He has received a dozen Grammy awards and various other music-related honors, including the Dov award from the Gospel Music Association and an Emmy award for the Paul Simon Special, which aired in the mid ‘70s.
paul simonon wife – American Masters
Paul Simon is one of those unique individuals whose impact on the culture has continued unabated in many different guises over the nearly 30 years of his creative life. Paul Frederic Simon (born October 13, 1941) is an American singer-songwriter and actor. Simon’s musical career has spanned seven decades with his fame and commercial success beginning as half of the duo Simon & Garfunkel (originally known as Tom & Jerry), formed in 1956 with Art Garfunkel. Simon was responsible for writing nearly all of the pair’s songs including three that reached number one on the U.S. singles charts: “The Sound of Silence”, “Mrs. Robinson”, and “Bridge over Troubled Water”.
Born in 1941 in Newark, New Jersey, Simon began his career as a musician while he was still in his teens. Along with Art Garfunkel, he formed the band Tom and Jerry”. Though they had a hit with Hey Schoolgirl,” they broke up to go to college and didn’t reunite until 1964. That year, Simon and Garfunkel recorded the album WEDNESDAY MORNING 3AM. The record, that included a number of great songs, including an acoustic version of their well-known The Sound of Silence,” received a disappointing initial response. It was not until a year later, with a remixed version of the song adding electric instrumentation, which the public began to notice. The Sound of Silence” became an instant success, and within a short while Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel were household names.
Don’t get me wrong – I’m not implying these songs will be blowing you off your feet. All of these touches, mixes, and mingles are very subtle, and if I do employ the word “weird” on here, it’s by no means the “weird” of the Captain Beefheart level. It’s just that all of this makes the work in general much more interesting than it’d been had Simon never met these South African fellas. Only on a couple tracks does their native power shine through in all of its glory – like the excellent accappella singing on ‘Homeless’, for instance – but that’s really not a problem.
Simon has been active in communities around Fairfield County. In 2018 he participated in Stamford’s March for Our Lives where he performed “The Sound of Silence” as a comment on Congress’ inaction in the face of ever-mounting student deaths.
Of Mr. Simon’s many concert appearances he is most fond of the two concerts in Central Park in New York (with his partner and childhood friend Art Garfunkel in 1981 and as a solo artist in 1991) and the series of shows he did at the invitation of Nelson Mandela in South Africa: the first American artist to perform in post-apartheid South Africa.
That’s about eight hours of live Paul Simon music in a five-day period. That might seem like he’s pulling a Kiss or Ozzy Osbourne by shamelessly continuing to tour directly after a farewell tour, but these were all charity gigs for various environmental organizations. He didn’t earn a dime from any of them, even the headlining set at Outside Lands; before he announced the Homeward Bound farewell tour of 2018, he said that he’d continue to play the occasional charity show.
Finally, Simon has opened up—for more than one hundred hours of interviews—to Robert Hilburn, whose biography of Johnny Cash was named by Michiko Kakutani of the New York Times as one of her ten favorite books of 2013. The result is a landmark book that will take its place as the defining biography of one of America’s greatest artists.
As the helicopter approached, a buzz built among those waiting. While they are thankful for celebrities who make large donations to help environmental causes, they are especially impressed at Simon’s level of participation and commitment.
I never even thought about it. I never even put chords to it. I never intended to put anything other than the bass, so other than the key, I never even thought about changes. It was always this clapping that came from flamenco players. That was my rhythmic premise that started the album. Those little fills in Stranger To Stranger” — those are a guy’s feet dancing. They’re odd-sounding. It’s a guy tapping his feet. It’s not a hand rhythm. It’s a feet pattern. It’s a different thing.
anyway, enjoying someone’s music doesn’t mean you have to like reading an “authorized” bio of him that glibly takes his side in all the various controversies ex-wives, Art Garfunkel, record label folks, Miami Steve and others who objected to Simon’s playing in South Africa during UN antiapartheid boycott, cultural appropriation watchdogs who took exception to Graceland, vicious critics of self-indulgent late-career Broadway play, you’re all coming out on the short end in this book – sorry.
