Paul Simon

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Posted by sonny 04/26/2009 @ 00:11

Tags : paul simon, folk and folk rock, artists, music, entertainment

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Strong Support for Paul Simon Study Abroad Foundation Act - About - News & Issues
Via Expatify, we learn the happy news that the Senator Paul Simon Study Abroad Foundation Act "has gained strong bipartisan support in Congress and has also been endorsed by more than 40 higher education and educational exchange organizations....
ARTS & EVENTS Classically Up-to-Date: Paul Simon and Friends - Express from The Washington Post
WHEN THE LIBRARY of Congress honored Paul Simon at the Warner Theatre in May 2007 as the first recipient of its Gershwin Prize for Popular Song, one would think the main obstacle was how to cram all those songs into one evening....
Intruder thwarted at SJH maternity ward - Vineland Daily Journal
Hospital spokesman Paul Simon said the security system recorded the attempt, noted the card was deactivated and notified security. Simon said security camera recordings were reviewed as a precaution. "Nobody who was working saw anybody who looked out...
Paul Simon adds gospel to Gershwin Prize concert - Baltimore Sun
Paul Simon and Friends DVD, which was filmed last year to honor him as the first recipient of the Gershwin Prize for Popular song at the Library of Congress, is released today. The DVD includes performances by Yolanda Adams and Jessy Dixon who sang...
The 'American Idol' Finale: Kris Allen Wins - New York Times
(By contrast, Simon Cowell appeared to lodge a silent protest from his seat, declining to stand and applaud Mr. Allen's victory with his fellow judges.) If you missed any portion of Wednesday's show, we blogged it all, from the guest appearances by...
Green Day, Tori Amos take on 'big concepts' - Philadelphia Daily News
By JONATHAN TAKIFF We're smelling "big concept" this week, with new CDs from Green Day and Tori Amos and a great music video DVD from Paul Simon & Friends. GREEN WITH ENVY: A not-so-subtle apology to the world, Green Day's 2004 punk opera "American...
Honors for a President, but Not Without Debate - New York Times
Lori Simon, principal of the school in St. Paul, said in an interview on Wednesday that the change, approved by a vote of 5 to 1, would reflect the school's new focus, toward service, and that Mr. and Mrs. Obama had already proved to be role models of...
Briere has eye surgery - Philadelphia Inquirer
Flyers center Danny Briere had surgery on both eyes yesterday at Wills Eye Hospital in Philadelphia. Michael Fung, from Society Hill Ophthalmic Associates, performed PRK eye surgery on Briere. "Everything went well," the doctor said in a statement...
Words of wisdom - or not - Clinton News
The great Paul Simon once said, "When I think back on all the crap I learned in high school, it's a wonder that I can even think at all." Now perhaps you know what he meant, right? And I believe that another important person, either my father or Marty...
David Cone stays up late; Ken Singleton gets up early - Newsday
YES' "CenterStage" episode featuring the always interesting Paul Simon debuts after Wednesday night's Yankees postgame show. Clips available here. Speaking of YES, there was an amusing exchange during Monday's game between Ken Singleton and David Cone,...

Paul Simon

Paul Simon performing March 8, 2007

As of 2007, he resides in New Canaan, Connecticut.

Paul Simon was born in Newark, New Jersey to Jewish Hungarian parents Bella (b. 1910, d. June 16, 2007), an Elementary School teacher, and Louis Simon (b. circa 1916, d. Jan. 17, 1995), a college professor, bassoon player, and dance bandleader who performed under the name "Lee Sims." In 1941 his family moved to Kew Gardens in New York City. Simon's musical career began at 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 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; it 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 thirty 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) 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 #97 on the Billboard charts in 1962. Tico and the Triumphs released four 45s. 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 45s with Simon. That same year, Paul reached #99 on the pop charts as Jerry Landis with the hit "The Lone Teen Ranger." Both chart singles were released on Amy Records. Paul (Jerry Landis) also produced Ritchie Cordell's "Tick-Tock" for the RORI record label in 1962 using Les Levine to work the Bass vocals.

