Today on “Days to Remember” we celebrate Paul Simon’s birthday.
Paul Frederic Simon was born on October 13th 1941, and is an American musician, actor and singer-songwriter. Simon’s fame, influence, and commercial success began as part of the duo Simon & Garfunkel, formed in 1964 with musical partner Art Garfunkel.
Simon’s musical career began after meeting Art Garfunkel in grade school when they were both eleven years old. They performed in a production of Alice in Wonderland for their sixth-grade graduation, and began singing together when they both thirteen years old.
Occasionally performing at school dances, their idols back then were the Everly Brothers, whom they imitated in their use of close two-part harmony. Simon also developed an interest in jazz, folk, and blues, especially in the music of Woody Guthrie and Lead Belly.
Simon’s first song written for himself and Garfunkel, when Simon was 12 or 13, was called “The Girl for Me,” and according to Simon became the “neighborhood hit.” His father wrote the words and chords on paper for the boys to use.
That paper became the first officially copyrighted Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel song, and is now in the Library of Congress. In 1957, in their mid-teens, they recorded the song “Hey, Schoolgirl” under the name Tom & Jerry, given to them by their label Big Records. The single reached No. 49 on the pop charts.
Between 1957 and 1964, Simon wrote, recorded, and released more than 30 songs, occasionally reuniting with Garfunkel as Tom & Jerry for some singles, including “Our Song” and “That’s My Story”. Most of the songs Simon recorded during that time were performed alone or with musicians other than Garfunkel.
In early 1964, Simon and Garfunkel got an audition with Columbia Records, whose executive Clive Davis was impressed enough to sign the duo to a contract to produce an album. Columbia decided that the two would be called simply “Simon & Garfunkel,” instead of the group’s previous name “Tom and Jerry.”
One of my favorite songs from the dynamic duo has always been the song called, “Scarborough fair.” Today’s YouTube presentation brought to you by user name Rick Rey, is the song called “Scarborough fair,” by Simon and Garfunkel, as we celebrate on October 13th Paul Simon’s birthday.
Where did Simon and Garfunkel get the idea for the song called, “Scarborough Fair?”
Actually if you didn’t know this already Scarborough is a small town on the coast of England. The “Scarborough Fair” was a popular gathering in medieval times, attracting traders and entertainers from all over the country. The fair lasted 45 days and started every August 15th. In the 1600s, mineral waters were found in Scarborough and it became a resort town.
Paul Simon learned about this song when he was on tour in England, where he heard a version by a popular folk singer named Martin Carthy. When Carthy heard Simon & Garfunkel’s rendition, he accused Simon of stealing his arrangement. Carthy and Simon did not speak until 2000, when Simon asked Carthy to perform this with him at a show in London. Carthy put his differences aside and did the show.
The lyrics are about a man trying to attain his true love. In Medieval times, the herbs mentioned in the song represented virtues that were important to the lyrics. Parsley was comfort, sage was strength, rosemary was love, and thyme was courage.
The song wasn’t released as a single until 1968, when it was used in the Dustin Hoffman movie The Graduate. It is on the soundtrack.
Before Simon & Garfunkel got to it, Bob Dylan used the lines, “Remember me to one who lives there, she once was a true love of mine” in his 1963 song “Girl from the North Country.”
Paul Simon is still singing and has a solo career now, if you’re interested in seeing one of his performances, (Click Here) to find out more about that, as we wish Paul Simon a Happy Birthday today!
Written & Designed by JD Mitchell