Biography of Paul Simon
Musician Paul Simon is one half of the highly successful music duo Simon & Garfunkel. Both with his friend Art Garfunkel and alone, Simon has made a huge impact on the music industry. Simon never inspired any major scandals in his 70-plus years and is well-regarded not only as a musician but also as a humanitarian.
A young Paul Simon
Paul Simon had a pretty stereotypical American childhood, growing up in a working-class home in Queens, New York. He inherited his love of music from his father who was a professor by day and bandleader by night. Simon met his longtime friend and colleague Art Garfunkel at 11 years old, and by 13 they were writing and performing their own songs. By the time they were 16, Simon and Garfunkel were signed to a record label and had released a top 100 hit, and yet both men initially elected to follow the traditional route by attending and graduating from college.
The early career of Paul Simon
After earning a Bachelor's in English, Simon went back to his lifelong passion of music. While he continued to occasionally reunite with Garfunkel, he also released a number of different singles both solo and with other musicians. In 1962, Garfunkel cracked the top 100 again. In 1964, Simon & Garfunkel were signed to Columbia Records and recorded their first major label release. After the first Simon & Garfunkel album failed to take off, Simon decided to try his luck in England. In 1965, Simon's first solo release, The Paul Simon Songbook, experienced minor success but was eclipsed when his earlier album with Garfunkel finally started to receive radio play. Simon returned to the United States and recorded four more well-received Simon & Garfunkel albums over the next four years.
Paul Simon after Simon & Garfunkel
Simon & Garfunkel officially disbanded in 1970, though they continued to reunite off and on over the next thirty years for small projects and tours. It was during his solo career in the early 1970s that Simon was finally able to achieve his first Number 1 album. Simon also earned an Album of the Year Grammy during that time. After three wildly successful albums, though, Simon's career began to lag. Throughout the 1980s, Simon struggled to recapture his earlier success. Finally, in 1986, Simon launched a bonafide comeback with the release of "Graceland." "Graceland" once again put Simon at the top, earning him yet another Album of the Year Grammy. Simon continued to release albums through the 1990s and into the 2000s but has never again reached the peaks he once attained with "Still Crazy After All These Years" and "Graceland."
Paul Simon has enjoyed a lengthy and varied career in the music industry, both in Simon & Garfunkel and his subsequent solo career. The evolution of his style has garnered him many accolades and fans across several decades.