Paul Simon
American musician
Paul Simon
Paul Frederic Simon is an American singer-songwriter and guitarist. Simon's international fame and success began as part of the duo Simon & Garfunkel, launched in 1964 with musical partner Art Garfunkel. Simon wrote most of the pair's songs, including three that reached No. 1 on the U.S. singles charts: "The Sound of Silence", "Mrs. Robinson", and "Bridge Over Troubled Water".
Biography
Paul Simon's personal information overview.
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News
News abour Paul Simon from around the web
Cuban Percussionist and Vocalist Pedrito Martinez: A Look Back on the Journey Thus Far
Huffington Post - 14 days
By Dan Ouellette, Senior Editor ZEALnyc, February 9, 2017 Unless something unexpected happens (and given this political season, it's a great possibility), 2017 will fill the air with more Cuban music by the best the island nation has to offer. Cuba has quickly become a destination for musical talent in the U.S. in search of the source of all popular music today. And then there are the U.S.-based artists who are celebrating the bridge being reopened between the two countries. A prime example: percussionist/vocalist Pedrito Martinez who has performed with a range of artists searching for top-tier percussion including Wynton Marsalis, Paul Simon, Eddie Palmieri, Paquito D'Rivera and Bruce Springsteen. He is also lauded by the great Latin jazz star Rubén Blades, who says, "In a musical world so filled with counterfeit output, it is refreshing to see a genuine talent like Pedrito emerge. Always curious, forever searching, restless, he's the type of artist whose product is forever fres ...
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Huffington Post article
'Swimming In A Trance-Like State': Paul Simon On Philip Glass
NPR - 28 days
The great songwriter explains his fascination with the repetition, symmetry and changing time signatures in Glass' music. (Image credit: New York Daily News via Getty Images)
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NPR article
Joe Biden Is A Hero Among Women's Rights Groups. But It Wasn't Always That Way.
Huffington Post - about 1 month
WASHINGTON ― Joe Biden will leave a legacy of staunch advocacy for women’s rights when he steps down as vice president in a week. He was a leader in passing and renewing the 1994 Violence Against Women Act and has been the chief advocate of the Obama administration’s national campaign to combat sexual assault on college campuses. Those achievements, among others, were no small reason he was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom Thursday, the nation’s highest civilian honor. Biden touted his role in elevating the seriousness and pervasiveness of sexual harassment in a September 2015 speech, noting that his work dated as far back as 1991: “During the Clarence Thomas hearings, one of the things that emerged was the issue of sexual harassment. ... It was the thing that no one wanted to touch. I remember saying to my colleagues, ‘This is so much bigger than a single judge.’” Advocates say Biden is now one of their strongest champions on issues of violence against women. But t ...
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Huffington Post article
CultureZohn: I Spent New Year's Eve In Bed With Warren Beatty
Huffington Post - about 2 months
Ok, so you know the drill by now. I'm home, it's almost 2017, and I need to crawl into bed with someone exciting, sexy, dynamic, legendary, to lift myself up over the hulking mess of New Year's Eve. This year, I knew had to think big, really really big, especially big, to face down the looming disaster of 45. I combed the bestseller list for a Keith Richards or Richard Burton-equivalent (my previous NY eve boon companions), and all I could come up with was Bruce Springsteen and Robbie Robertson and no offense, I've never been a Bruce babe and as much as I like Music from Big Pink, after seeing the Scorcese docu I found Robbie a wee bit self-important and limelight-stealing from his fellow Band members. As I was pondering this biggest of date nights, Carrie Fisher died, and I, like many others, rewound her career and came upon her first acting gig in Shampoo, and there he was staring me in the face. Warren! Warren could help me enter 2017 and get me some moxie back: if anyone ...
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Huffington Post article
In Memoriam Carrie Fisher
Huffington Post - about 2 months
From l981, thereabouts, to l985 or 6, I'd say, I played the role of Carrie Fisher's second banana and new best friend. There have been many of us over the years, but this was my particular tenure. I'm moved about it to write today for obvious reasons. It didn't begin at the Paul Simon/Artie Garfunkel Passover supper at a dark restaurant in Manhattan, though that's the first place I saw her sing "Oh My Papa," drunk as a skunk. It actually began on the floor of Richard Dreyfuss's apartment where she announced in that deep froggy delivery: "You're going to be my New Best Friend." I had just moved to New York and was going out with one of her fave rave running mates, Michael O'Donoghue. I couldn't see it. While she was, yes, somewhat funny, I could see that she was totally discombobulated. She pressed her case. She kept dropping by Michael's with lavish gifts for him, like a taxidermed bear. These visits were also designed to vet me better. I was writing for Esquire ...
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Huffington Post article
'Yesterday was a horrible day': Paul Simon remembers his one-time love Carrie Fisher
LATimes - about 2 months
Today in Entertainment: Carrie Fisher dies, George Michael sought 'serious' artistry Dec. 28, 2016, 9:36 a.m. Here's what's new and interesting in the world of entertainment and the arts today: Carrie Fisher dies at 60 Appreciation: George Michael always knew he was a serious artist Debate shows...
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LATimes article
Carrie Fisher Dead At 60 Following Hospitalization
Huffington Post - about 2 months
function onPlayerReadyVidible(e){'undefined'!=typeof HPTrack&&HPTrack.Vid.Vidible_track(e)}!function(e,i){if(e.vdb_Player){if('object'==typeof commercial_video){var a='',o='m.fwsitesection='+commercial_video.site_and_category;if(a+=o,commercial_video['package']){var c='&m.fwkeyvalues=sponsorship%3D'+commercial_video['package'];a+=c}e.setAttribute('vdb_params',a)}i(e.vdb_Player)}else{var t=arguments.callee;setTimeout(function(){t(e,i)},0)}}(document.getElementById('vidible_1'),onPlayerReadyVidible); Actress Carrie Fisher, best known for playing Princess Leia Organa in the original “Star Wars” trilogy, has died at age 60. Fisher was taken to UCLA Medical Center after reportedly suffering a heart attack on Friday. She leaves behind a daughter, 24-year-old actress Billie Lourd, who released this statement through the family’s spokesman, Simon Halls: “It is with a very deep sadness that Billie Lourd confirms that her beloved mother Carrie Fisher passed awa ...
