. (Megan - Rochester, NY)
Simon & Garfunkel's "The Sound Of Silence" and "Scarborough Fair" were also used in The Graduate, but they had appeared on earlier albums. This was not heard until the movie opened.
Frank Sinatra covered this on his 1969 album My Way. He changed the words, adding some of his own jive and making reference to the movie The Graduate.
This would have had a good chance to win an Oscar for Best Song From A Movie, but it was never nominated because Simon & Garfunkel never filled out the forms to get it considered, leaving "Talk To The Animals" from Doctor Dolittle as the winner. Simon explained, "It was the '60s, we just weren't paying attention." It took 35 years, but Simon finally was nominated for an Oscar in 2003 for his song "Father And Daughter," which was used in The Wild Thornberry's Movie.
According to a "making of" feature on The Graduate DVD, Paul Simon did not originally write a full-length version of this song, only the verses that are heard in the movie. After the movie became a hit, he finished the lyrics and recorded the full version that is known today. (Snatchworth - Seattle, WA)
This song won the Grammy Award for Record of the Year in 1969. The award was first given out in 1959, and in the '60s, songs like "Moon River" and "I Left My Heart in San Francisco" won the award. "Mrs. Robinson" was the first Record of the Year with ties to Rock music.
Many top session musicians recorded with Simon & Garfunkel, including drummer Hal Blaine, who played on this and considers it one of his favorites.
(Songfacts at
The relationship between the two was beginning to fracture and after their hugely successful and seminal final album, Bridge Over Troubled Water, they went their separate ways.
Both men continued to write and record music, with Simon achieving the greater success of the two (particularly with 1986's Grammy-winning Graceland). Their relationship has continued along its rocky path, but although they have reformed for concerts over the intervening years, no further studio albums have been released.
(Biography of Simon & Garfunkel at

LIVE 1969

In the fall of 1969, at the absolute pinnacle of their decade-and-a-half working association – and with two Grammy Awards, four multi-millions selling Columbia LPs and nearly a dozen hit singles under their belts, including the #1′s ‘The Sounds Of Silence’ and ‘Mrs. Robinson,’ and their penultimate album masterpiece, Bridge Over Troubled Water, newly recorded..... – Simon & Garfunkel undertook a major North American tour, which turned out to be their last live dates together until 1982.
Though there were occasional surprise reunions down the years, the litany of Simon & Garfunkel’s powerful work has always resided in the 1960s. Of their work on stage, only a few sanctioned live concert recordings were made by Columbia, but not a note of it was heard on any official album until the Legacy era in 1997 …..In 2002, the entire concert was finally issued as Live from New York City 1967, on Columbia/Legacy, a division of SONY BMG MUSIC ENTERTAINMENT.
‘The performances on LIVE 1969,’ writes Bud Scoppa in his liner notes, ‘were impeccably recorded, and that is a good thing indeed, because Simon & Garfunkel were in absolute peak form at the time, their imminent estrangement notwithstanding.’ Scoppa also penned the notes for the five individual original albums that were packaged together as expanded editions in the 2001 box set Simon & Garfunkel…..
Bridge Over Troubled Water took on a life of its own around the world as one of history’s greatest achievements in recorded music. But by early 1970, not long after its release, the partnership of Simon & Garfunkel had run its course. Through the years, hopes and dreams of reunions have been fulfilled in unexpected ways – among them, their benefit performance at Madison Square Garden for 1972 Presidential candidate George McGovern…..
The release of SIMON & GARFUNKEL, LIVE 1969 fills a significant gap in the duo’s history. It sheds light not only on their development but on the American cultural and political landscape at the height of the Civil Rights and free speech and Anti-War movements that involved so many of their listeners and concert-goers. It was, ‘a time of great extremes, a tumultuous era,’ Scoppa writes. ‘In short, it was an era similar in many ways to the one we’re now living through. We needed Simon & Garfunkel then, and we could very much use their equivalent now, 40 years later.’
"Bridge over Troubled Water" is the title song of Simon & Garfunkel's final album together, released January 26, 1970, though it also appears on the live album "Simon & Garfunkel, Live 1969." It reached number one on the Billboard Hot 100 chart on February 28, 1970, and stayed at the top of the chart for six weeks. "Bridge over Troubled Water" also topped the adult contemporary chart in the U.S. for six weeks.
This song's recording process exposed many of the underlying tensions that eventually led to the breakup of the duo after the album's completion. Most notably, Paul Simon has repeatedly expressed regret over his insistence that Art Garfunkel sing this song as a solo, as it focused attention on Garfunkel and relegated Simon to a secondary position. Art Garfunkel initially did not want to sing lead vocal, feeling it was not right for him. "He felt I should have done it," Paul Simon revealed to Rolling Stone in 1972.

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