Paul Simon’s rise to greatness began in Newark
One of the most successful and respected singer/songwriters of the rock era, Paul Simon, was born on Oct. 13, 1941 in Newark. His family moved to Queens when he was a boy and that’s where he grew up, and where he met Art Garfunkel when the two were both 11.
They started performing at school dances as teens and became successful enough to land a record deal (as Tom and Jerry) and even appeared on American Bandstand.
After splitting up to attend college, they reunited under their real names and started playing the coffee shop circuit in Greenwich Village. Simon and Garfunkel reached their zenith with 1970’s album Bridge over Troubled Water which won the Grammy for Album of the Year. The pair split up after that, with Simon going on to even greater success as a solo artist, winning two more Album of the Year Grammies, for Still Crazy After All These Years, and Graceland; he also won a Grammy for Lifetime Achievement in 2003 and has 16 total.
As a solo artist, he put 19 songs on the Billboard Hot 100; he was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame and was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame twice, once as a solo artist and once as a member of Simon and Garfunkel. He was also the first recipient of the Library of Congress’s Gershwin Prize for Popular Song. His song “Mrs. Robinson” from the motion picture The Graduate was named in the top ten of The American Film Institute’s 100 Years 100 Songs.
The post above reflects the thoughts and observations of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Bill Doyle. Any opinions expressed are Bill Doyle's own.