Biography and CDs -
by Paul Simon.
Article added in February
Biography of Paul Simon
Paul Simon was born in Newark, New Jersey, in 1941. He is from a
Jewish-Hungarian family. His father, Louis Simon, was a radio musician and
played bass in television shows with the orchestras of Arthur Godfrey and
Jackie Gleason. Paul's mother was a music teacher.
In 1955, Paul Simon wrote his first song, The
Girls For Me. A year later, he recorded his first solo single, True
Or False. He became friends with Art Garfunkel at an early age.
In December 1957, they had a
US#54 song as Tom and Jerry with Hey! Schoolgirl. Afterwards, they went separate ways for some time.
Between 1958 and 1963, Paul Simon recorded Anna
Belle, Play Me A Sad Song and The Lone Teen Ranger under
the name of Jerry Landis. He also worked with Tico & The Triumphs on Motorcycle.
Paul also composed and produced for Ritchie Cordell, Fashions and Dotty
Daniels. He also appeared at New York's Gerde's Folk City Club.
At the end of 1963, he and Art Garfunkel
performed for the first time as Simon & Garfunkel. In 1964, Paul
abandoned his law studies and recorded again as Jerry Landis He Was My
Brother. In the mid 1960s, Simon & Garfunkel established
themselves with their distinctive melancholic, sweet and aesthetic sound.
The most successful pop duo of their time stayed together until February
1970. Paul composed virtually all songs for the duo.
Among their major hits were the albums Bookends
(US#1, UK#1, Germany#40), the soundtrack for the film The Graduate
(US#1) with Dustin Hoffman and its single Mrs. Robinson (US#1,
UK#19), Germany#39). Their greatest hit was Bridge Over Troubled Water (US#1,
UK#1, Germany#1). The singles from the album included the title song (US#1, UK#1, Germany#3),
The Boxer (US#3, UK#3, Germany#19), El Condor
Pasa (US#13, Germany#1) and Cecilia (US#1, Germany#2), landmarks of their
Bridge Over Troubled Water won several Grammies. In
1990, Simon & Garfunkel entered the Rock 'n' Roll Hall of Fame.
In 1970, Simon taught composition and
recording techniques at New York University, was part of the Concert for
Peace at New York's Shea Stadium in August and soon afterwards began to
work on his hit album Paul Simon (US#4, UK#1, Germany#39), which
was released in February 1972. Stephane Grappelli, Ron Carter and Airto
Moreira were among his guest musicians. The album's singles also did well
in the charts.
In 1973, Paul released his album There
Goes Rhymin' Simon (US#2, UK#4). Its singles Kodachrome (US#1),
Loves Me Like A Rock (US#3) and Take Me To The Mardi Gras
(UK#8) were major hits. On the accompanying tour, he played with a gospel
choir and a Peruvian folk group. As a result from this collaboration, he
released a live album, Live Rhymin' (US#23), in March 1974.
For Still Crazy After All
These Years, he was awarded two Grammies in 1976. Only jazz musicians
such as Michael Brecker, Steve Gadd and David Sandburn collaborated on
this hit-album (US#2, UK#5). It also contained the first song in five
years which he recorded together with Art Garfunkel, My Little Town.
In 1978, for his Greatest Hits album
(US#22, UK#6), Paul composed two new songs, Slip Slidin' Away
(US#11) and Stranded Limousine. In 1977, he played a small part in
Woody Allen's Annie Hall. Paul
wrote the screenplay, played the leading role and composed the music (US#14, UK#17)
for the film One Trick Pony. The soundtrack's single Late In The Evening was a
In early 1983, Paul Simon recorded the duet
The Blues with Randy Newman. In August of the same year, Paul
married for the second time. His new wife was the actress and his long-time
friend Carrie Fisher. Also in 1983, he released the album Hearts And
Bones (US#35, UK#20).
In 1985, he was part of the project USA for
Africa's single We Are The World. With his 1986-album Graceland (US#3,
UK#1, Germany#3), he made a bridge between American pop and African music.
Its singles did also well. With Graceland, Paul Simon attacked
South Africa's Apartheid regime.
In 1990, Paul once more found ethnic roots,
using South American drummers when he released The Rhythm Of The
Saints (US#4, UK#1, Germany#11). He wrote a Broadway musical, The
Capeman. Guest star Annie Lennox interpreted the song Something So
Right. The 1997-album Songs From The Capeman largely relied on
the musical. For Paul Simon's latest release, You're The One, see
the article below.
Article based on Christian Graf, Burghard Rausch: Rockmusik Lexikon,
Fischer, 1999. Rockmusiklexikon von Graf und Rausch bestellen.
Paul Simon: Graceland. One of his best albums. Remastered. Get it from
Amazon.com or Amazon.de.
Paul Simon: Greatest
Hits. Get this "best of" album from
Paul Simon: 1964-1993.
3 CDs. September 1993,
Get it from Amazon.com.
You're The One.
October 2000, Warner.
Get it from Amazon.com,
You're The One
Paul Simon's end of 2000-album, You're The
One, begins with two ballads, That's Where I Belong and Darling
Lorraine, which are tearfully sentimental. The CD is homogeneous, but the
second part is much better than the first, because, instead of relying on
his weepy high-pitched voice - extensively used in his duo period with Art
Garfunkel - he opts for lower keys and, suddenly, the ballads become charming.
The Teacher, Love and especially Pigs, Sheep and Wolves
are convincing. Also the livelier Hurricane Eye is a worthy song. You're
The One is an album for quieter moments. -
by Paul Simon.