Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel were an American folk rock duo. They were one of the best-selling music groups of the 1960s, and their biggest songs included “The Sound of Silence” (1965), “Mrs. Robinson” (1968), “The Boxer” (1969), and “Bridge Over Troubled Water” (1970).
In 1953, Simon and Garfunkel met in elementary school in Queens, New York, where they learned to harmonise and wrote songs. As teenagers, they enjoyed little success with “Hey Schoolgirl” (1957), a song that imitated their idols, the Everly Brothers. Recognizing a growing public interest in folk music, they reformed and signed to Columbia Records as Simon & Garfunkel in 1963.
Their debut, Wednesday Morning, 3 A.M., did not sell well, and Simon went on to pursue a solo career, this time in England. A revised version of “The Sound of Silence,” overdubbed with electric guitar and percussion, became a US AM radio hit in June 1965, peaking at number one on the Billboard Hot 100. The duo reformed to record their second studio album, Sounds of Silence, and to tour campuses around the country. They took more creative autonomy on their third album, Parsley, Sage, Rosemary, and Thyme (1966). Their song was featured in the 1967 picture The Graduate, which provided them with additional notoriety. Their following album, Bookends (1968), topped the Billboard 200 list and featured the film’s number-one single “Mrs. Robinson.”
Simon and Garfunkel’s partnership was tumultuous, resulting in artistic differences and their split in 1970. Bridge over Troubled Water, their final studio album, was released in January of that year and quickly became one of the best-selling albums in the world. Following their split, Simon recorded a number of critically praised albums, notably 1986’s Graceland. Garfunkel had solo songs like “All I Know” and dabbled in acting, with leading roles in Mike Nichols’ Catch-22 and Carnal Knowledge, as well as Nicolas Roeg’s 1980 Bad Timing. The duo has reassembled multiple times; their 1981 show in Central Park may have drawn more than 500,000 people, making it one of the most attended concerts in history.
Simon and Garfunkel received ten Grammy nominations and were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1990. Richie Unterberger called them “the most successful folk-rock combo of the 1960s” and one of the decade’s most popular performers. They are among the best-selling music performers, with over 100 million records sold. They were voted 40th on Rolling Stone’s list of the Greatest Artists of All Time in 2010 and third on their list of the Greatest Duos of All Time.
Simon and Garfunkel’s music evolved from a basic folk rock sound to include more experimental elements for the time, such as Latin and gospel music, during the course of their career. According to Rolling Stone, their music struck a chord with lonely, alienated young adults near the end of the decade.
Bridge Over Troubled Water was number 51 on Rolling Stone’s list of the 500 Greatest Albums of All Time in 2003, followed by Parsley, Sage, Rosemary, and Thyme at number 201, Bookends at number 233, and Greatest Hits at number 293.
In 2004, Rolling Stone ranked “Bridge Over Troubled Water” 47th, “The Boxer” 105th, and “The Sound of Silence” 156th on their list of the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.
|Bridge over Troubled Water|
|Parsley, Sage, Rosemary and Thyme|
|Sounds of Silence|
|Wednesday Morning, 3 A.M.|
Frequently Asked Questions
What Was The Biggest Hit Of Simon And Garfunkel?
The biggest hit for Simon and Garfunkel was “The Sound of Silence.” The song peaked at number one on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in the United States and was a top ten hit in various other countries. It has since been certified platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA).
What Was Simon And Garfunkel’S First Major Hit Song?
The Sound of Silence was Simon and Garfunkel’s first major hit song. It was released in 1964 and reached number one on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. The song was written by Paul Simon and produced by Tom Wilson.
Did Simon & Garfunkel Have A Number One Hit?
Yes, Simon & Garfunkel had a number one hit with their song “The Sound of Silence.” The song reached the top spot on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in early 1966.