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. In late 1965 whilst touring England, he performed at a large house in Great Shelford near Cambridge which was the location for the 21st birthday celebration of Libby January, girlfriend of Pink Floyd album cover designer Storm Thorgerson. The Pink Floyd Sound and David Gilmour's band Jokers Wild also performed at this party with a then unknown Paul Simon. This location was to be later used for the Cover Art on Pink Floyd's 1969 double album Ummagumma. 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 and 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. 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 October 19, 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 Sound 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 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 Garfunkel's solo output 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. Together, they were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1990.

In 2003, the two reunited again when they received Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award. This 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.

After Simon and Garfunkel split in 1970, Simon began to write and record solo material. He released Paul Simon in 1972, which contained one of his first experiments with world music, the Jamaican-inspired "Mother and Child Reunion", and There Goes Rhymin' Simon in 1973, which featured such popular hit songs as "Something So Right" (a tribute to his first wife, Peggy), "Kodachrome", "American Tune", and "Loves Me Like a Rock", the latter two obliquely referencing the dark cloud of the Watergate scandal involving the Nixon administration. His 1975 album Still Crazy After All These Years is considered to be among his finest work, particularly the title track and the hit single "50 Ways to Leave Your Lover." Over the next five years, Simon dabbled in various projects, including writing music for the film Shampoo (a project which was eventually scrapped) and acting (he was cast as Tony Lacey in Woody Allen's film Annie Hall). He continued, though less prolifically, to produce hits such as "Slip Slidin' Away" (on Simon's final Columbia album Greatest Hits, Etc. in 1977) and "Late in the Evening," (on 1980's One Trick Pony album) while often appearing on Saturday Night Live. The One Trick Pony album, Simon's first album with Warner Bros. Records (which also took over distribution of Simon's solo Columbia recordings from 1972 on) was also paired with a major motion picture of the same name, with Simon in the starring role. Simon's next album Hearts and Bones, while critically acclaimed, did not yield any hit singles and marked a lull in his commercial popularity in the early 1980s. The album featured "The Late Great Johnny Ace", a song partly about Johnny Ace, a U.S rhythm and blues singer, and partly about slain ex-Beatle John Lennon.

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. These albums helped to popularize world music as a genre. The importance of both albums allowed Simon to stage another New York concert, and on August 15, 1991, almost 10 years after his concert with Garfunkel, Simon staged another concert in Central Park with both African and South American bands. The success led to both a live album and an Emmy winning TV special.

Paul continued to enjoy his success throughout the 90s. However, his 1997 release Songs From The Capeman failed tremendously and he lost 11 million dollars with the failure of the musical he wrote for it. In 2000, though, his next studio album You're the One, while not reaching the commercial heights of previous albums, was considered by many fans and critics to be an artistic success and received a Grammy nomination for Album of the Year. A DVD of the same title, taped in Paris, was released in 2000. In 2002 he recorded the theme song for the animated children's movie The Wild Thornberrys Movie called "Father and Daughter". It was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Song. This was included as the closer on Paul's most recent album, Surprise.

Simon's latest album, Surprise, produced by himself and Brian Eno (who was credited with "sonic landscapes"), was released on May 9, 2006. In commenting on US TV show Ellen what drove him to write material for this latest album, Simon noted the events of September 11, 2001 and also turning 60 since his previous album You're the One. Simon toured the USA in early 2006, playing songs from Surprise as well as his classics. Towards the end of the year, he toured Surprise in the United Kingdom and Ireland.

Simon is one of a small number of performers such as Paul McCartney, John Lennon, Johnny Rivers, Billy Joel, Pink Floyd (from 1975's Wish You Were Here onward), Queen, Genesis (though under the members' individual names and/or the pseudonym Gelring Limited) and Neil Diamond who have their name as the copyright owner on their recordings (most records have the recording company as the named owner of the recording).

Simon is also one of the practitioners of a creative and distinctive fingerstyle guitar style in popular music. His instrumental proficiency (influenced by British guitarist Davey Graham as evidenced by his cover of Graham’s very difficult Anji from Sounds of Silence) has always been highly underrated and practically invisible as a guitarist. His Cole Porter-esque compositional abilities with his combination of jazz-tinged chords and seamless, romantic, poetic lyrics ranged throughout all his different songwriting styles.

