Happy 70th birthday, Paul Simon !
Born in Newark, N.J., on Oct. 13, 1941, to Jewish immigrant parents from Hungary, Simon was raised amid music. His father was a professional musician and his mother was an elementary school teacher who, also a trained musician, gave private music lessons.
Simon met Art Garfunkel at the age of 11 and by age 13 the two were singing together, writing song and imitating the Everly Brothers’ harmonies.
Paul Simon has received numerous awards and honors throughout his career. He’s in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a member of Simon and Garfunkel (’90) and as a solo artist (’01). He’s received the Johnny Mercer Award from the Songwriters Hall of Fame (’98), as well as 12 Grammy Awards over the years. His first Grammys came in 1969 with Record of the Year and Best Contemporary Vocal Duo for “Mrs. Robinson” from Simon Garfunkel’s Bookends album.
Bookends is amazing, released in April 1968 at a musically innovative time in contemporary pop music. My favorite song on the LP, “Punky’s Dilemma,” is said to have been one of two songs Simon had written for the movie The Graduate that were rejected by director Mike Nichols (the other being “Hazy Shade of Winter”).