The first name that stood out on the list of musicians who were born on today’s date,in 1941 was Art Garfunkel.Art is a Grammy-award winning American singer, poet, and Golden Globe-nominated actor best known for being one half of the folk duo Simon & Garfunkel. From Wikipediai: Highlights of his solo music career include a top 10 hit, three top 20 hits, six top 40 hits, 14 Adult Contemporary top 30 singles, five Adult Contemporary number ones, two UK number ones and a People’s Choice Award. Through his solo and collaborative work, Garfunkel has earned six Grammys, including the Lifetime Achievement Award. In 1990, he and former musical partner Paul Simon were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Certainly Artie and Paul are music legends whose music for me at least, remains timeless, while at the same time it takes me back to the days of my youth. I could go on and on heaping praise on top of praise on both performers, but I thought why not go to Wikipedia and read Art’s biography with an eye out for things I didn’t know! Now I am sure that most folks know that between 1956 and 1962, the two had performed together as “Tom & Jerry”, occasionally performing at school dances. But did you know that…..
Their idols were The Everly Brothers, whom they imitated in their use of close two-part vocal harmony. In 1957, Simon and Garfunkel recorded the song “Hey, Schoolgirl” under the name Tom & Jerry, given to them by their label Big Records. The single reached number forty-nine on the pop charts.
Garfunkel (“Tom Graph”) chose his nickname because he liked to track, or “graph” hits, on the pop charts. He also released some singles as a solo artist under the name Artie Garr, a shortened version of his name. In interviews, Garfunkel has noted himself how these early singles distinguished him as a folk-styled crooner, with songs like “Beat Love” and “Dream Alone” (both released 1959).
Simon and Garfunkel graduated together from Forest Hills High School. Garfunkel went on to attend Columbia College, Columbia University in Manhattan in the early 1960s, Did you know that Art….??
Garfunkel was a team member in tennis, skiing, fencing, and bowling at the college. He was also a member of the all-male a cappella group on campus, the Columbia Kingsmen. After initially majoring in architecture, Garfunkel earned a B.A. in art history in 1962 or 1965, followed by a M.A. inmathematics from Columbia in 1967. Garfunkel also completed coursework toward a doctorate in mathematics education at Teachers College, Columbia University during the peak of Simon and Garfunkel’s commercial success Full Biography at Wikipedia
After the lack of critical success of the their first Columbia Records release Wednesday Morning, 3 A.M.. the duo split for the second but not the last time!. The year after that failure with Simon in England pursuing a solo career, producer Tom Wilson took the song ”The Sound of Silence” from the record, dubbed an electric backing onto it, and released it as a single! The song went straight to #1 on the Billboard pop charts. Simon returned to the US reunited with Garfunkel after “The Sounds of Silence” had started to enjoy commercial success, and as they say the rest is history!! Three out of their four acclaimed studio albums are in my vinyl collection, Sounds of Silence; Parsley, Sage, Rosemary and Thyme; and Bookends; and the song “Bridge over Troubled Water” was the processional at our wedding!. In addition to the albums, Simon and Garfunkel also contributed extensively to the soundtrack of one of my all-time favorite movies Mike Nichols’ The Graduate (starring Dustin Hoffman and Anne Bancroft). Now when I first thought about Simon & Garfunkel this morning the first song that popped into my head was “Homeward Bound” So here’s some information about that song:
“Homeward Bound” is an American folk song written by Paul Simon, performed by Simon and Garfunkel, produced by Bob Johnston and recorded on December 14, 1965. The song debuted on the Billboard Hot 100 Chart on February 12, 1966, peaking at #5 and remained on the charts for 12 weeks. It describes Simon’s longing to return home to his then girlfriend, Kathy Chitty, who was in London. It is uncertain exactly where the song was written: in an interview with Paul Zollo for SongTalk Magazine, Art Garfunkel says that Simon wrote the song in a railway station “around Manchester” while in an earlier interview for Playboy Magazine Simon stated that the railway station was in Liverpool. It is likely, however, that it was written at Widnes railway station during a long wait for a train, when traveling back from Widnes, where he had been playing; a commemorative plaque is displayed on the wall of the Liverpool-bound waiting room. Read More;
Now for the music, here’s Simon and Tom Graph performing “Homeward Bound” at the concert in Central Park. So Happy 72nd Birthday, Art and thanks for the great music!!