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Huffington Post article
The Werewolf Is Coming
Huffington Post - 2 months
Maybe it's because the story in our Torah this week and next is full of prophetic dreams, Joseph's dreams - and I listen for the poets and the singers who may be the dreaming prophets of our times. "I raised up prophets from among your sons, and nazirites from among your young men. Is that not so, O people of Israel? says the Eternal One. But you made the nazirites drink wine, and ordered the prophets not to prophesy." (Amos 2:11-12) The werewolf is coming. Maybe it's that the prophetic messages of Amos, paired with our Torah-portion this week, are so full of foreboding: "Thus said the Eternal One: For three transgressions of Judah, and for four, I will not revoke it- Because they have spurned the teaching of the Eternal One, and have not observed God's laws. They are beguiled by the delusions after which their fathers walked -I will send down fire upon Judah, and it shall devour the fortresses of Jerusalem." (Amos 2:4-5) The werewolf is coming. Maybe it's beca ...
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Huffington Post article
Haunted by Hamilton
Huffington Post - 2 months
I have a love-hate relationship with Lin-Manuel Miranda. When I first read about Hamilton and the Broadway show that bears his name, I became fascinated with how a poor, uneducated orphan from St. Croix developed into a leading statesman and founding father, the guy who conceived of our present day treasury and the ingenious separation of powers. This was definitely not the Alexander Hamilton that I had learned about in middle school, whose only claim to fame was getting killed in a duel with Aaron Burr in Weehawken New Jersey, not far from where I grew up. Curious, I read Ron Chernow's book, Hamilton, the inspiration for Miranda's play. I bought the musical soundtrack and sang along to the lyrics that I had printed off the internet. Weekly I phoned the box office to see when tickets might go on sale in hope that I would not have to mortgage our home to get seats. My husband bought Eliza Hamilton memorabilia for my birthday. I became a devoted Hamilton fan. Okay, maybe I was ...
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Huffington Post article
The Top Songs of 2016: A Mixtape for a Crazy Year
Huffington Post - 3 months
Some years are groovier than others. This year, music provided a steadying backbeat against the craziness of the political climate. We recoiled from depressing TV news segments and reached for the beats to keep us sane. Who knows if we will emerge from the funk in 2017? If not, we hope music continues to be our guide rope through this alternate reality. We love the artists and songs that delivered bold statements, notable comebacks and other creative noises to make 2016 bearable. Here's how the year went down: Technology majorly influenced how we discovered music. Streaming platforms put countless new releases at our fingertips, but these services also proved to be cluttered landscapes wherein quality albums by megastars like Sting or Paul Simon went largely unnoticed in the mainstream (even if Simon's whole record, especially "Proof of Love," was sublime). We were gifted with Leonard Cohen's final work (which proved interestingly dark, as its title promised) just two weeks before hi ...
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Huffington Post article
Roundup: Rock Lives: This Season’s Pop Music Biographies and Memoirs
NYTimes - 3 months
New books look at the careers of Brian Wilson, Paul Simon and other music stars.
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NYTimes article
Eleven More Bass Players Who Belong in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame
Huffington Post - 3 months
"You ask the average person what a bass is, or what a bass sounds like, and most of the time, they don't know. But remove the bass from any piece of music and suddenly it becomes the largest missing piece in the world! Whoa, fifty percent of the music just went away with one instrument! It is an instrument that is much more conspicuous by its absence than by its presence..." As told to this writer by Michael J. Visceglia, bassist, author, educator, recording artist The 2017 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame nominees were revealed a few weeks ago and I congratulate all the artists: Bad Brains, Chaka Khan, Chic, Depeche Mode, Electric Light Orchestra, J. Geils Band, Jane's Addiction, Janet Jackson, Joan Baez, Joe Tex, Journey, Kraftwerk, MC 5, Pearl Jam, Steppenwolf, The Cars, The Zombies, Tupac Shakur, and Yes. Some of the choices are obvious to me, some less so. A few leave me bewildered, but that's rock and roll...the mistakes make the music real. And I see that a few of the nomi ...
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Huffington Post article
What the Illinois Comptroller Race Results Could Mean for State Budget Crisis
Huffington Post - 4 months
Opinion No analysis of the race for Illinois comptroller is complete without the term "proxy war." It's a term Illinois voters have heard and experienced many times over the decades, as Republican and Democratic party leaders of the Illinois House and Senate pour money into the campaigns of their members to fend off challenges from the other party. Sometimes a candidate's legislative leader funds 90 percent or more of his or her campaign. This is a practice that good-government types, like me, don't like because it creates officeholders who know that their election depends on keeping the boss happy. But in legislative races, "proxy war" is a bit of an abstract concept. There's no guarantee that a lawmaker will be completely compliant with his or her party leader once elected. And sometimes those party leaders know that forcing candidate A to vote a certain way will doom him/her back home in the next election. At the moment, there are 110 Democrats and 67 Republicans in ...
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Huffington Post article
The Ramones Way: Street At Rockers' High School Is Renamed For Band
NPR - 4 months
They're officially the coolest kids to come out of Forest Hills High in Queens, N.Y., and that's saying something. Other famous former students included Burt Bacharach, Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel.
