Simon and Garfunkel is composed of Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel. Paul Frederic Simon was born October 13, 1941 in Newark, New Jersey. Arthur Ira Garfunkel was born November 5, 1941 in Forest Hills, New York. As the story goes, Paul's family moved to Forest Hills, Queens soon after he was born. Their house was three blocks away from Art's home. They both attended Public School 164, where they were familiar with each other, but it wasn't until sixth grade when they were in "Alice in Wonderland" together that they got close.

Paul heard Art singing "They Tried To Tell Us We're Too Young" at school. By the time they were 13, inspired by the Bronx duo of Robert & Johnny, and their hit "(You're Mine And) We Belong Together", they debuted at a school assembly with an a capella version of "Sh-Boom". Soon after they were singing in a street corner doo-wop group called The Sparks, along with three other neighborhood kids. They later changed their name to The Pep-Tones, and then disbanded. They were also regularly performing at school concerts and dances. The first song they wrote was called "The Girl For Me" which they copyrighted for $5 at The Library Of Congress in 1955.

Simon and Garfunkel recorded between 1964 and 1970. Their wonderful harmonies and acoustic concerts stood in stark contrast to the rest of the spectacle that marked rock acts of the '60s. They originally gained attention as a folk act (and some record stores continue to file their records under 'folk'), but it was Simon's songs, which frequently dealt with alienation and loneliness that seemed to strike a chord with an entire generation. By the time of the split, they were the most successful duo in pop music history.

Since then, Simon has gone onto even greater popularity. Also, unlike many songwriters of his era, his work has steadily gotten better and remained true to his age group, although few artists have enjoyed the cross-cultural and cross-generational acceptance that he has.

Garfunkel's solo career has also been very successful. He has recorded ten albums of material showing his tenor voice to its best advantage, appeared in five films and released a book of poetry.


(albums in Italics, singles in quotations)

Wednesday Morning, 3 A.M.
"The Sounds of Silence"
Parsley, Sage, Rosemary & Thyme
Simon and Garfunkel (old Tom & Jerry recordings)
The Graduate Soundtrack: "Mrs. Robinson"
"The Boxer"
Bridge Over Troubled Water
Concert in Central Park

sources: my knowledge, my CD Collection, World Book, and weird random facts from my brother, who is a freak

The writeup above misses out quite a few facts, which I thought noteworthy:

Simon and Garfunkel's recording career actually started in 1957 with the song Hey Schoolgirl, an Everly Brothers soundalike recorded under the pseudonym Tom & Jerry, which apparently had such highly intellectual lyrics as 'oo-boppa=loochy-ba/she's mine she's mine'. The song reached the lower reaches of the charts, aided by an appearance on American Bandstand. However, the follow up singles were unsuccessful, and the duo disbanded, Garfunkel going on to study architecture at university (inspiring Simon's later song So Long, Frank Lloyd Wright) while Simon cut a string of unsuccessful singles under various pseudonyms, and also made a living cutting demos for publishing companies, often with Carole King.

The duo reformed in the early 60s in response to the growing folk scene, and recorded Wednesday Morning, 3AM, their first album, with Tom Wilson, then best-known as Bob Dylan's producer, at the controls. A clean-cut 'hootenanny' style folk album, typical of the period and absolutely unexceptional, featuring versions of Go Tell It On The Mountain, Pretty Peggy-O and simillar folk-club standards, along with a few songs by Simon (the only one of the two who wrote) it was a resounding flop, and the duo split again.

Paul Simon moved over to England, and began touring the folk clubs, where he played with guitarists such as Martin Carthy (from whom he learned Scarborough Fair and probably Davy Graham's instrumental Anji). He also produced an album for Jackson C. Frank at this time; but his main work was an album called The Paul Simon Songbook, a now long out-of print solo album which featured many songs that were later rerecorded by Simon & Garfunkel. The album is out of print as Simon considers it an embarassment.

However, without the duo's permission or knowledge, Tom Wilson had overdubbed electric instruments on a track from their album, The Sounds Of Silence, in the manner of his production of Dylan's Like A Rolling Stone. This was released as a single, and went to number one. Simon quickly moved back to the US, and the duo quickly recorded their second album, The Sounds Of Silence, in the style of the hit, made up mostly of songs Simon had learned or written during his stay in the UK.

The follow-up, Parsley, Sage, Rosemary And Thyme, was a disappointment - sounding rushed, Simon is now thoroughly embarassed by some of the adolescent lyrics-as-poetry on this decent but hardly great album. It did however mark the duo's first collaboration with producer Roy Halee, who would work on all the rest of their albums.

The next album, Bookends, was their masterpiece. Featuring Mrs Robinson (written for the film The Graduate), it featured a new maturity in Simon's songwriting, with the haunting America and enigmatic Save The Life Of My Child

Bridge Over troubled Water, the group's swansong, was almost as good, but songs such as The Only Living Boy In New York and So Long, Frank Lloyd Wright clearly showed the pair were drifting apart, and it was no surprise when they both embarked on solo careers.

The two had reunions occasionally in the 70s, most notably for the single My Little Town (which appeared on solo albums by both), but didn't properly reunite until 1981, for the Concert In Central Park. This was supposed to be the start of a full reunion, and the duo toured and planned to make an album together, but the plans were scuppered when Simon decided his lyrics were too personal to give to Garfunkel and replaced Garfunkel's vocals on the subsequent album, Hearts And Bones with his own.