In February 2009, Simon performed back-to-back shows in his native New York City at the Beacon Theater, which had recently been renovated. Simon was reunited with Art Garfunkel at the first show as well as with the cast of The Capeman; also playing in the band was Graceland bassist Bakithi Kumalo.

In 2004, Simon's record company announced the release of expanded editions of each of his solo albums, individually and together in a limited-edition nine-disc boxed set, Paul Simon: The Studio Recordings 1972–2000. The expanded individual albums feature a total of thirty bonus tracks, including original song demos, live recordings, duets, six never-before-released songs, and outtakes from each of his nine solo albums.

In the late 1990s, he also wrote and produced a Broadway musical called The Capeman, which lost $11 million during its 1998 run. Though the musical failed, the music itself is considered to be some of Simon's finest. In April 2008, the Brooklyn Academy of Music celebrated Paul Simon's works, and dedicated a week to Songs From the Capeman with a good portion of the show's songs performed by a cast of singers and the Spanish Harlem Orchestra. Simon himself appeared during the BAM shows, performing Trailways Bus and Late In the Evening.

Simon has also dabbled in acting. He played music producer Tony Lacey in the 1977 Woody Allen film Annie Hall, and wrote and starred in 1980's One Trick Pony as Jonah Levin, a journeyman rock and roller. Simon also wrote all the songs in the film. Paul Simon also appeared on The Muppet Show (the only episode to use only the songs of one songwriter, Simon). In 1990, he played the character Simple Simon on the Disney channel TV movie, Mother Goose Rock 'n' Rhyme.

Simon has also appeared on Saturday Night Live (SNL) either as host or musical guest for a total of 12 times. On one appearance in the late 1980s, he worked with his political namesake, Illinois Senator Paul Simon.

His most recent SNL appearance was the May 13, 2006 episode hosted by Julia Louis-Dreyfus. He performed two new songs from his Surprise album, "How Can You Live in the Northeast?" and "Outrageous". In one SNL skit from 1986 (when he was promoting Graceland), Simon plays himself, waiting in line with a friend to get into a movie. He amazes his friend by remembering intricate details about prior meetings with passers-by, but draws a complete blank when approached by Art Garfunkel, despite the latter's numerous memory prompts.

Simon also appeared alongside George Harrison as musical guest on the Thanksgiving Day episode of SNL (November 20, 1976). The two performed "Here Comes the Sun" and "Homeward Bound" together, while Simon performed "50 Ways to Leave Your Lover" solo earlier in the show. On that same episode, Simon opened the show singing "Still Crazy After All These Years" in a turkey outfit, since Thanksgiving was the following week. About halfway through the song, Simon tells the band to stop playing because of his embarrassment. After giving a frustrating speech to the audience, he leaves the stage, backed by applause. Lorne Michaels positively greets him backstage, but Simon is still upset, yelling at him because of the humiliating turkey outfit. This is one of SNL's most played sketches.

On September 29, 2001, Simon made a special appearance on the first SNL to air after the September 11, 2001 attacks. On that show, he performed "The Boxer" to the audience and the NYC firefighters and police officers. He is also friends with former SNL star Chevy Chase, who appeared in his video for "You Can Call Me Al" lip synching the song while Simon looks disgruntled and mimes backing vocals and the playing of various instruments beside him. He is a close friend of SNL producer Lorne Michaels, who produced the 1977 TV show The Paul Simon Special, as well as the Simon and Garfunkel concert in Central Park four years later. Simon and Lorne Michaels were the subjects of a 2006 episode of the Sundance channel documentary series, Iconoclasts.

He has been the subject of two films by Jeremy Marre, the first on Graceland, the second on The Capeman.

On November 18, 2008, Simon was a guest on The Colbert Report promoting his book "Lyrics 1964-2008". He did an interview with Stephen Colbert and then performed "American Tune".

Simon performed a Stevie Wonder song at the White House in 2009, for an honor to Wonder's musical career and contributions, hosted by President Barack Obama.

