Friday, October 13, 8941
Paul Simon (b. 1941) - Simon and Garfunkel
Paul Frederic Simon (b. October 13, 1941) was born in Newark, New Jersey to Jewish Hungarian parents Belle (died in 2007), an English teacher; and Louis Simon (died in 1995), a college professor, bass player, and dance bandleader who performed under the name "Lee Sims."
His family soon moved to Kew Gardens Hills, Queens, New York, NY. Simon'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. Their idols were the Everly Brothers, whom they often emulated and/or imitated in their early recordings. Simon and Garfunkel were named "Tom & Jerry" by their record company and it was under this name that the duo first had success. In 1957, they recorded the single "Hey, Schoolgirl," on Big Records which reached forty-nine on the pop charts while they were still in their teens.
After graduating from high school, Simon attended Queens College, while Garfunkel studied at Columbia University in Manhattan. Simon was a brother in the Alpha Epsilon Pi fraternity. Though Simon earned a degree in English literature, his real passion was rock and roll. Between 1957 and 1964, Simon wrote, recorded, and released more than 30 songs, occasionally reuniting with Garfunkel as Tom & Jerry for some singles, including Our Song, That's My Story, and Surrender, Please Surrender, among others. He also briefly attended Brooklyn Law School.
Most of the songs Simon recorded in the six years after 1957 were performed alone or with musicians other than Garfunkel. They were released on several minor record labels, such as Amy, ABC-Paramount, Big, Hunt, Ember, King, Tribute, and Madison. He used several different pseudonyms for these recordings, including Jerry Landis, Paul Kane (from Orson Welles's film Citizen Kane), under which he wrote Red Rubber Ball, and True Taylor. Simon enjoyed some moderate success in recording a few singles as part of a group called Tico and the Triumphs, including a song called Motorcycle which reached 99 on the Billboard charts in 1962. Tico and the Triumphs released four 45's. Marty Cooper, a member of the group, sang lead on several of these releases and was actually known as Tico. Bobby Susser, children's songwriter and record producer, and childhood friend of Simon's, co-produced the Tico 45's with Simon. That same year, Paul reached 97 on the pop charts as Jerry Landis with the hit The Lone Teen Ranger. Both singles were released on Amy Records.
During this period, Simon met Carole King, with whom he recorded several unreleased demos as a duo called The Cosines to be recorded and released by other groups. In addition, Simon's experience in the studio led him to produce many singles for other acts, including The Vels, Ritchie Cordell, The Fashions, Jay Walker and the Pedestrians, and Dougie and the Dubs. It was also at this time that he became attracted to the New York folk music scene and made his first forays into the folk-rock genre, as is evident in the songs "Carlos Dominguez" and "He Was My Brother" (1963), the latter of which he dedicated to a friend and former classmate, Andrew Goodman who had been murdered while working on the Freedom Summer project in Mississippi in 1964.
During the mid-1960s, while living in the United Kingdom he performed at Les Cousins in London and toured provincial folk clubs. In these venues he was exposed to a wide range of musical influences and, while in England, recorded his solo The Paul Simon Songbook in 1965. During his time in the U.K. Simon co-wrote several songs with Bruce Woodley of the Australian pop group The Seekers. "I Wish You Could Be Here," "Cloudy," and "Red Rubber Ball" were written during this period. However, Woodley's co-authorship credit was incorrectly omitted from "Cloudy" off the Parsley, Sage, Rosemary & Thyme album. When the American group The Cyrkle recorded a cover of "Red Rubber Ball," the song reached number two in the US. Simon also contributed his original composition to The Seekers catalogue, "Someday One Day," which was released in March 1966.
In early 1964, Simon and Garfunkel got an audition with Columbia Records, whose executives were impressed enough to sign the duo to a contract to produce an album. According to a February 2001 writing from Bud Scoppa, Miles Davis was a member of the Columbia Records staff that offered the duo a record deal.
Columbia decided that the two would be called simply "Simon & Garfunkel," which Simon claimed in 2003, was the first time that artists' ethnic names had been used in pop music.
Simon and Garfunkel's first LP, Wednesday Morning, 3 A.M. was released on 19 October 1964 and comprised twelve songs in the folk vein, five of them written by Simon. The album initially flopped, but East Coast radio stations began receiving requests for one of the tracks, Simon's The Sounds of Silence. Their producer, Tom Wilson, overdubbed the track with electric guitar, bass, and drums, releasing it as a single that eventually went to number one on the pop charts in the USA.
Simon had gone to England after the initial failure of Wednesday Morning, 3 A.M., pursuing a solo career (including collaborations with Bruce Woodley of The Seekers) and releasing the album The Paul Simon Song Book in the UK in 1965. But he returned to the USA to reunite with Garfunkel after The Sounds of Silence had started to enjoy commercial success.