Simon also wrote and performed the theme song for the comedian Louis C.K.’s show Horace and Pete, which debuted January 30, 2016. The song, which can be heard during the show’s opening, intermission, and closing credits, is sparse, featuring only Simon’s voice and an acoustic guitar. Simon made a cameo appearance onscreen in the tenth and final episode of the series.
Hilburn does not think the book would have been substantially different even if Garfunkel had agreed to speak to him. I spoke to many people close to Art, including two of his former managers, and I think that information enabled me to capture Paul and Art’s relationship,” he says.
In 1981, he reunited with Garfunkel for a free concert in New York’s Central Park, drawing in 500,000 people, a new record at the time. (Simon surpassed that total with his solo Central Park concert in 1991, with 750,000 in attendance.) The concert album was released in 1982, and was so successful that the duo went on tour, but their plans to record new material together brought up old scars, ended in disagreement and led to many years of estrangement. The album that would have marked their reunion, Hearts and Bones, became a Simon solo album, and despite strong material, was a commercial flop.
One of the most well-known musicians of his generation, Simon has won 12 Grammys. “Bridge Over Troubled Water,” “Still Crazy After All These Years” and “Graceland” were all awarded albums of the year.
When Simon read all of those best since Graceland” reviews for So Beautiful or So What, I wonder whether he felt another impulse to push back, to insist that he had already made his best since Graceland” album 11 years earlier, with 2000’s You’re the One.
Since the early stages of the nineties, Simon was fully involved on The Capeman , a musical that finally opened on January 29, 1998. Simon worked enthusiastically on the project for many years and described it as “a New York Puerto Rican story based on events that happened in 1959—events that I remembered.” 34 The musical tells the story of real-life Puerto Rican youth Salvador Agron , who wore a cape while committing two murders in 1959 New York, and went on to become a writer in prison. Featuring Marc Anthony as the young Agron and Rubén Blades as the older Agron, the play received terrible reviews and very poor box office receipts from the very beginning, and closed on March 28 after just 68 performances—a failure that reportedly cost Simon 11 million dollars.
A true show-business lifer, Simon always managed to come back — with his signature achievement, the cross-cultural and intergenerational sensation Graceland, in the mid-’80s, and his unlikely renaissance as a darling of indie rockers in the ’10s. But he’s never been able to shed his enemies.
When you think about rock star, you don’t think Simon. Some may dismiss it as not looking the part. If fact, he transcended labels. Yes. I started the song in G, and wrote that bridge in A. So I then took the bridge section as an introduction, after it was written.
Renamed Simon & Garfunkel, after their debut album, Wednesday Morning, 3 A.M.” sold poorly, they disbanded and Simon headed to England to pursue a solo career. Let’s play some ska!” he implored. But the musicians didn’t play ska. Well, what do you play?” Simon asked.
When Simon traveled to Alabama in 1972 to record several tracks with the house band at Muscle Shoals Sound Studio, known as the Swampers, for There Goes Rhymin’ Simon, keyboardist Barry Beckett felt that he had written the descending piano riff that opens and closes One Man’s Ceiling Is Another Man’s Floor.” But Beckett didn’t press the issue — Simon gave the band members coproducer credits on the Muscle Shoals tracks, and paid well above scale for the sessions, as is Simon’s custom. Besides, there was also the code of the studio musician, which is anyone who haggles over songwriting credits ought to make their own damn record.
I write from instinct, from inexplicable sparkle. I don’t know why I’m writing what I’m writing. Usually, I sit and I let my hands wander on my guitar. And I sing anything. I play anything. And I wait till I come across a pleasing accident. Then I start to develop it. Once you take a piece of musical information, there are certain implications that it automatically contains — the implication of that phrase elongated, contracted, or inverted or in another time signature. So you start with an impulse and go to what your ear likes.