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NPR article
Homeward Bound
Huffington Post - 4 months
By Peter Ames Carlin   Chapter 1   Real and Assumed   On February 16, 1967, Paul Simon sat at a conference table in his lawyers' offices and tried to explain who he was, who he used to be, and who he had become. This would take some doing. For while he was clearly Paul Frederic Simon, born in Newark, New Jersey, on October 13, 1941, the elder of the two sons whom Louis and Belle Simon raised in the Kew Gardens Hills section of Queens, New York, he had answered to several other names in his twenty-five years. All in the pursuit of a professional music career that took off a few weeks into his senior year of high school, when the short, dark-eyed Simon, along with his tall, blue-eyed best friend, Arthur "Artie" Garfunkel, recorded "Hey, Schoolgirl," a sprightly pop tune of their own composition. The owner of a small New York record company heard cash register bells in the boys' chiming harmonies, and within days he had their signatures on a recording contract. The bo ...
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Huffington Post article
Paul Simon on late-career peak with 'Stranger to Stranger' album
LATimes - 4 months
First things first: No, Paul Simon is not retiring. That idea started zooming around the Internet last summer when a profile of the veteran singer, songwriter and 16-time   Grammy Award winner quoted him as saying that show business “doesn’t hold any interest for me” and “I am going to see what...
Article Link:
LATimes article
Timeline
Learn about memorable moments in the evolution of Paul Simon
    LATE_ADULTHOOD
  • 2016
    Age 74
    On June 29, 2016, Simon announced that he may be retiring from performing music.
    More Details Hide Details When Simon moved to England in 1964, he met Kathleen Mary "Kathy" Chitty (born 1947) on April 12, 1964, at the first English folk club he played, Railway Inn Folk Club in Brentwood, Essex, where Chitty worked part-time selling tickets. She was 17, he was 22, and they fell in love. Later that year they visited the U.S. together, touring around mainly by bus. Kathy returned to England on her own with Simon returning to her some weeks later. When Simon returned to the U.S. with the growing success of "The Sound of Silence", Kathy, who was quite shy, wanted no part of the success and fame that awaited Simon and they split. She is mentioned by name in at least two of his songs: "Kathy's Song" and "America," and is referred to in "Homeward Bound" and "The Late Great Johnny Ace." There is a photo of Simon and Kathy on the cover of The Paul Simon Songbook.
    On July 25, 2016, he performed "Bridge over Troubled Water" at the 2016 Democratic National Convention.
    More Details Hide Details In an in-depth interview reprinted in American Songwriter, Simon discusses the craft of songwriting with music journalist Tom Moon. In the interview, Simon explains the basic themes in his songwriting: love, family, social commentary, etc., as well as the overarching messages of religion, spirituality, and God in his lyrics. Simon goes on in the interview to explain the process of how he goes about writing songs, "The music always precedes the words. The words often come from the sound of the music and eventually evolve into coherent thoughts. Or incoherent thoughts. Rhythm plays a crucial part in the lyric-making as well. It's like a puzzle to find the right words to express what the music is saying." In the late 1990s, Simon wrote and produced a Broadway musical called The Capeman, which lost $11 million during its 1998 run. In April 2008, the Brooklyn Academy of Music celebrated Paul Simon's works, and dedicated a week to Songs From the Capeman with a good portion of the show's songs performed by a cast of singers and the Spanish Harlem Orchestra. Simon himself appeared during the BAM shows, performing "Trailways Bus" and "Late In the Evening". In August 2010, The Capeman was staged for three nights in the Delacorte Theatre in New York's Central Park. The production was directed by Diane Paulus and produced in conjunction with the Public Theater.
    On February 22, 2016 a Simon spokesperson announced the upcoming release of his thirteenth solo studio album, Stranger to Stranger.
    More Details Hide Details Simon began writing new material shortly after releasing his twelfth studio album, So Beautiful or So What, in April 2011. Simon collaborates with the Italian electronic dance music artist Clap! Clap! on three songs—"The Werewolf", "Street Angel", and "Wristband". Simon was introduced to him by his son, Adrian, who was a fan of his work. The two met up in July 2011 when Simon was touring behind So Beautiful or So What in Milan, Italy. He and Clap! Clap! worked together via email over the course of making the album. Simon also worked with longtime friend Roy Halee, who is listed as co-producer on the album. Halee, who had since retired, was mostly recruited to advise on how to create natural echo. He was unfamiliar with Pro Tools, so engineer Andy Smith helped him with it. "I always liked working with him more than anyone else," Simon noted.
    Simon also wrote and performed the theme song for the comedian Louis C.K.'s show Horace and Pete, which debuted January 30, 2016.
    More Details Hide Details The song, which can be heard during the show's opening, intermission, and closing credits, is sparse, featuring only Simon's voice and an acoustic guitar. Simon made a cameo appearance onscreen in the tenth and final episode of the series.
  • 2015
    Age 73
    On September 11, 2015, Simon appeared during the premiere week of The Late Show with Stephen Colbert.
    More Details Hide Details Simon, who performed “Me and Julio Down by the Schoolyard” with Colbert for his surprise appearance, had been promoted prior to the show as "Simon and Garfunkel tribute band Troubled Waters." Simon's additional performance of "An American Tune" was posted as a bonus on the show's YouTube channel.
    On August 4, 2015, Simon performed "Me and Julio Down by the Schoolyard", "Homeward Bound", and "Late in the Evening" alongside Billy Joel at the final concert of Nassau Coliseum on Long Island, New York.
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  • 2014
    Age 72
    In February 2014, Simon embarked on a joint concert tour titled On Stage Together with English musician Sting, playing 21 concerts in North America.
    More Details Hide Details The tour continued in early 2015, with ten shows in Australia and New Zealand, and 23 concerts in Europe, ending on 18 April 2015.
  • 2013
    Age 71
    In September 2013, Simon delivered the Richard Ellmann Lectures in Modern Literature at Emory University.
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    On June 14, 2013, at Sting's Back to Bass Tour, Simon performed his song "The Boxer" and Sting's "Fields of Gold" with Sting.
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  • 2012
    Age 70
    On December 19, 2012, Simon performed at the funeral of Victoria Leigh Soto, a teacher killed in the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting.
