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Paul Simon

One of the top songwriters in the history of rock and a household name since the 1960s, Paul Simon has continued to grow in stature and influence through the years. He was born in Newark in 1941. Simon’s father Louis Simon (under the name of Lee Sims) had been a bassist and a leader of a dance band. Simon grew up in Queens, New York, where he met Art Garfunkel. They initially teamed up as Tom and Jerry and had a hit in 1958 with “Hey Schoolgirl” when they were 16. After graduating high school, Simon went to Queens College, where he earned a degree in English literature. However, he continued working in music, recording more than 30 songs, including a few duets with Garfunkel. Most successful were a few singles made as part of Tico and the Triumphs, including “Motorcycle” and a single released under the pseudonym of Jerry Landis called “The Lone Teen Ranger.” He also worked as a record producer. Reunited with Garfunkel, they worked as a folk duo in Greenwich Village. They were signed to Columbia and recorded the album Wednesday Morning 3 AM in 1964. While the album flopped, “The Sound of Silence” became a 1 single and led to Simon and Garfunkel’s stardom. Until they split up in 1971, the team had many hits, including “Bridge Over Troubled Water,” “Cecilia” and “Mrs. Robinson.” Simon wrote the songs and the two harmonized beautifully together. After they split up, Paul Simon continued his very successful career with such songs as “Something So Right,” “Loves Me Like a Rock,” “Still Crazy After All These Years” and “50 Ways to Leave Your Lover.” In addition to his recordings and concerts, Paul Simon did some acting, appearing in Annie Hall and starring in One Trick Pony. His 1986 album Graceland utilized African rhythms and performers and in 1990’s The Rhythm of the Saints he explored Brazilian music. Paul Simon remains one of the giants of contemporary rock and pop music.