Paul Simon Information
Paul Simon has been surrounded by music for most of his life. When he was younger he would watch his father, who then was a professional bassist that played on both the radio and the television. He would follow his father to his gigs, admiring the different types of music that he heard. While in sixth grade, he'd meet one of his closest companions and fellow band mate Art Garfunkle. The two of them would sing along to Elvis tapes and record their singing that was highly influenced by the Everly Brothers. He began playing the guitar at the age of 21 after his parents bought him a $27.00 guitar. They then went on to play for their high school dances. As Simon got older he found a genuine attraction to the New York City folk scene.
Paul Simon was half of Simon and Garfunkle before splitting and beginning his solo career. Together the duo would record several musically influential albums including 1966's "Parsley, Sage, Rosemary, and Thyme", "Bookends", and 1970's "Bridge Over Troubled Waters". In 1964 the duo was signed to Columbia Records where they released their first LP, Wednesday Morning 3 a.m. Commercially the album flopped but a single from the album, "Sounds of Silence", went to #1 on US pop charts.Simon and Garfunkle would over the course of years reunite to play shows together all over the US but they constantly would break up due to creative differences. Simon's solo career bloomed. Simon went on to sing on the USA for Africa campaign album on the single, "We Are the World".
He soon went on to release the immensely popular album, Graceland, for which he won a Grammy. The album was praised for its groundbreaking use of African rhythms and performers like Lady Black Mambazo. Succeeding the album was the commercially acceptable, The Rhythm of the Saints, which featured Brazilian and Cajun musical themes. Both albums were great contributing factors that helped popularize world music as a genre.
In 2000, Paul Simon was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame again, this time for his achievements as a solo artist. TIME Magazine at one point called Paul Simon one of the, "100 People Who Shape Our World". In 2003 Simon received the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award as well. Paul Simon's recent endeavors include teaming with Art Garfunkle, Aaron Neville, and other musicians inspired by the music from New Orleans in a special concert film called, "From the Big Apple to the Big Easy: The Concert for New Orleans". All of the proceeds from the film will be distributed to different charities dedicated to rebuilding the Gulf Coast.