Sounds of Silence is an album by Simon and Garfunkel, released on January 17, 1966. The album's title is a slight modification of the title of the duo's first major hit, The Sounds of Silence, which was released previously on the album Wednesday Morning, 3 A.M., and also on the soundtrack to the movie The Graduate. It was taken from their debut and electric instruments and drums were overdubbed by Bob Dylan's studio band on June 15, 1965 and released in September 1965 as a single. Homeward Bound was released on the album in the UK. It was also released as part of the box set Simon & Garfunkel Collected Works, on both LP and CD. Many of the songs in the album had been written by Paul Simon while he lived in London during 1965. A lot of these songs had appeared on his album The Paul Simon Songbook, released in August of 1965 in England. These songs are I Am a Rock, Leaves That Are Green, April Come She Will, A Most Peculiar Man, and Kathy's Song.
The Sounds of Silence (March 10, 1964 & June 15, 1965)
The Sounds of Silence is the song that propelled Simon and Garfunkel to popularity. It was written in February 1964 by Paul Simon in the aftermath of the November 22, 1963 assassination of U.S. President John F. Kennedy.
After being later re-mixed with electric instruments, this commercial version has been called the "quintessential folk rock release."
The song features Simon on acoustic guitar and both Simon and Garfunkel singing. It was originally recorded as an acoustic piece for their first album Wednesday Morning, 3 A.M. in 1964 but on the initiative of the record company's producer, Tom Wilson, it was later overdubbed with electric instruments and rereleased as a single in September 1965.
The single reached number one on New Year's Day 1966 and was included in the 1966 album Sounds of Silence.
The song was originally called The Sounds of Silence and is titled that way on the early albums in which it appeared and on the single. In later compilations it was retitled The Sound of Silence.
Both the singular and the plural form of the word appear in the lyrics. In his book Lyrics 1964–2008 Simon has the title in the singular.
Leaves That Are Green (December 13, 1965)
Blessed (December 21, 1965)
Somewhere They Can't Find Me
Anji (Davey Graham)
Richard Cory (December 14, 1965, Glen Campbell, Guitar)
A Most Peculiar Man (December 22, 1965)
April Come She Will (December 21, 1965)
We've Got a Groovy Thing Goin' (April 5, 1965)
I Am a Rock (December 14, 1965)
Parsley, Sage, Rosemary and Thyme (1966)
Scarborough Fair / Canticle
Simon and Garfunkel also contributed extensively to the soundtrack of the 1967 Mike Nichols film The Graduate (starring Dustin Hoffman and Anne Bancroft). While writing Mrs. Robinson, Simon originally toyed with the title Mrs. Roosevelt. When Garfunkel reported this indecision over the song's name to the director, Nichols replied, "Don't be ridiculous! We're making a movie here! It's Mrs. Robinson!"
Bridge over Troubled Water is the fifth and final studio album by Simon & Garfunkel.
Released on January 26, 1970, it reached No. 1 on Billboard Music Charts pop albums list. It won a Grammy Award for Album of the Year, as well as for Best Engineered Recording, while its title track won the Grammy Award for Record of the Year and Song of the Year in the Grammy Awards of 1971.
It has since sold over 25 million copies worldwide.
The album attained a great success in the United Kingdom, enjoying several runs at number one, spending some years in the charts and eventually becoming the country's biggest-selling album of 1970 and 1971.
Bridge Over Troubled Water (1970)
Bridge over Troubled Water is the title song of Simon & Garfunkel's final album together, released January 26, 1970, though it also appears on the live album Simon & Garfunkel, Live 1969. It reached number one on the Billboard Hot 100 chart on February 28, 1970, and stayed at the top of the chart for six weeks.
This song's recording process exposed many of the underlying tensions that eventually led to the breakup of the duo after the album's completion. Most notably, Paul Simon has repeatedly expressed regret over his insistence that Art Garfunkel sing this song as a solo, as it focused attention on Garfunkel and relegated Simon to a secondary position. Art Garfunkel initially did not want to sing lead vocal, feeling it was not right for him. "He felt I should have done it," Paul Simon revealed to Rolling Stone in 1972.
Garfunkel said that the moment when he performed it at a 1972 Madison Square Garden benefit concert, as part of a one-off reunion with Simon, was "almost biblical."
In performances on the 2003 Old Friends tour, Simon and Garfunkel have taken turns singing alternate verses of the vocal.
Simon wrote the song in the summer of 1969 while Garfunkel was filming Catch-22 in Europe.
