Simon and Garfunkel

Greatly Appreciated

Simon & Garfunkel  was an American folk rock duo consisting of singer-songwriter Paul Simon and singer Art Garfunkel.  They were one of the most popular recording artists of the 1960s and became counterculture icons of the decade’s social revolution.  Their biggest hits—including “The Sound of Silence” (1964/1965), “Mrs. Robinson” (1968), “Bridge over Troubled Water” (1969), and “The Boxer” (1969)—reached number one on singles charts worldwide.  Their final studio record, Bridge over Troubled Water, was their most successful, becoming one of the world’s best-selling albums.  Since their split in 1970 they have reunited several times, most famously in 1981 for the “The Concert in Central Park”, which attracted more than 500,000 people, the seventh-largest concert attendance in history.  (More from Wikipedia)

I was born a couple of years later than Greg Shaw, so I turned 14 in 1965.  By then, the Beatles and the Rolling Stones were old news; and while I was still paying attention, what was really grabbing me at the time were American artists and bands.  First and foremost was Like a Rolling Stone by Bob Dylan; that song – plus the flip side “Gates of Eden” that was nearly as long and every bit as good – captivated me in a way that I just couldn’t keep quiet about.  Other great folk-rock sounds of that period included the release of the cover of Dylan’s “Mr. Tambourine Man” by the Byrds and the revamped “The Sounds of Silence” by Simon and Garfunkel Bob Dylan himself preferred the Byrds’ cover to his own recording of “Mr. Tambourine Man; but in my usual contrarian way, I preferred Dylan’s original – it was a lot longer for one thing. 


These songs were followed closely by the glorious sounds of garage rock and psychedelic rock that were then in their infancy.  Songs like “Pushin’ Too Hard” by the Seeds, “We Ain’t Got Nothin’ Yet” by Blues Magoos, and I Had Too Much to Dream (Last Night) by the Electric Prunes really made an impression on me.  It wasn’t until I picked up the Nuggets collection and then the numerous Pebbles albums that I plumbed the depths of this scene, but it was by no means brand new to me either. 

(May 2013)
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Major and minor artists alike often have spiritually themed songs or overtly Christian songs on their albums.  The first cut on Simon and Garfunkel’s debut album, Wednesday Morning, 3 A.M. is a gospel song called You Can Tell the World that was written by Gibson & Camp (Bob Gibson and Bob Camp – later known as Hamilton Camp).  Peter, Paul and Mary had numerous gospel songs on their albums, including “This Train” on their first album, Peter, Paul and Mary.  Also on this album, under the name “If I Had My Way”, is a traditional song also called “Samson and Delilah” that is based on the Biblical account.  Many other rock musicians have recorded this song, notably the Grateful DeadBob DylanIke and Tina TurnerBruce Springsteen, and Garbage front woman Shirley Manson


Benedictus” is the name for the second half of the Sanctus in the traditional Catholic Mass.  Besides the Strawbs song Benedictus”, Simon and Garfunkel included another song called “Benedictus” on their first album; its lyrics – “benedictus qui venit in nomine Domini” – are simply the Latin for “Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord”. 

(July 2014)


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Wikipedia lists an almost completely different group of artists in that article (as opposed to those listed above who were backed by Glen Campbell in particular):  “Notable artists employing the Wrecking Crew’s talents included Nancy SinatraBobby Veethe Partridge Family, the Mamas and the Papasthe Carpentersthe 5th DimensionJohn Denver, the Beach BoysSimon and Garfunkelthe Grass Roots, and Nat King Cole.” 


(February 2015)

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For some reason, over the years the 1970’s have gotten a reputation as a poor decade for music. (So do the 1950’s, for that matter, even though that is where rock and roll came from). It certainly cannot be because everything sounded the same. Most of the British Invasion bands were still active. The top American acts were still going strong as well – Elvis Presley, Bob Dylan, Carole King, Simon and Garfunkel, Linda Ronstadt, the Beach Boysthe Band, Johnny Cash, Frank Sinatraetc. – and major stars who arrived in the 1970’s include Elton John, Michael Jackson, Queen, ABBA, Billy Joel, Aerosmith, Bruce Springsteen, AC/DC, PrinceJames Taylor, and Tom Petty. Anyone who says they are a music fan has to be able to find someone, and probably several someones on that list that they like a lot.
(December 2016)
Last edited: March 22, 2021