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Simon & Garfunkel

AKA: Simon Garfunkel

About Simon & Garfunkel

Originally inspired by the Everly Brothers, Paul Simon & Art Garfunkel met at grade school in Forest Hills, Queens during a production of Alice In Wonderland and began releasing music as Tom & Jerry (named after the 1940s cat & mouse cartoon characters). In 1957, at sixteen years old, their single “Hey Schoolgirl” reached #49 on the Pop Chart.

Soon after, the two had a falling out when Simon began recording songs without Garfunkel. Five years later, the pair reunited as friends, began singing together, auditioned for Columbia Records and began recording again – this time under the name Simon & Garfunkel. Their 1964 album Wednesday Morning, 3 AM was unsuccessful initially on release, with Simon soon moving to the UK and releasing a solo album.

In 1965, producer Tom Wilson learned “The Sound Of Silence” was getting airplay in Boston and Florida, so he hired session musicians to overdub guitar and drums on the original recording and re-released the new version as a single. It became the #1 song in the US in January 1966, effectively launching the duo into stardom.

Throughout the latter half of the 1960s and early 1970s the duo’s literary lyrics, sculpted melodies, and, above all, exquisite harmonies combined for a folk-pop sound that earned them 11 Grammy Awards including a Lifetime Achievement Award and an induction into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame thanks to enduring chart-toppers like “Mrs. Robinson”, “The Sound Of Silence” and “Bridge Over Troubled Water”.

Artistic differences and Garfunkel hiding his participation in the film Carnal Knowledge while recording their fifth studio album led to Simon telling Columbia Records head Clive Davis he wanted to break up the duo. Since their breakup in 1970, Garfunkel has scored six top 40 hits and Simon has had thirteen top 40s.

In 1982, they reunited for a world tour. A new joint album was in the works, but Simon instead released it as a solo effort. More reunions with Simon happened in 1993 and 2003.

In 2009, Simon and Garfunkel reunited in what is believed will be their final performances together on the Old Friends Tour. In 2010, the two were going to do a 13-date tour but Garfunkel lost his voice for four years.

Since then, Garfunkel has occasionally spoken ill of Simon in the media due to his refusal to collaborate again, famously sharing in 2015 how he felt about their original breakup:

How can you walk away from this lucky place on top of the world, Paul? What’s going on with you, you idiot? How could you let that go, jerk?