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    On June 5, 2012, Simon released a 25th anniversary box set of Graceland, which included a remastered edition of the original album, the 2012 documentary film Under African Skies, the original 1987 "African Concert" from Zimbabwe, an audio narrative "The Story of 'Graceland'" as told by Paul Simon, and other interviews and paraphernalia.
    More Details Hide Details He played a few concerts in Europe with the original musicians to commemorate the anniversary.
    On February 26, 2012, Simon paid tribute to fellow musicians Chuck Berry and Leonard Cohen who were the recipients of the first annual PEN Awards for songwriting excellence at the JFK Presidential Library in Boston, Massachusetts.
    More Details Hide Details In 1986 Simon was awarded an Honorary Doctor of Music degree from Berklee College of Music where he currently serves on the Board of Trustees.
  • 2011
    Age 69
    On September 11, 2011, Paul Simon performed "The Sound of Silence" at the National September 11 Memorial & Museum, site of the World Trade Center, on the 10th anniversary of the September 11 attacks.
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    Rounding off his 2011 World Tour, which included United States, England, the Netherlands, Switzerland and Germany, Simon appeared at Ramat Gan Stadium in Israel in July 2011, making his first concert appearance in Israel since 1983.
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  • 2010
    Age 68
    In 2010, Simon received an honorary degree from Brandeis University, where he performed "The Boxer" at the main commencement ceremony.
    More Details Hide Details In October 2011, Simon was inducted into the American Academy of Arts and Science. At the induction ceremony, he performed "American Tune." In 2012, Simon was awarded the Polar Music Prize.
    The first video featured J.M. Gates' giving the sermon and his church in 2010 with its display board showing many of Simon's lyrics; the second video illustrates the song with cartoon images.
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    Simon performed the song live on The Colbert Report on December 16, 2010.
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    On November 10, 2010, Simon released a new song called "Getting Ready for Christmas Day".
    More Details Hide Details It premiered on National Public Radio, and was included on the album So Beautiful or So What. The song samples a 1941 sermon by the Rev. J.M. Gates, also entitled "Getting Ready for Christmas Day".
    In the premiere show of the final season of The Oprah Winfrey Show on September 10, 2010, Simon surprised Oprah and the audience with a song dedicated to Oprah and her show lasting 25 years (an update of a song he did for her show's 10th anniversary).
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  • 2009
    Age 67
    In May 2009, Simon toured with Garfunkel in Australia, New Zealand, and Japan.
    More Details Hide Details In October 2009, they appeared together at the 25th Anniversary of The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame concert at Madison Square Garden in New York City. The pair performed four of their most popular songs, "The Sound of Silence," "The Boxer," "Cecilia," and "Bridge Over Troubled Water." Simon's album So Beautiful or So What was released on the Concord Music Group label on April 12, 2011. The album received high marks from the artist, "It's the best work I've done in 20 years." It was reported that Simon attempted to have Bob Dylan guest on the album.
    In February 2009, Simon performed back-to-back shows in New York City at the Beacon Theatre, which had recently been renovated.
    More Details Hide Details Simon was reunited with Art Garfunkel at the first show as well as with the cast of The Capeman; also playing in the band was Graceland bassist Bakithi Kumalo.
  • 2007
    Age 65
    The event featured his music, and was nationally broadcast on PBS on the evening of June 27, 2007.
    More Details Hide Details Performers at the concert included Shawn Colvin, Philip Glass, Alison Krauss, Jerry Douglas, Ladysmith Black Mambazo, Lyle Lovett, James Taylor, Stevie Wonder, and Simon's former partner Art Garfunkel. On June 26, Warner Bros. released the definitive Paul Simon greatest-hits collection. The Essential Paul Simon consisted of two discs that reviewed 36 songs from his ten studio albums, and was also released on a special edition featuring a DVD of music videos and memorable live performances. The album was a commercial hit, reaching #12 in the UK. After living in Montauk, New York, for many years, Simon relocated to New Canaan, Connecticut. Simon is one of a small number of performers who are named as the copyright owner on their recordings (most records have the recording company as the named owner of the recording). This noteworthy development was spearheaded by the Bee Gees after their successful $200 million lawsuit against RSO Records, which remains the largest successful lawsuit against a record company by an artist or group. All of Simon's solo recordings, including those originally issued by Columbia Records, are currently distributed by Sony Records' Legacy Recordings unit. His albums were issued by Warner Music Group until mid-2010. In mid-2010, Simon moved his catalog of solo work from Warner Bros. Records to Sony/Columbia Records where Simon and Garfunkel's catalog is. Simon's back catalog of solo recordings would be marketed by Sony Music's Legacy Recordings unit.
    On March 1, 2007, Simon made headlines again when the Library of Congress announced that he would be the first recipient of the recently created Gershwin Prize for Popular Song.
    More Details Hide Details Simon received the prize during a concert gala at the Warner Theatre in Washington, D.C., on the evening of May 23.
  • 2006
    Age 64
    In 2006, Simon was selected by Time Magazine as one of the "100 People Who Shaped the World."
    More Details Hide Details In 2007, Simon received the first annual Library of Congress Gershwin Prize for Popular Song. (Stevie Wonder and Paul McCartney followed in 2009 and 2010.) Named in honor of George and Ira Gershwin, this new award recognizes the profound and positive effect of popular music on the world's culture. On being notified of the honor, Simon said, "I am grateful to be the recipient of the Gershwin Prize and doubly honored to be the first. I look forward to spending an evening in the company of artists I admire at the award ceremony in May. I can think of a few who have expressed my words and music far better than I. I'm excited at the prospect of that happening again. It's a songwriter's dream come true." Among the performers who paid tribute to Simon were Stevie Wonder, Alison Krauss, Jerry Douglas, Lyle Lovett, James Taylor, Dianne Reeves, Marc Anthony, Yolanda Adams, and Ladysmith Black Mambazo. The event was professionally filmed and broadcast and is now available as Paul Simon and Friends.
