Simon began his career as a musician while he was still in his teens. Along with Art Garfunkel, he formed the band “Tom and Jerry”. Though they had a hit with “Hey Schoolgirl,” they broke up to go to college and didn’t reunite until 1964. That year, Simon and Garfunkel recorded the album WEDNESDAY MORNING 3AM. The record, that included a number of great songs, including an acoustic version of their well-known “The Sound of Silence,” received a disappointing initial response. It was not until a year later, with a remixed version of the song adding electric instrumentation, which the public began to notice. “The Sound of Silence” became an instant success, and within a short while Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel were household names.
After the breakup with Garfunkel, Simon put out a self-titled solo album that wowed critics and fans alike. Including “Me and Julio Down by the Schoolyard” and “Mother and Child Reunion” the songs were upbeat, replacing much of the slow folksy sound with jazzier tempos. By 1975, Simon had come out with THERE GOES RHYMN’ SIMON and STILL CRAZY AFTER ALL THESE YEARS, and had his first number one solo hit with,”50 Ways to Leave Your Lover.”
In the 1980s Simon began immersing himself in the sounds of Africa, and then Brazil. Simon created an intrinsically global music stamped with his singular style. In 1986, the GRACELAND album, which blended Simon’s contemporary American songwriting with South African music sources and performers, defined a new international music.
By 1990 he had followed up GRACELAND with THE RHYTHM OF THE SAINTS and four years later was married to singer Edie Brickell. For Simon, the 1990s were a time of continued experimentation, concentrating primarily on a major musical called “The Capeman”.