Paul Simon was born to Jewish American parents: Belle, an English teacher, and Louis Simon, a bandleader and teacher. His family soon moved to Queens in New York City. Paul’s musical career began in Forest Hills High School when he and his friend Art Garfunkel began singing together as a duo, occasionally performing at school dances. The duo formed the band Tom and Jerry. Though they had a hit with ‘Hey Schoolgirl’, they broke up to go to college, and didn’t reunite until 1964.
That year, Simon and Garfunkel recorded the album ‘Wednesday Morning 3am’. It received a disappointing initial response, but a year later, a remixed ‘The Sound of Silence’ became an instant success. Simon produced a solo album, ‘The Paul Simon Song Book’, but it went almost completely unnoticed, and he concentrated on working with Garfunkel for the next five years. Their soundtrack to the hit film, ‘The Graduate’, secured their fame.
With songs like ‘Cecilia’, ‘Bridge Over Troubled Water’, and ‘Scarborough Fair’, the duo became one of the most popular and imitated bands of the time. Yet, due to artistic differences, they went their separate ways in 1970. Simon put out a self-titled solo album that wowed both critics and fans. Including ‘Me and Julio Down by the Schoolyard’ and ‘Mother and Child Reunion’, the songs were upbeat.
By 1975, Simon had come out with ‘There Goes Rhymn’ Simon’ and ‘Still Crazy After All These Years’, and had his first number one solo hit. In the 1980s, Simon began immersing himself in the sounds of Africa, and Brazil, resulting in the 1986 ‘Graceland’ album. Simon subsequently took the ‘Graceland’ musicians on his Born at the Right Time tour. The tour was a major success around the world.
In 1990, he released ‘The Rhythm Of The Saints’, and worked on a musical called ‘The Capeman’, about an imprisoned Puerto Rican gang member. His latest album was ‘So Beautiful Or So What’ in 2011.