  • 2004
    Age 62
    In March 2004, Walter Yetnikoff published a book called 'Howling at the Moon', in which he criticized Simon personally and for his tenuous business partnership with Columbia Records in the past.
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  • 2003
    Age 61
    In 2003, he participated on another Simon & Garfunkel reunion.
    More Details Hide Details One year later, Simon's studio albums were re-released both individually and together in a limited-edition nine-CD boxed set, Paul Simon: The Studio Recordings 1972–2000. At the time, Simon was already working on a new album with Brian Eno called Surprise, which was released in May 2006. Most of the album was inspired by the September 11 terrorist attacks, the Iraq invasion, and the war that followed. In personal terms, Simon was also inspired by the fact of having turned 60 in 2001, which he humorously referred to on "Old" from You're the One. Simon showed special care about the musical venture he traveled since 1986's Graceland. As he put it, "Once you go away for a bit, you wonder who people think you are. If they don't know what you're up to, they just go by your history. I'm so often described as this person that went to other cultures, which is true, but I never thought of it that way. I suspect people are thinking, 'What culture did you go to?' But this record is straight-ahead American."
    In 2003, Simon and Garfunkel reunited once again when they received a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award.
    More Details Hide Details This reunion led to a US tour—the acclaimed "Old Friends" concert series—followed by a 2004 international encore that culminated in a free concert at the Colosseum in Rome that drew 600,000 people. In 2005, the pair sang "Mrs. Robinson" and "Homeward Bound," plus "Bridge Over Troubled Water" with Aaron Neville, in the benefit concert From the Big Apple to The Big Easy – The Concert for New Orleans (eventually released as a DVD) for Hurricane Katrina victims. The pair reunited in April 2010 in New Orleans at the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival.
  • 2002
    Age 60
    He received an Oscar nomination for the song "Father and Daughter" in 2002.
    More Details Hide Details He is also a two-time inductee into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame; as a solo artist in 2001, and in 1990 as half of Simon & Garfunkel. In 2001, Simon was honored as MusiCares Person Of The Year. The following year, he was one of the five recipients of the annual Kennedy Center Honors, the nation's highest tribute to performing and cultural artists. In 2005, Simon was saluted as a BMI Icon at the 53rd Annual BMI Pop Awards. Simon's songwriting catalog has earned 39 BMI Awards including multiple citations for "Bridge over Troubled Water," "Mrs. Robinson," "Scarborough Fair" and "The Sound of Silence". As of 2005, he has amassed nearly 75 million broadcast airplays, according to BMI surveys.
    In 2002, he wrote and recorded "Father and Daughter," the theme song for the animated family film The Wild Thornberrys Movie.
    More Details Hide Details The track was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Song.
  • FIFTIES
  • 2001
    Age 59
    Simon has won 12 Grammy Awards (one of them a Lifetime Achievement Award) and five Album of the Year Grammy nominations, the most recent for You're the One in 2001.
    More Details Hide Details
    On September 29, 2001, Simon made a special appearance on the first SNL to air after the September 11, 2001 attacks.
    More Details Hide Details On that show, he performed "The Boxer" to the audience and the NYC firefighters and police officers. He is also a friend of former SNL star Chevy Chase, who appeared in his video for "You Can Call Me Al" lip synching the song while Simon looks disgruntled and mimes backing vocals and the playing of various instruments beside him. Chase would also appear in Simon's 1991 video for the song "Proof" alongside Steve Martin. He is a close friend of SNL producer Lorne Michaels, who produced the 1977 TV show The Paul Simon Special, as well as the Simon and Garfunkel concert in Central Park four years later. Simon and Lorne Michaels were the subjects of a 2006 episode of the Sundance Channel documentary series, Iconoclasts.
    On September 21, 2001, Simon sang "Bridge Over Troubled Water" on "America: A Tribute to Heroes," a multinetwork broadcast to benefit the September 11 Telethon Fund.
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    Simon has earned twelve Grammys for his solo and collaborative work, including a Lifetime Achievement Award. In 2001, he was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and in 2006 was selected as one of the "100 People Who Shaped the World" by Time magazine.
    More Details Hide Details In 2011, Rolling Stone magazine named Simon as one of the 100 Greatest Guitarists. In 2015 he was named as one of The 100 Greatest Songwriters by Rolling Stone Magazine. Among many other honors, Simon was the first recipient of the Library of Congress's Gershwin Prize for Popular Song in 2007. In 1986, Simon was awarded an Honorary Doctor of Music degree from Berklee College of Music, where he currently serves on the Board of Trustees.
  • 2000
    Age 58
    In an attempt to return successfully to the music market, Simon wrote and recorded a new album very quickly, with You're the One arriving in October 2000.
    More Details Hide Details The album consisted mostly of folk-pop writing combined with foreign musical sounds, particularly grooves from North Africa. While not reaching the commercial heights of previous albums, it managed at least to reach both the British and American Top 20. It received favorable reviews and received a Grammy nomination for Album of the Year. He toured extensively for the album, and one performance in Paris was released to home video.
  • 1999
    Age 57
    In 1999, Simon embarked on a North American tour with Bob Dylan, where each alternated as headline act with a "middle" section where they performed together, starting on the first of June and ending September 18.
    More Details Hide Details The collaboration was generally well-received, with just one critic, Seth Rogovoy, from the Berkshire Eagle, questioning the collaboration.
  • 1998
    Age 56
    In 1998 he was entered in the Grammy Hall of Fame for the Simon & Garfunkel album Bridge over Troubled Water.
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  • 1997
    Age 55
    Simon recorded an album of songs from the show, which was released in November 1997.
    More Details Hide Details It was received with very mixed reviews, though many critics praised the combination of doo-wop, rockabilly and Caribbean music that the album reflected. In commercial terms, Songs from The Capeman was a failure—it found Simon missing the Top 40 of the Billboard charts for the first time in his career. The cast album was never released on CD but eventually became available online. After the disaster of The Capeman, Simon's career was again in an unexpected crisis. However, entering the new millennium, he maintained a respectable reputation, offering critically acclaimed new material and receiving commercial attention.