The two have very occasionally performed together since, and one track was released in the 90s, featuring Neil Young on a live version of America on a compilation CD to benefit Young's Bridge School charity, but the chances of them working together again are slim to say the least.

This chronological discography is intended to complement the two biographical writeups already present in this node.

Both Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel have been active in the recording industry for the better part of fifty years, but my focus here is on a specific six-year portion of that time - October 1964 to October 1970. Simon and Garfunkel's best known work was released through the Columbia record label during this period.

In the first year or so after The Sound of Silence took Simon and Garfunkel to #1 on the US singles chart, a handful of other record labels took measures to capitalise on the duo's success, releasing recordings they had acquired the rights to during Simon and Garfunkel's pre-Columbia years.

Simon and Garfunkel also enjoyed success in the UK and throughout the rest of the world, but I have decided to record only the US releases, as they accurately reflect the actual growth of the duo's talents. This discography, therefore, is purely concerned with Simon and Garfunkel's official Columbia album and single releases in their heyday, and their respective US chart peaks.

Wednesday Morning, 3am
October 19, 1964
(US chart peak: #30 in March 1966)

  1. You Can Tell The World
  2. Last Night I Had The Strangest Dream
  3. Bleecker Street
  4. Sparrow
  5. Benedictus
  6. The Sound Of Silence
  7. He Was My Brother
  8. Peggy-O
  9. Go Tell It On The Mountain
  10. The Sun Is Burning
  11. The Times They Are A-Changin'
  12. Wednesday Morning, 3am

The Sound Of Silence
September 1965
(US chart peak: #1 on January 1 1966)

Sounds Of Silence
January 17, 1966
(US chart peak: #21 in March)

  1. The Sound Of Silence
  2. Leaves That Are Green
  3. Blessed
  4. Kathy's Song
  5. Somewhere They Can't Find Me
  6. Angie
  7. Richard Cory
  8. A Most Peculiar Man
  9. April, Come She Will
  10. We've Got A Groovy Thing Goin'
  11. I Am A Rock

Homeward Bound
March 1966
(US chart peak: #5 in March)

I Am A Rock
June 1966
(US chart peak: #3 in June)

  • I Am A Rock
  • Flowers Never Bend With The Rainfall

The Dangling Conversation
September 1966
(US chart peak: #25 in September)

Parsley, Sage, Rosemary and Thyme
October 10, 1966
(US chart peak: #4 in December)

  1. Scarborough Fair/Canticle
  2. Patterns
  3. Cloudy
  4. Homeward Bound
  5. The Big Bright Green, Pleasure Machine
  6. The 59th Street Bridge Song (Feelin' Groovy)
  7. The Dangling Conversation
  8. Flowers Never Bend With The Rainfall
  9. A Simple Desultory Philippic (Or How I Was Robert McNamara'd Into Submission)
  10. For Emily, Whenever I May Find Her
  11. A Poem On The Underground Wall
  12. 7 O'Clock News/Silent Night

A Hazy Shade Of Winter
November 1966
(US chart peak: #13 in December)

At The Zoo
March 1967
(US chart peak: #16 in April)

  • At The Zoo
  • The 59th Street Bridge Song (Feelin' Groovy)

Fakin' It
July 1967
(US chart peak: #23 in August)

  • Fakin' It
  • You Don't Know Where Your Interest Lies

Scarborough Fair/Canticle
(US chart peak: #11 in April 1968)

  • Scarborough Fair/Canticle
  • April, Come She Will

April 3, 1968
(US chart peak: #23 on May 25)

  1. Bookends Theme
  2. Save The Life Of My Child
  3. America
  4. Overs
  5. Voices Of Old People
  6. Old Friends
  7. Bookends Theme
  8. Fakin' It
  9. Punky's Dilemma
  10. Mrs Robinson
  11. A Hazy Shade Of Winter
  12. At The Zoo

Mrs Robinson
May 1968
(US chart peak: #1 in June)

  • Mrs Robinson
  • Old Friends/Bookends Theme

The Boxer
May 1969
(US chart peak: #7 in May)

Bridge Over Troubled Water
January 26, 1970
(US chart peak: #1 on March 7)

  1. Bridge Over Troubled Water
  2. El Condor Pasa
  3. Cecilia
  4. Keep The Customer Satisfied
  5. So Long, Frank Lloyd Wright
  6. The Boxer
  7. Baby Driver
  8. The Only Living Boy In New York
  9. Why Don't You Write Me
  10. Bye Bye Love
  11. Song For The Asking

Bridge Over Troubled Water
February 1970
(US chart peak: #1 on February 28)

  • Bridge Over Troubled Water
  • Keep The Customer Satisfied

May 1970
(US chart peak: #4 in May)

  • Cecilia
  • The Only Living Boy In New York

El Condor Pasa
October 1970
(US chart peak: #18 in October)

  • El Condor Pasa
  • Why Don't You Write Me

Maclauchlan, Paul. (1999). Paul Simon discography 1955 to 2000.
Rees, Dafydd & Crampton, Luke (1996). Q encyclopedia of rock stars. London: Dorling Kindersley.

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