Paul Simon


Paul Simon Essay, Research Paper

Paul Simon


Paul Simon Is an amazing gifted and talented musician who has loved music all his life, he has an incredibly unique sound and message in everyone of his songs.

Early Life

Paul Simon was born to two loving parents. Belle his mother who was an elementary school teacher and his father Lois who played the bass violin on radio programs and eventually taught graduate courses. November 5 1942 was the day Paul Simon was born in Newark, New Jersey and grew up in Forest Hills NY in a middle class neighborhood.

Paul attended a local public school where he met his future musical companion in a grade six play of ‘Alice in Wonderland’, Simon played the White Rabbit while Garfunkle played Cheshire.

Art and Paul became unseperatable friends, When they walked home together after school they found that they both shared a strong interest in sports and music.

After graduating from High school Paul enrolled at Queens college to study English literature. After Paul had received a B.A. degree he enrolled into the Brooklyn Law school. Six unpleasant months later Simon dropped out to pursue his musical career with Garfunkle.

Musical Training

Paul Simon has an acclaim of sensitivity, creativity and versatility which make his songs so unique and interesting. Simon loves his music and is very aware of his talent. Paul loves his guitar so much that many times he finds himself up all night writing and playing songs on his acoustic guitar.

Paul has a wide variety of talent when it comes to music, He can play the acoustic guitar. composes his own music, sings and writes lyrics that state cultural and generational differences.

As children Paul and Art loved listening to radio programs of Alan Freed and Dick Clark the most popular rock’n'roll jockeys that played Elvis Priestly and Bill Haley and the Comets Music. Paul and Simon hoped that some day their music would be popular enough to be played on such radio stations.

Paul and Simon made many popular songs before there first split up. Paul continued to sing and sell many albums. Paul learned some creative ways to make him solo singing and playing certain instruments sound like a whole band by dubbing his music.

Musical Experience

As teenagers Paul and Art first sang and entertained at small post-game “sock hops” and other school sponsored dances in the mid 1950’s.

Paul and Arts growing popularity within school encouraged a demonstration record in Manhattan recording studio. The duo impressed the representative of Big Records so much that he hired them.

With the new names of Tom and Jerry they recorded several songs and warm up songs for some rock ‘n’ roll television shows. Under the names of Tom and Jerry their first hit was “Hey School Girl”.

Due to great success a they changed there names back to Simon and Garfunkle. “Sound of Silence” was there first no. 1 hit using there real names.

“Bridge Over Troubled Water” was one of their most popular songs that has been played over the air more than one million times making Simon and Garfunkle the most frequently heard musicians of the post-Beatle years.

Although Simon and Garfunkle were dominating the charts in the early 70’s They broke up after straining with their close relationship. Paul continued to work solo and created many more albums and made appearances in a Woody Allen film “Annie Hall” in 1977 and starred in “One Trick Pony” in 1980. One year later Paul Simon and Art Garfunkle re-united.

Importance to Musical History

Simon and Garfunkle have always been known for their sensitive, but hard-hitting lyrics. Simon and Garfunkle have had many hits that are loved by many different audiences. Paul and Art’s first single “Hey School Girl” sold more than one hundred thousand copies and remained on Billboards “Top 100″ for nine weeks reaching the 54th spot in 1958. “The Sounds of Silence” hit the charts Nov. 20, 1965 and remained in the “Top 100″ for more than three months and eventually reached the # 1 position earning Simon and Garfunkle their first gold record . Each of Simon and Garfunkle’s seven albums earned a gold record. Their no. 1 biggest hit “Bridge Over Troubled Water” has made them popular world wide which became a gold record the day of its release and made pop history by selling more than 9 million copies in less than two years. “Bridge Over Troubled Water” Simon and Garfunkle’s last release won a phenomenal six Grammy awards in 1970. In 1987 Paul Simon was named International artist of the yearby the British Record Industry for his album Graceland.


Paul Simon is a short, broad shouldered 5,5 foot boyish looking man, with brown hair and eyes. He is very private who currently lives in a brownstone triplex on New York cities upper east side and a country home in Bucks county, Pennsylvania. Former Peggy Harper, his wife and Paul have one son who was born in September of 1972.


The Simon and Garfunkle partnership and memorable contribution to music remains one of the most popular duos in rock history.



1. Langley, Andrew (1987), Twenty Names In Pop History,

England: Wayland Publishing Limited


1. Gammond, Peter, (1991), Simon,Paul Oxford Companion to Popular Music, (Vol. 1 p. 531)

2. Taylor,Derek, (1990), Paul and Garfunkle, Popular Music, (Vol. 1, 6, 8, pp. 16, 661, 847)

3. Moritz, Charles, (1976), Current Biography, (Vol. 1975, pp. 383-386)


Lai, Roger, 10/22/95 Paul Simon in WWW

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