  • 1995
    Age 53
    In 1995 he made news for appearing on The Oprah Winfrey Show, where he performed the song "Ten Years," which he composed specially for the tenth anniversary of the show.
    More Details Hide Details Also that year, he was featured on the Annie Lennox version of his 1973 song "Something So Right," which appeared briefly on the UK Top 50 once it was released as a single in November. Since the early stages of the nineties, Simon was fully involved on The Capeman, a musical that finally opened on January 29, 1998. Simon worked enthusiastically on the project for many years and described it as "a New York Puerto Rican story based on events that happened in 1959—events that I remembered." The musical tells the story of real-life Puerto Rican youth Salvador Agron, who wore a cape while committing two murders in 1959 New York, and went on to become a writer in prison. Featuring Marc Anthony as the young Agron and Rubén Blades as the older Agron, the play received terrible reviews and very poor box office receipts from the very beginning, and closed on March 28 after just 68 performances—a failure that reportedly cost Simon 11 million dollars.
  • 1993
    Age 51
    After Unplugged, Simon's place in the forefront of popular music dropped notably. A Simon & Garfunkel reunion took place in September 1993, and in another attempt to capitalize on the occasion, Columbia released Paul Simon 1964/1993 in September, a three-disc compilation that received a reduced version on the two-disc album The Paul Simon Anthology one month later.
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  • 1992
    Age 50
    His third wife is folk singer Edie Brickell, 24 years his junior, whom he married on May 30, 1992.
    More Details Hide Details They have three children: Adrian, Lulu, and Gabriel. Paul Simon and his younger brother, Eddie Simon, founded the Guitar Study Center in New York City. The Guitar Study Center later became part of The New School in New York City. Simon is a proponent of music education for children. In 1970, after recording his "Bridge Over Troubled Water", at the invitation of the NYU's Tisch School of the Arts, Simon held auditions for a young songwriter's workshop. Advertised in the Village Voice, the auditions brought hundreds of hopefuls to perform for Simon. Among the six teenage songwriters Simon selected for tutelage were Melissa Manchester, Tommy Mandel and rock/beat poet Joe Linus, with Maggie and Terre Roche (the Roche Sisters), who later sang back-up for Simon, joining the workshop in progress through an impromptu appearance. Simon invited the six teens to experience recording at Columbia studios with engineer Roy Halee at the board. During these sessions, Bob Dylan was downstairs recording the album Self-Portrait, which included a version of Simon's "The Boxer". Violinist Isaac Stern also visited the group with a CBS film crew, speaking to the young musicians about lyrics and music after Joe Linus performed his song "Circus Lion" for Stern.
    On March 4, 1992, he appeared on his own episode of MTV Unplugged, offering renditions of many of his most famous compositions.
    More Details Hide Details Broadcast in June, the show was a success, though it did not receive an album release.
  • FORTIES
  • 1991
    Age 49
    On August 15, 1991, almost a decade after his concert with Garfunkel, Simon staged a second concert in Central Park with African and South American bands.
    More Details Hide Details The success of the concert surpassed all expectations, and reportedly over 750,000 people attended—one of the largest concert audiences in history. He later remembered the concert as, " the most memorable moment in my career." The success of the show led to both a live album and an Emmy-winning TV special. In the middle, Simon embarked on the successful Born at the Right Time Tour, and promoted the album with further singles, including "Proof"—accompanied with a humorous video that again featured Chevy Chase, and added Steve Martin.
  • 1988
    Age 46
    In an attempt to capitalize on his renewed success, WB Records released the album Negotiations and Love Songs in November 1988, a mixture of popular hits and personal favorites that covered Simon's entire career and became an enduring seller in his catalog.
    More Details Hide Details After Graceland, Simon decided to extend his roots with the Brazilian music-flavored The Rhythm of the Saints. Sessions for the album began in December 1989, and took place in Rio de Janeiro and New York, featuring guitarist JJ Cale and many Brazilian and African musicians. The tone of the album was more introspective and relatively low-key compared to the mostly upbeat numbers of Graceland. Released on October 1990, the album received excellent critical reviews and achieved very respectable sales, peaking at #4 in the U.S. and No. 1 in the UK. The lead single, "The Obvious Child," featuring the Grupo Cultural Olodum, became his last Top 20 hit in the UK and appeared near the bottom of the Billboard Hot 100. Although not as successful as Graceland, The Rhythm of the Saints was received as a competent successor and consistent complement on Simon's attempts to explore (and popularize) world music, and also received a Grammy nomination for Album of the Year.
  • 1987
    Age 45
    He received the Grammy Award for Album of the Year in 1987 and also Grammy Award for Record of the Year for the title track one year later.
    More Details Hide Details He also embarked on the very successful Graceland Tour, which was documented on music video. Simon found himself embracing new sounds, which some critics viewed negatively—however, Simon reportedly felt it was a natural artistic experiment, considering that world music was already present on much of his early work, including such Simon & Garfunkel hits as "El Condor Pasa" and his early solo recording "Mother and Child Reunion," which was recorded in Kingston, Jamaica. One way or another, Warner Bros. Records (who by this time controlled and reissued all his previous Columbia albums) re-established Simon as one of their most successful artists.
  • 1984
    Age 42
    While driving his car in late 1984 in this state of frustration, Simon listened to a cassette of the Boyoyo Boys' instrumental "Gumboots: Accordion Jive Volume II" which had been lent to him by Heidi Berg, a singer songwriter he was working with at the time.