The song originally had two verses and different lyrics. Simon specifically wrote it for Garfunkel and knew it would be a piano song. The chorus lyrics were partly inspired by Claude Jeter's line "I'll be your bridge over deep water if you trust in me," which Jeter sang with his group, the Swan Silvertones, in the 1958 song Mary Don't You Weep.
Garfunkel reportedly liked Simon's falsetto on the demo and suggested that Simon sing. He and producer Roy Halee also thought the song needed three verses and a 'bigger' sound towards the end. Simon agreed and penned the final verse, though he felt it was less than fully cohesive with the earlier verses.
Garfunkel's first two attempts to record the vocal failed. The first two verses were finally recorded in New York with the final verse recorded first, in Los Angeles. Part of the song was first heard in public on November 30, 1969, when it was included in the soundtrack of a one-hour TV special by the duo aired by CBS; the music appeared in the background of a clip with John F. Kennedy, Robert Kennedy and Martin Luther King, Jr.
Larry Knechtel spent four days working on the piano arrangement. Garfunkel came up with the intermediate piano chords between the verses while working with Knechtel.
As the song ends, drums, strings and piano build in a crescendo to a climax. The last chord, played by the high strings alone, lasts ten seconds.
A gospel-inspired cover version by Aretha Franklin, taken from her album Aretha Live at Fillmore West, reached number one on the U.S. R&B chart and number six on the pop chart.. and later won the Grammy Award for Best Female R&B Vocal Performance in the 1972 awards.
Elvis Presley recorded it in Nashville on June 5, 1970, and it was released on the 1970 album That's the Way It Is. He included it in his set list for his next engagement in Las Vegas, which included the filming of the 1970 documentary Elvis: That's the Way It Is, and the song was included in the original theatrical release (included version is from the August 11 dinner show).
During that summer season in Vegas, Paul Simon attended one of the shows, and, after seeing Elvis perform the song, he was reported to have said, "That's it, we might as well all give up now." Presley continued to use this song throughout his live performances, including his final live appearance in Indianapolis on June 26, 1977. Another live performance was seen in the Golden Globe-winning documentary Elvis on Tour, filmed at the Greensboro Coliseum in Greensboro, North Carolina, on April 14, 1972.
On the studio version, Robert Matthew Watson wrote in his book Heartbreak Hotel: "Presley's outstanding singing is not disguised. This is a fabulous version, burning with sincerity and power, and finding depths not revealed by the composers."
El Condor Paso (Daniel Alomía Robles, English lyrics by Paul Simon, arranged by Jorge Milchberg)
Keep the Customer Satisfied
So Long, Frank Lloyd Wright
The Only Living Boy in New York
The Only Living Boy in New York was also issued as the B-Side to the duo's Cecilia single.
Simon wrote this as a thinly-veiled message to Art Garfunkel, referring to a specific incident where Garfunkel went to Mexico to act in the film Catch-22. Simon was left alone in New York writing songs for Bridge over Troubled Water, hence the lonely feelings of The Only Living Boy In New York. Simon refers to Garfunkel in the song as Tom, referring to their early days when they were called Tom and Jerry, and encourages him to "let your honesty shine...like it shines on me."
The background vocals feature both Garfunkel and Simon recorded together in an echo chamber, multi-tracked around eight times.
An early 1969 demo recording of The Only Living Boy In New York is featured on YouTube.
Paul Simon - lead vocals, background vocals, guitar
Art Garfunkel - backup and harmony vocals
Joe Osborn - bass guitar
Larry Knechtel - organ
Fred Carter, Jr. - guitar
Hal Blaine - drums
Why Don't You Write Me
Bye Bye Love
(Felice and Boudleaux Bryant) (live recording from Ames, Iowa)
Song for the Asking
Simon pursued solo projects after the duo released their very popular album Bridge over Troubled Water. Occasionally, he and Garfunkel did reunite, such as in 1975 for their Top Ten single My Little Town, which Simon originally wrote for Garfunkel, claiming his work was lacking ‘bite.’ The song was included on their respective solo albums; Paul Simon's Still Crazy After All These Years, and Garfunkel's Breakaway. Contrary to popular belief, the song is not at all autobiographical of Simon's early life in New York.
In 1981, they got together again for the famous concert in Central Park, followed by a world tour and an aborted reunion album Think Too Much, which was eventually released (sans Garfunkel) as Hearts and Bones.
In 2003, another reunion led to a U.S. tour, the acclaimed Old Friends concert series, followed by a 2004 international encore, which culminated in a free concert at the Colosseum in Rome.
That final concert drew 600,000 people -- 100,000 more than had attended Paul McCartney's concert at the same venue a year earlier.
