Paul Frederic Simon (October 13, 1941 Newark) is an American folk rock singer and songwriter, known for having been part of the Simon & Garfunkel duo. He composed hit songs such as "The Sound of Silence", "Mrs. Robinson" and "Bridge Over Troubled Water". He was named the 93rd best guitarist of all time by the American magazine Rolling Stone.
Born in Newark, New Jersey, in the year his parents - Jews of Hungarian origin - took up residence there. His father Louis Simon (1916-1995) was a university professor and also a musician and his mother Bella Simon (1910-2007) was a primary school teacher.
In the late 1950s, he formed the duo "Tom & Jerry" with school friend Art Garfunkel and even achieved visibility with "Hey Schoolgirl". They recorded a few singles but the duo soon disbanded. Simon still tried his luck with the group "Tico & The Triumphs" but despite some good songs ("Motorcycle", "Noise", "Card of Love") the group also didn't achieve great flights. Simon answered at that time by the nickname Jerry Landis. Both works can be found in the compilation "Tom & Jerry meet Tico & The Triumphs" and it's worth knowing this mostly unknown record.
Success only came in the mid-60s, with the reunion with his partner Art Garfunkel, on the Wednesday Morning (1964) album, which contained the classic track The Sounds of Silence, considered by many as the best in his repertoire. This record was not immediately successful and the duo Simon & Garfunkel was again disbanded (albeit momentarily). Paul Simon majored in Literature, finally dedicating himself to music and, influenced by Bob Dylan and the folk wave that swept across America, interpreting his own compositions.
In 1965 Simon went to try his luck on the folk circuit in London and, upon returning to the United States, found the song "The Sounds of Silence" at the top of the charts, in an electric instrument version built on top of the acoustic version recorded the previous year. He resumed the partnership with Garfunkel and they recorded an album in a hurry, welcomed by the public and critics. They released a total of six albums together, all gold discs for record sales. His harmonious and delicate folk rock was very successful with songs such as "America", "I am a Rock", "The Boxer", "Bridge Over Troubled Waters", among others.
However, in 1968, still on the recordings of Bookends, tensions with Garfunkel begin. Simon felt that he felt too pressured and, also as he was already engaged, he wanted to start a more familiar life. Soon, they decided to record just one more album. Bridge Over Troubled Waters, recorded in 1969 and released in 1970, ends a career that had lasted 13 years.
After breaking up with Garfunkel and going solo, he produced work of great quality, with enormous artistic success. In 1974, he toured with a gospel band and a group of Peruvian musicians, showing his interest in the culture of other nations and that only increased over the years, recording with artists from various countries.
However, in 1975, he rekindled his friendship with Art Garfunkel and the two returned to work together, on the song My Little Town, from the album Still Crazy After All These Years. Having produced no more originals, the two continued to work together today, giving memorable concerts everywhere.
In 1977, he tries to change his artistic direction, starting a career as an actor. So he was invited by Woody Allen to participate in the film Annie Hall. Due to the role's success, three years later, director Robert M. Young invited him to write the screenplay for One Trick Pony and also for the lead role. However, Simon saw that cinema was not his vocation and abandoned his acting career, returning to music.
In 1981, he teamed up again with Art Garfunkel and the two gave a memorable concert in New York's Central Park,