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Paul Simon

Paul Simon

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Also Known As: Jerry Landis, Paul Kane, Paul Frederic Simon, True Taylor Died:
Born: October 13, 1941 Cause of Death:
Birth Place: Newark, New Jersey, USA Profession: singer, composer, record producer, screenwriter, actor, librettist

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

Singer-songwriter Paul Simon has worked most of his career as a solo artist and yet, despite his many individual accomplishments, may always be best remembered for his collaboration with Art Garfunkel. The two discovered early on, as fellow Forest Hills, NY sixth graders, that they harmonized well. Although Simon was always the creative force powering the pair, it was Garfunkel's distinctive harmonies that were the group's "hook." In 1957, they recorded Simon's song "Hey, Schoolgirl" and billed as 'Tom and Jerry' had a Top Fifty hit, leading to an appearance on "American Bandstand." When subsequent 'Tom and Jerry' records failed to capture an audience, the two drifted apart, both trying unsuccessfully to establish themselves independently before reuniting and releasing (as Simon and Garfunkel) the LP "Wednesday Morning, 3 A.M." (1964). The following year, a remixed version of "The Sounds of Silence," adding electric guitar, bass and drums to Simon's acoustic guitar, became the Number 1 single in the United States and launched them in earnest.1966 saw three of their singles ("Homeward Bound," "I Am a Rock" and "Parsley, Sage, Rosemary and Thyme") make the Top Five, and Mike Nichols' 1967's movie "The...

Singer-songwriter Paul Simon has worked most of his career as a solo artist and yet, despite his many individual accomplishments, may always be best remembered for his collaboration with Art Garfunkel. The two discovered early on, as fellow Forest Hills, NY sixth graders, that they harmonized well. Although Simon was always the creative force powering the pair, it was Garfunkel's distinctive harmonies that were the group's "hook." In 1957, they recorded Simon's song "Hey, Schoolgirl" and billed as 'Tom and Jerry' had a Top Fifty hit, leading to an appearance on "American Bandstand." When subsequent 'Tom and Jerry' records failed to capture an audience, the two drifted apart, both trying unsuccessfully to establish themselves independently before reuniting and releasing (as Simon and Garfunkel) the LP "Wednesday Morning, 3 A.M." (1964). The following year, a remixed version of "The Sounds of Silence," adding electric guitar, bass and drums to Simon's acoustic guitar, became the Number 1 single in the United States and launched them in earnest.

1966 saw three of their singles ("Homeward Bound," "I Am a Rock" and "Parsley, Sage, Rosemary and Thyme") make the Top Five, and Mike Nichols' 1967's movie "The Graduate" featured Simon's songs sung by the duo. The single "Mrs. Robinson" reached Number 1 and together with the soundtrack album earned Simon and Garfunkel their first Grammy Awards. The album "Bridge Over Troubled Water" (1970) took almost two years to complete, as the two began to go their separate ways, but once released rose rapidly to Number 1 and rode the charts for over a year and a half, eventually collecting six Grammys. (In 1997, it also received the British Britannia Award as Best International Pop Album of the past 25 years and the equivalent award for the single). The title song, naturally a Number 1 hit, was the biggest seller of their career, allowing them to disband on an incredibly high note. They would reunite periodically for live concerts in the coming years (perhaps most notably for their Central Park performance to 500,000 people in 1981), but with the exception of "retro" albums, little new music would come from the pair. (Although they did record the single "My Little Town" which placed Number 9 in 1975.)

Simon's first solo album after their breakup, "Paul Simon," yielded two hit singles ("Mother and Child Reunion" Number 4, "Me and Julio Down by the Schoolyard" Number 22) and featured jazz violinist Stephane Grappelli on one cut. He followed that with an even greater commercial success, "There Goes Rhymin' Simon" (1973), which boasted as hits the gospel-tinged "Loves Me Like a Rock" (Number 2, with 'The Dixie Hummingbirds' singing backup) and "Kodachrome" (also Number 2). "Still Crazy After All These Years" (1975) delivered the Number 1 single "50 Ways to Leave Your Lover" and earned Simon Grammys for Best Album of the Year and Best Male Pop Vocal Performance. Although he had already drawn from reggae, salsa, jazz, gospel, blues and the New Orleans sound, Simon broke new ground with "Graceland" (1986), which featured African music and musicians like Ladysmith Black Mambazo. It earned him another Grammy for Album of the Year, and his championing of African artists led to his being the first international performer to appear in South Africa after the lifting of the UN's 11-year cultural boycott of the country.

Since "The Graduate," Simon's songs have figured prominently in many movies, and he also composed music for Hal Ashby's "Shampoo" (1975). Though he played a non-singing role in Woody Allen's "Annie Hall" (1977), his starring turn in "One-Trick Pony" (1980), for which he wrote both screenplay and music, earned a tepid response, perhaps causing him to steer clear of acting except for an occasional cameo as himself (i.e., "Dave" 1993). Among his numerous TV credits were multiple appearances on "Saturday Night Live" as both music guest and host, stops on "The Muppet Show" (1980) and PBS' "Sesame Street, Special" (1988), a role as Simple Simon in the HBO movie "Mother Goose Rock 'n' Rhyme" (1990) and various specials and concert performances, including "MTV Unplugged" (1992).