In 1985, Simon lent his talents to USA for Africa and performed on the famine relief fundraising single We Are the World. In 1986 he released the immensely popular Graceland, for which he won a Grammy. The album featured the groundbreaking use of African rhythms and performers such as Ladysmith Black Mambazo. In 1990, he followed up Graceland with the commercially successful and consistent successor album The Rhythm of the Saints, which featured Brazilian musical themes.
Ray Thomas (born 29 December 1941, Stourport-on-Severn, England) is an English musician, best known as the flautist and as a singer and composer in the rock band, The Moody Blues.
The Moody Blues is an English rock band. Among their innovations was a fusion with classical music, most notably in their 1967 album Days of Future Passed.
The Moody Blues have sold in excess of 70 million albums worldwide and have been awarded 14 platinum and gold discs. As of 2010 they remain active.
Days of Future Passed, The Moody Blues' second official album (released in 1967), was their first of what would be a succession of concept albums. It was also the first to feature Justin Hayward and John Lodge, who would play a very strong role in directing the band's sound in the decades to come. Utilising the London Festival Orchestra primarily for epic instrumental interludes between songs, Days of Future Passed moved the Birmingham band away from its early R&B roots (as displayed on its debut album with soon-departed future Wings member Denny Laine) into uncharted rock territory, making them the early pioneers of both classical and progressive rock.
The album was named as one of Classic Rock magazine's "50 Albums That Built Prog Rock".
Original Track Listing
All Songs Copyright Essex Music International.
The Day Begins (4:08): "Morning Glory" (1:42) (Peter Knight & The Moody Blues) (Graeme Edge) (unlisted track) – 5:51
Dawn (0:38): "Dawn is a Feeling" (3:10) (Mike Pinder) – 3:49
The Morning (0:21): "Another Morning" (3:34) (Ray Thomas) – 3:56
Lunch Break (1:53): "Peak Hour" (3:40) (John Lodge) – 5:33
The Afternoon: "Forever Afternoon (Tuesday?)" (5:06) (Justin Hayward) (contains the unlisted track "(Evening) Time to Get Away" (3:17), composed by John Lodge) - 8:23
Evening (0:38): "The Sunset" (2:38) (Pinder) / "Twilight Time" (3:23) (Thomas) – 6:40
The Night: "Nights in White Satin" (5:38) (Hayward) / "Late Lament" (1:46) (Graeme Edge) (unlisted track) - 7:24
Nights in White Satin is a 1967 single by The Moody Blues, first featured on the album Days of Future Passed.
Nights In White Satin achieved minimal attention when first released in 1967, mainly due to its seven-plus minute length. There are two single versions of the song, both stripped of the orchestral and "Late Lament" poetry sections of the LP version. The first edited version, with the songwriter's credit shown as "Redwave," was a hasty sounding 3:06 version of the LP recording with very noticeable chopped parts. For the second edited version (now credited to Justin Hayward), the early parts of the song were kept intact, ending early at 4:26.
The song was re-released in 1972 after the success of such longer-running dramatic songs as Hey Jude and Layla, and it charted at #2 on Billboard magazine and #1 on Cash Box in the United States, earning a gold single for sales of a million copies and was also #1 in Canada. The song also holds the dubious distinction of falling off the Hot 100 from the highest position (#17). It was also released in Spanish as Noches de Seda at the same time. Its original release in the United Kingdom reached #19; in the wake of its US success, the song re-charted in the UK in late 1972 and climbed ten positions higher, to #9. The song was re-released yet again in 1979, and charted for a third time in the UK, at #14.
Band member Justin Hayward wrote the song at age nineteen in Swindon, and titled the song after a friend gave him a gift of satin bedsheets. The song itself was a tale of a yearning love from afar, which leads many aficionados to term it as a tale of unrequited love endured by Hayward. The London Festival Orchestra provided the orchestral accompaniment for the introduction, the final rendition of the chorus, and the "final lament" section, all of this in the original album version. The "orchestral" sounds in the main body of the song were actually produced by Mike Pinder's Mellotron keyboard device, which would come to define the "Moody Blues sound."
It has also been said that the reference to White Satin corresponds not to the bedsheets fabric but to a brand of gin, giving a whole new meaning to the song.
While largely ignored on its first release, the song has since garnered much critical acclaim.
According to The Apocalypse Now Book by Peter Cowie, Nights In White Satin was the original song choice in the opening of the film Apocalypse Now before The End by The Doors was chosen. Robert DeNiro used it in his film A Bronx Tale in the scene where Jane's brother is jumped by Calogero's friends. The song was featured in the TV series Wiseguy, in the climactic scene of the episode "No One Here Gets Out Alive." It was removed from the DVD release, as the licensing rights could not be obtained. Martin Scorsese featured it in his 1995 film Casino.
[8942 Carole King / 8941 Simon / 8941 Dylan]