Like being born under a lucky star, Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel discovered that they had the talent to harmonize as early as the sixth grade. At that time, they lived and played in Forest Hills, Queens, New York City. When they became a duo, they wove their magic creating incredible melodies and songs in the late 1960s and early 1970s.
The first songs that Simon & Garfunkel sang as a duo were doo-wop hits. One such song they recorded as early as 1957, “Hey, Schoolgirl.” At this time they called themselves Tom and Jerry and this song became a Top Fifty hit. Together, they sang it on American Bandstand. However, they failed to become successful and split up until 1962. They finally succeeded when recording “Sounds of Silence” and releasing an album of the same name. They found that their music was likable for both teens and adults.
In 1966 Simon & Garfunkel scored with four singles and three albums in the Top Thirty hits. The albums were Wednesday Mornings, Sounds of Silence and Parsley, Sage, Rosemary and Thyme. As for the songs, “Sounds of Silence” hit number one, “I Am a Rock” landed at number three and “Homeward Bound” at number five. Most of the material on these three albums was composed by Paul Simon between 1962 and 1965.
They came out with two singles in 1967, “At the Zoo” and “Fakin’ It.” Then, Paul Simon composed “Mrs. Robinson” for the soundtrack of the movie “The Graduate.” Within two months the song had hit number one and the duo came out with another album, Bookends, in June 1968. Simon & Garfunkel came out with one of my favorite songs, “The Boxer” in 1969.
Bridge Over Troubled Water
At the time when they began recording their album, Bridge Over Troubled Water, they were also pursuing other projects so it took almost two years to complete the album. The only appearance they made together in 1969 was on their own network TV special. After the album was released, Simon & Garfunkel went on a short but very successful tour. However, it was apparent that they were on the verge of breaking up when Garfunkel’s second movie, “Carnal Knowledge,” had come out and Simon had released his 1972 solo album.
The duo left their career while it was still at its peak but wasn’t planning on breaking up permanently. In the spring of 1970, Bridge Over Troubled Water rose up to number one on the charts and stayed there for more than a year and a half. The album sold over 13 million copies all around the world. Three hit singles emerged from this album – “Bridge Over Troubled Water” at number one, “Cecilia” at number four and “El Condor Pasa” at number eighteen. The album received six Grammy awards. It also received the Britannia Award as Best International Pop Album of the past 25 years in 1977 and the title song won an award as a single. By this time, the duo had sold over 20 million albums in the US alone.
Simon & Garfunkel came together for benefit concerts, such as the concert for presidential candidate George McGovern at Madison Square Garden in New York City in June 1972. The duo had a Top Ten hit single in 1975 with “My Little Town,” which appeared on solo LPs by both of them. Garfunkel joined Simon on his TV special in 1977 and they sang some of their old hits. On September 19, 1981, Simon & Garfunkel gave a free concert for around 50,000 fans in Central Park in New York City. They released the double album, The Concert in Central Park, which rose to number six and went platinum. Afterward, the duo went on an extended tour and started working on a new album. Unfortunately, they weren’t able to resolve their creative differences and the album was left uncompleted. Paul Simon went on to release his solo album, Heart and Bones.