In May of 2009, The Library of Congress: Paul Simon and Friends Live Concert, comes to DVD, via Shout! Factory. The Hit PBS Concert was made in 2007.

The Gershwin Prize event was nationally broadcast on PBS on June 27, 2007.

Simon has been married three times. His first marriage was to Peggy Harper; they were married in late autumn 1969. They had a son, Harper Simon, in 1972. They divorced in 1975. The song "Train in the Distance," from Simon's 1983 album, is about this relationship. Simon's 1972 song "Run That Body Down," from his debut solo album, casually mentions both himself and his then-wife ("Peg") by name.

He married folk singer Edie Brickell on May 30, 1992. They have three children together.

Simon is a proponent of music education for children. In 2003, he signed on as an official supporter of Little Kids Rock, a nonprofit organization that provides free musical instruments and free lessons to children in public schools throughout the U.S.A. He sits on the organization's board of directors as an honorary member.

Paul Simon is also a major benefactor and one of the co-founders, with Dr. Irwin Redlener, of the Children's Health Project and The Children's Health Fund which started by creating specially equipped "buses" to take medical care to children in medically underserved areas, urban and rural. Their first bus was in the impoverished South Bronx of New York City but they now operate in 12 states, including the Gulf Coast. It has expanded greatly, partnering with major hospitals, local public schools and medical schools and advocating policy for children's health and medical care.

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Paul Simon's Concert in the Park, August 15, 1991

Paul Simon's Concert in the Park, August 15, 1991 cover

Paul Simon's Concert in the Park is a live album released in 1991 by Paul Simon. It provided a survey of his two most recent albums, Graceland and Rhythm of the Saints, and also drew liberally from his earlier songbook including a number of tunes from the Simon and Garfunkel era. About 750,000 people came to the show.

This title was released in both audio and video formats.

This title has never been released on DVD and is the only Paul Simon video not to be released in this format. This could be due to the contract with Pioneer that restricted the re-issue of concerts by artists signed to Warners on any future format.

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Paul Simon 1964/1993

Paul Simon 1964/1993 is a compilation album released in 1993 by Paul Simon. It contains a collection of recordings ranging from his earliest collaboration with Art Garfunkel, the 1957 release "Hey, Schoolgirl", and further Simon & Garfunkel hits to songs from his subsequent solo career. The three-disc box-set was designed and edited by Simon himself and includes only one previously unreleased track, "Thelma", which was left out of The Rhythm of the Saints. Noteworthy omissions from the compilation are "Homeward Bound" and "I Am a Rock".

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Paul Simon in Concert: Live Rhymin'

Paul Simon in Concert: Live Rhymin' cover

Paul Simon in Concert: Live Rhymin' is an album by Paul Simon, released in April 1974 by Columbia Records. In June 1973, in the wake of the release of There Goes Rhymin' Simon – which produced a number of hit singles ("Kodachrome" and "Loves Me Like a Rock") and radio staples (as "Something So Right" and "Take Me to the Mardi Gras") – Simon performed two concerts at the historical Royal Albert Hall in London. He was joined by Urubamba and the Jessy Dixon Singers. Ten months after, the album was released as a souvenir of the 1973-1974 tour that followed the album, becoming his first live release ever, and it was seen by many as recorded during the tour - however it covered only those Royal Albert Hall performances. It also showed Simon performing Simon & Garfunkel songs in concert for the first time. The variety of songs and richness of styles (including the rare "Jesus Is the Answer", a vocal solo by the Jessy Dixon Singers) helped to the album appeal. Most notably was the notable Simon's fascination in the gospel, something that was materialized in the arrangements on many of the songs, taking distance from Simon's classical folk early style.

The album was a moderate success. It reached #33 in the U.S. and eventually reached a Gold certification by the RIAA. However, it failed to chart at all in the UK, a surprising fact considering that the album was recorded there. Further, two of the live performances were released as a single as part of the promotion for the album - the breakthrough Simon & Garfunkel "The Sound of Silence" in the A-side with Simon's debut single "Mother and Child Reunion" on the B-side. Strangely, the single failed to chart in the U.S.

All tracks composed by Paul Simon; except where indicated.

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Source : Wikipedia