    More Details Hide Details Lorne Michaels had introduced Paul to Heidi when Heidi was working as the bandleader for Lorne's "The New Show". Interested by the unusual sound, he wrote lyrics to the number, which he sang over a re-recording of the song. It was the first composition of a new musical project that became the Grammy-award winning album Graceland, a mixture of musical styles including pop, a cappella, isicathamiya, rock, zydeco and mbaqanga. Simon travelled to South Africa to embark on further recording the album. Sessions with African musicians took place in Johannesburg in February 1985. Overdubbing and additional recording was done in April 1986, in New York. The sessions featured many South African musicians and groups, particularly Ladysmith Black Mambazo. Simon also collaborated with several American artists, singing a memorable duet with Linda Ronstadt in "Under African Skies," and playing with Los Lobos in "All Around the World or The Myth of the Fingerprints." Simon was briefly listed on the U.N. Boycott list but removed after he had indicated he had not violated the cultural boycott.
  • 1983
    Age 41
    His second marriage, from 1983 to 1984, was to actress and author Carrie Fisher to whom he proposed after a New York Yankees game.
    More Details Hide Details The song "Hearts and Bones" was written about this relationship. The song "Graceland" is also thought to be about seeking solace from the end of this relationship by taking a road trip. A year after divorcing, Simon and Fisher resumed their relationship for several years.
    The song "Train in the Distance," from Simon's 1983 album Hearts and Bones, is about this relationship.
    More Details Hide Details Simon's 1972 song "Run That Body Down," from his second solo album, casually mentions both himself and his then-wife ("Peg") by name.
    Simon released Hearts and Bones in 1983.
    More Details Hide Details This was a polished and confessional album that was eventually viewed as one of his best works, but that marked a lull in his commercial popularity; both the album and the lead single, "Allergies," missed the American Top 40. Hearts and Bones included "The Late Great Johnny Ace," a song partly about Johnny Ace, an American R&B singer, and partly about slain Beatle John Lennon. A successful U.S. solo tour featured Simon and his guitar, with a recording of the rhythm track and horns for "Late In The Evening." In January 1985, Simon lent his talent to USA for Africa and performed on the relief fundraising single "We Are the World." As he commented years later, after the disappointing commercial performance of Hearts and Bones, Simon felt he had lost his inspiration to a point of no return, and that his commercial fortunes were unlikely to change.
  • THIRTIES
  • 1980
    Age 38
    In 1980 he released One-Trick Pony, his debut album with Warner Bros.
    More Details Hide Details Records and his first in almost five years. It was paired with the motion picture of the same name, which Simon wrote and starred in. Although it produced his last Top 10 hit with the upbeat "Late in the Evening" (also a No. 1 hit on the Radio & Records American charts), the album did not sell well, in a music market dominated by disco music.
  • 1977
    Age 35
    He achieved another hit in this decade, with the lead single of his 1977 compilation, Greatest Hits, Etc., "Slip Slidin' Away," reaching No. 5 in the United States.
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  • 1976
    Age 34
    Also, on May 3, 1976, Simon put together a benefit show at Madison Square Garden to raise money for the New York Public Library.
    More Details Hide Details Phoebe Snow, Jimmy Cliff and the Brecker Brothers also performed. The concert produced over $30,000 for the Library. After three successful studio albums, Simon became less productive during the second half of the 1970s. He dabbled in various projects, including writing music for the film Shampoo, which became the music for the song "Silent Eyes" on the "Still Crazy" album, and acting (he was cast as Tony Lacey in Woody Allen's film Annie Hall).
  • 1975
    Age 33
    Highly anticipated, Still Crazy After All These Years was his next album. Released in October 1975 and produced by Simon and Phil Ramone, it marked another departure.
    More Details Hide Details The mood of the album was darker, as he wrote and recorded it in the wake of his divorce. Preceded by the feel-good duet with Phoebe Snow, "Gone at Last" (a Top 25 hit) and the Simon & Garfunkel reunion track "My Little Town" (a No. 9 on Billboard), the album was his only No. 1 on the Billboard charts to date. The 18th Grammy Awards named it the Album of the Year and Simon's performance the year's Best Male Pop Vocal. With Simon in the forefront of popular music, the third single from the album, "50 Ways to Leave Your Lover" reached the top spot of the Billboard charts, his only single to reach No. 1 on this list.
  • 1973
    Age 31
    Simon's next project was the pop-folk album, There Goes Rhymin' Simon, released in May 1973.
    More Details Hide Details It contained some of his most popular and polished recordings. The lead single, "Kodachrome," was a No. 2 hit in America, and the follow-up, the gospel-flavored "Loves Me Like a Rock" was even bigger, topping the Cashbox charts. Other songs like the weary "American Tune" or the melancholic "Something So Right" — a tribute to Simon's first wife, Peggy, which received a Grammy Award nomination for Best Song of the Year — became standards in the musician's catalog. Critical and commercial reception for this second album was even stronger than for his debut. At the time, reviewers noted how the songs were fresh and unworried on the surface, while still exploring socially and politically conscious themes on a deeper level. The album reached No. 1 on the Cashbox album charts. As a souvenir for the tour that came next, in 1974 it was released as a live album, Live Rhymin', which was moderately successful and displayed some changes in Simon's music style, adopting world and religious music.
  • 1972
    Age 30
    They had son Harper Simon in 1972 and divorced in 1975.
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    His album Paul Simon was released in January 1972, preceded by his first experiment with world music, the Jamaican-inspired "Mother and Child Reunion," considered one of the first examples of reggae by a white musician.
    More Details Hide Details The single was a hit, reaching both the American and British Top 5. The album received universal acclaim, with critics praising the variety of styles and the confessional lyrics, reaching No. 4 in the U.S. and No. 1 in the UK and Japan. It later spawned another Top 30 hit with "Me and Julio Down by the Schoolyard".
  • TWENTIES
  • 1970
    Age 28
    After Simon and Garfunkel split in 1970, Simon began writing and recording solo material again.
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    The duo split up in 1970 at the height of their popularity and Simon began a successful solo career as a guitarist and singer-songwriter, recording three highly acclaimed albums over the next five years.
