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Artist Biographies: The Paul Simon Story
Paul Simon is an award winning singer, song writer and recording artist from the United States. The Paul Simon story features his career during the Simon & Garfunkel years, as well as his solo career. Paul Simon is famous for being part of the internationally acclaimed duo Simon & Garfunkel, with Art Garfunkel being his partner. He was born on October 13, 1941, and began his musical career shortly after.
Simon met Garfunkel when the pair was just 11 years old in elementary school. Their sixth grade class was performing the musical Alice in Wonderland and both boys had roles in the production. Their friendship blossomed and within two years they were singing and performing together at school dances and local events. They pulled from their idols of the time and came up with a unique combination of jazz, blues, folk and rock music to perform. Some of their idols included Lead Belly, the Everly Brothers and Woody Guthrie.
The very first song Paul Simon wrote was during this time and he title it The Girl for Me. His father helped him write the lyrics and they performed it for the neighborhood kids who loved it. The paper that Simon and his father wrote together managed to survive and was placed in the Library of Congress. It is the first copyrighted song that belongs to the group Simon and Garfunkel. Their music career would launch a few years later.
In 1957, a song they recorded titled Hey, School Girl hit the music charts. It only made it up to number 49 and was released under a different group name of Tom and Jerry. It gave them a taste of musical success and both became hungry for more. Their record label was called Big Records and they began working on a serious career of writing and recording music.
In the year 1964, Simon and Garfunkel launched their duo under their own names. It was the start of something very big, however short lived. They collaborated together over many of their songs and came up with several top ten hits. They even had three hits that reached number one, called Mrs. Robinson, Bridge Over Troubled Water and The Sound of Silence. They were a popular act to see and their albums sold many copies. However, the stress of being on the road and personal differences saw to the demise of the duo. They officially split in 1970, even though they were still wildly popular.
Paul Simon began a solo career with some success, but not as much as what he enjoyed with his partner. He also began to venture in to social causes and became an activist for many causes around the globe. Paul Simon also branched out in to performing arts as an actor. He starred in a movie called One-Trick Pony in 1980. He co-wrote a Broadway play titled The Capeman in 1998, though neither was widely popular.
Throughout his career, he has been awarded 12 Grammy awards. In 2001, Paul Simon was recognized for all of his contribution to the music world and inducted in to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Five years later, he was chosen by Time Magazine as one of the “100 People Who Shaped the World”. He has been honored with the Lifetime Achievement Award by the Grammy Association and awarded many other titles through his work as a solo artist and as part of the duo, Simon and Garfunkel. In 2007, he was the very first recipient of the Gershwin Prize for Popular Song, presented by the Library of Congress.
Paul Simon continues to write music and perform on a casual basis. He spends his time working on music and devoting efforts to his social causes as well as his family.