Saturday, November 15, 2014

Paul Simon, The #55 Artist of the Seventies*

Paul Simon started out his career in the duo Tom & Jerry, but before long, they changed their name to Simon & Garfunkel and made history as one of The Top Duos of the Rock Era*.  With Art Garfunkel, Simon wrote and sang classics like "Bridge Over Troubled Water", "Mrs. Robinson", "The Boxer", and "The Sound Of Silence" .

After the breakup of Simon & Garfunkel, Paul began to record his material as a solo artist.  He released his self-titled debut album in 1972.  The single "Mother And Child Reunion" preceded the album, peaking in the Top 5 in every major country in the world.

The album went Platinum and went to #1 in the U.K., Sweden, Finland, and Norway, and peaked at #4 in the United States.  Simon's next single, "Me And Julio Down By The Schoolyard", stalled at #22, but with it reaching #6 on the Adult chart, proved to be one of The Top Unknown/Underrated Songs of the Rock Era*.  

Another Top Track* on the album was this gem--"Duncan".

Simon came up with another Platinum album in 1973, There Goes Rhymin' Simon.  The smash single "Kodachrome" led the way at #1 in Canada and #2 in the U.S.

The album generated another huge hit, as "Loves Me Like A Rock" went to #1 on the Adult chart and #2 overall.

We want to feature another Top Track* on the #1 album There Goes Rhymin' Simon--"American Tune".

Simon came up with another outstanding album in 1975, in fact, one of the best in his career, with Still Crazy After All These Years, which went Gold.  Paul brought in Phil Ramone to produce the album, darker than previous easy-going releases as it followed Simon's divorce.  A duet with Phoebe Snow resulted in the #9 Adult hit "Gone At Last".

Still Crazy became another #1 album for Paul.  The single "50 Ways To Leave Your Lover" hit #1 in the United States and Canada, and was #2 in France.

Simon won Grammy Awards for Album of the Year and Best Pop Male Performance.  Simon's title song at #40 overall is another of The Top Unknown/Underrated Songs*; it achieved #5 on the Adult chart in the U.S. and #10 in France.

In 1976, Simon organized a benefit concert at Madison Square Garden to raise money for the New York Public Library.  Paul worked on the movie Shampoo, and he played a role in the Woody Allen movie Annie Hall

In 1977, Simon released his Greatest Hits compilation album as a solo performer, and it has now sold over two million copies.  The new release "Slip Slidin' Away" is another of his great lyrical works, reaching #2 in Canada, and #4 on the Adult chart and #5 overall in the United States and #10 in France.

Simon joined Garfunkel and James Taylor for the big Adult hit "Wonderful World" in 1978.

Simon & Garfunkel have reunited several times, in 1975 for the Top 10 song "My Little Town", in 1981 for the famous concert in New York City's Central Park that drew over 500,000 music fans, and in 2004 for an international tour that concluded before 600,000 in Rome, Italy.

Simon continued his songwriting magic well into the 80's with albums such as the masterpiece Graceland.  He still records and wins awards to this day.  Whether it's with Garfunkel or as a solo artist, Paul Simon is one of the bright lights of the Rock Era.

Simon sold over four million albums in the 70's, and achieved 10 solo hits in the decade, with  5 of those going Top 10 and 1 #1 song.

Simon was honored with a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Grammys, bringing his total to 12.  In 1998, the Simon & Garfunkel album Bridge Over Troubled Water was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame.  Paul became a two-time inductee into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame when he was admitted as a solo performer in 2001--he and Garfunkel were honored in 1990.  Simon was also honored as MusicCares Person of the Year in 2001.

The following year, Simon was one of five people recognized at the Kennedy Center Honors, America's highest tribute to performing artists.  In 2005, Simon was saluted as a BMI Icon.  According to BMI, Simon had amassed almost 75 million airplays on the radio for his songs.  In 2006, Time Magazine named Paul one of the "100 People Who Shaped the World".

In 2007, Simon was the inaugural recipient of the Library of Congress Gershwin Prize for Popular Song.  In 2010, Simon received an honorary degree from Brandeis University, where he performed "The Boxer" at the main commencement ceremony.  In 2011, Simon was inducted into the American Academy of Arts and Science.  The following year, he was awarded the Polar Music Prize. 

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