    More Details Hide Details In 1986, he released Graceland, an album inspired by South African township music. Simon also wrote and starred in the film One-Trick Pony (1980) and co-wrote the Broadway musical The Capeman (1998) with the poet Derek Walcott.
  • 1969
    Age 27
    Simon has been married three times, first to Peggy Harper in late autumn 1969.
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  • 1968
    Age 26
    Simon and Garfunkel returned to England in the fall of 1968 and did a church concert appearance at Kraft Hall, which was broadcast on the BBC, and also featured Paul's brother Ed on a performance of the instrumental "Anji."
    More Details Hide Details Simon pursued solo projects after Bridge over Troubled Water, reuniting occasionally with Garfunkel for various projects, such as their 1975 Top Ten single "My Little Town." Simon wrote it for Garfunkel, whose solo output Simon judged as lacking "bite." The song was included on their respective solo albums—Paul Simon's Still Crazy After All These Years and Garfunkel's Breakaway. Contrary to popular belief, the song is not autobiographical of Simon's early life in New York City. In 1981, they reunited again for the famous concert in Central Park, followed by a world tour and an aborted reunion album, to have been entitled Think Too Much, which was eventually released (without Garfunkel) as Hearts and Bones. Together, they were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1990.
  • 1966
    Age 24
    The American group the Cyrkle recorded a cover of "Red Rubber Ball" that reached No. 2 in the U.S. Simon also contributed to the Seekers catalogue with "Someday One Day," which was released in March 1966, charting around the same time as Simon and Garfunkel's "Homeward Bound."
    More Details Hide Details Back on the American East Coast, radio stations began receiving requests for one of the Wednesday Morning tracks, Simon's "The Sound of Silence." Their producer, Tom Wilson, overdubbed the track with electric guitar, bass guitar and drums, releasing it as a single that eventually went to No. 1 on the U.S. pop charts. The song's success drew Simon back to the United States to reunite with Garfunkel. Together they recorded four more albums: Sounds of Silence; Parsley, Sage, Rosemary and Thyme; Bookends; and the hugely successful Bridge over Troubled Water. Simon and Garfunkel also contributed extensively to the soundtrack of the Mike Nichols film The Graduate (1967), starring Dustin Hoffman and Anne Bancroft. While writing "Mrs. Robinson," Simon originally toyed with the title "Mrs. Roosevelt". When Garfunkel reported this indecision over the song's name to the director, Nichols replied, "Don't be ridiculous! We're making a movie here! It's Mrs. Robinson!"
  • 1965
    Age 23
    In 1965, he recorded a solo LP The Paul Simon Songbook in England.
    More Details Hide Details While in the UK, Simon co-wrote several songs with Bruce Woodley of the Australian pop group the Seekers, including "I Wish You Could Be Here," "Cloudy," and "Red Rubber Ball." Woodley's co-author credit was omitted from "Cloudy" on the Parsley, Sage, Rosemary and Thyme album.
  • 1964
    Age 22
    Simon and Garfunkel's first LP, Wednesday Morning, 3 A.M., was released on October 19, 1964; it consisted of 12 songs in the folk vein, five written by Simon.
    More Details Hide Details The album initially flopped. Simon moved to England to pursue a solo career, touring folk clubs and coffee houses. At the first club he played, the Railway Inn Folk Club in Brentwood, Essex, he met Kathy Chitty who became his girlfriend and inspiration for "Kathy's Song," "America," and others. He performed at Les Cousins in London and toured provincial folk clubs that exposed him to a wide range of musical influences.
    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.
    More Details Hide Details Columbia decided that the two would be called simply "Simon & Garfunkel," abandoning the group's previous name "Tom and Jerry." Simon said in 2003 that this renaming as "Simon & Garfunkel" marked the first time artists' surnames had been used in pop music.
  • 1962
    Age 20
    Simon enjoyed some moderate success in recording a few singles as part of a group called Tico and the Triumphs, including a song called "Motorcycle" that reached No. 97 on the Billboard charts in 1962.
    More Details Hide Details Tico and the Triumphs released four 45s. Marty Cooper, known as Tico, sang lead on several of these releases. A childhood friend, Bobby Susser, children's songwriter, record producer, and performer, co-produced the Tico 45s with Simon. That year, Simon reached No. 99 on the pop charts as Jerry Landis with the novelty song "The Lone Teen Ranger." Both chart singles were released on Amy Records.
  • TEENAGE
  • 1957
    Age 15
    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".
    More Details Hide Details Most of the songs Simon recorded during that time were performed alone or with musicians other than Garfunkel. They were released on several minor record labels, such as Amy, Big, Hunt, King, Tribute, and Madison. He used several pseudonyms for these recordings, including Jerry Landis, Paul Kane, and True Taylor.
  • CHILDHOOD
  • 1945
    Age 3
    In 1945, his family moved to the Kew Gardens Hills section of Flushing, Queens, in New York City.
    More Details Hide Details The musician Donald Fagen has described Simon's childhood as that of "a certain kind of New York Jew, almost a stereotype, really, to whom music and baseball are very important. I think it has to do with the parents. The parents are either immigrants or first-generation Americans who felt like outsiders, and assimilation was the key thought—they gravitated to black music and baseball looking for an alternative culture." Simon, upon hearing Fagen's description, said it "isn't far from the truth." Simon says about his childhood, "I was a ballplayer. I'd go on my bike, and I'd hustle kids in stickball." He adds that his father was a New York Yankees fan: Simon's musical career began after meeting Art Garfunkel when they were both 11. They performed in a production of Alice in Wonderland for their sixth-grade graduation, and began singing together when they were 13, occasionally performing at school dances. Their idols 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.
  • 1941
    Born
    Simon was born on October 13, 1941, in Newark, New Jersey, to Hungarian Jewish parents.
    More Details Hide Details His father, Louis (1916–1995), was a college professor, upright bass player, and dance bandleader who performed under the name "Lee Sims". His mother, Belle (1910–2007), was an elementary school teacher.
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