Seven years in preparation, Paul Simon's "The Capeman" began previewing on Broadway in 1997 (and opened on January 8, 1998). With some lyrics contributed by Nobel Prize-winning poet Derek Walcott, "The Capeman" told the true story of Salvador Agron, a near-illiterate immigrant jailed for murder in 1959. Dubbed 'The Capeman' by New York tabloids because he wore a blue nurse's cape with red satin lining, Agron became, at 16, the youngest person sentenced to death in New York state. Eventually saved form the electric chair by a campaign for clemency supported by Eleanor Roosevelt, Agron learned to read and write in prison and later published poems admired by THE NEW YORK TIMES. After 20 years in jail, he lived the rest of his life quietly in the Bronx where he died of a heart attack in 1986. Directed and choreographed by Mark Morris with sets and costumes by Bob Crowley, "The Capeman" starred Ruben Blades, Marc Anthony and Ednita Nazario.

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Filmographyclose complete filmography

CAST: (feature film)

1.
 Henry & Me (2014)
2.
4.
6.
 Die Hard With A Vengeance (1995) Man In Precinct
7.
 Nine Months (1995) Car Salesman
8.
 Why Havel? (1991) Himself
9.
 One-Trick Pony (1980) Jonah
10.
 Annie Hall (1977) Tony Lacey
VIEW THE FULL FILMOGRAPHY

Milestones close milestones

1953:
Discovered that he and fellow Forest Hills, NYC sixth-grader Art Garfunkel could harmonize
1957:
Together with Garfunkel recorded Simon's song "Hey, Schoolgirl"; agent present at session signed them to contract with Big Records; billed as Tom and Jerry, had Top Fifty hit with single and appeared on "American Bandstand"
:
Tom and Jerry follow-ups to "Hey, Schoolgirl" were unsuccessful and Simon and Garfunkel drifted apart
:
Simon pursued solo career under pseudonyms Jerry Landis, Paul Kane, True Taylor and Tico; worked with Carole King; produced songs for acts like Jay Walker & The Pedestrians and Dougie & The Dudes
1964:
Reunited with Garfunkel; Columbia Records signed duo; released LP "Wednesday Morning, 3 A.M."; initially ignored
1965:
"The Sounds of Silence", a single from the "Wednesday Morning 3 A.M." album became Number 1 in USA; producer Tom Wilson had added electric guitars, bass and drums to the original track boasting only Simon's accoustic guitar
1966:
Simon and Garfunkel singles "Homeward Bound", "I Am a Rock" and "Parsley, Sage, Rosemary and Thyme" reached the Top Five
1967:
Mike Nichols' "The Graduate" featured a soundtrack of Simon's songs performed by the duo
1970:
Simon and Garfunkel's "Bridge Over Troubled Water" released; LP sold nine million copies; title song was the biggest seller of their career
:
Simon and Garfunkel disbanded
1972:
Put out solo album "Paul Simon"
1972:
Reunited with Garfunkel for benefit concert at Madison Square Garden for McGovern campaign
1975:
Released LP "Still Crazy After All These Years"
1977:
Made screen acting debut in Woody Allen's "Annie Hall"
1980:
Wrote screenplay, composed music and starred in film "One-Trick Pony"
1981:
Simon and Garfunkel gave free concert in Central Park, attended by about 500,000
1986:
Issued "Graceland" album featuring African music and musicians (i.e., Ladysmith Black Mambazo on "Homeless")
1992:
Appeared on "MTV Unplugged"
1992:
Was first major international performer to appear in South Africa after the lifting of the UN's 11-year cultural boycott of the country
1994:
Co-produced wife Edie Brickel's album "Picture Perfect Morning"; provided some arrangements and instrumentals
1998:
Seven years in preparation, Simon's "The Capeman" opened on Broadway (January 8)
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Education

Queens College: Flushing , New York -
Brooklyn Law School: Brooklyn , New York -
Forest Hills High School: Forest Hills , New York - 1958

Notes

Simon along with Art Garfunkle was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1990.

In 2001, he was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a solo artist.

Companions close complete companion listing

wife:
Peggy Simon. Divorced; mother of Harper Simon.
wife:
Carrie Fisher. Actor, writer. Married August 16, 1983 for less than a year after a five year relationship.
wife:
Edie Brickell. Singer. Married May 1992; mother of Simon's two younger children.

Family close complete family listing

father:
Louis Simon. Musician; professor. Died January 17, 1995 at the age of 79.
mother:
Belle Simon.
brother:
Eddie Simon. Radio station owner. Co-owns a radio station in the Hamptons with Paul Simon and Lorne Michaels.
son:
Harper Simon. Musician. Born c. 1972; mother, Peggy Simon played with father on Carl Perkins' "Go Cat Go" CD (1996); made acting debut in "Bring on the Dead" (1999).
son:
Adrian Edward Simon. Born on December 28, 1992; mother, Edie Brickell.
daughter:
Lulu Simon. Born in March 1995; mother, Edie Brickell.
VIEW COMPLETE FAMILY LISTING

Bibliography close complete biography

"At the Zoo" Doubleday
"Simon and Garfunkel: The Biography" Fromm International

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