By: Cindy Annis – December, 2015
SIMON AND GARFUNKEL
Arthur Ira Garfunkel was born on November 5, 1941 in New York City. He is one of three children. Jules Garfunkel is his older brother. His baby brother is named Jerome Garfunkel. Art also grew up in a Jewish family.
When Art was five years old, he started to sing. His father bought him a tape recorder so that he could record himself and play the tape back to improve his voice. When Garfunkel was in the sixth grade, he met Paul Simon. They were both in their school play called “Alice In Wonderland.” After that first performance together, they put together a doo-wop group with three other friends and learned how to harmonize.
In 1956 at age thirteen, Paul Simon wrote his first song called “The Girl For Me.” The duo from 1956 to 1962 called themselves Tom and Jerry. They would often sing at their school dances. In 1957, they recorded “Hey Schoolgirl” for $25 at a recording studio in Manhattan named Sander’s Studios. Sid Prosen, a promotor liked what he heard and talked to both boys’ parents and signed them to a record label called Big Records. The song went to #49 on the pop charts. The flip side was called “Dancin Wild”.
In 1958, Paul Simon released a solo record under the name True Taylor. The song was called “True or False”. Art Garfunkel was very upset and the incident came up in arguments several times during their career.
In 1964, “The Sound of Silence” was recorded. There are two different versions of this song. The 1964 copy is just a guitar and the voices of Simon and Garfunkel. The 1965 version includes drums. In 1965, a late night disc jockey at WBZ-FM played the remixed version of “The Sound of Silence”. The song was a huge success selling one million copies and going to #1 on the Billboard Hot 100.
In October of 1966, the album “Parsley Sage Rosemary And Thyme” was released on Columbia Records. During the recording session of the album, they released “A Hazy Shade of Winter”. The song went to #13 on the Hot 100 in November of 1966.
By 1967, people thought Simon and Garfunkel were alienated, weird and poetic. “At The Zoo” was the only song the duo released in 1967. While things were slow, director Mike Nicholas was impressed with the last two albums Simon And Garfunkel had, and asked Clive Davis if he could use their songs in his movie “The Graduate”. The Duo wrote “Mrs. Robinson” for the movie.
In April of 1968, Simon and Garfunkel released the Album “Bookends” on Columbia Records. The recording of this twelve-track album took a year to record. The song “Punky’s Dilemma”, took 50 hours in the studio to record.
The last album the duo would record together was “Bridge over Troubled Water”. The recording process was tough on both Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel. As a result, they split up and started solo careers.
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