Songs of America 1969 DVD Released
SONGS OF AMERICA 1969 is a vintage CBS television program from a turbulent time in our nation’s past. Considered controversial at the time, the program features footage of Simon and Garfunkel on stage, in the studio and on tour. It also integrates video montages of key events of the era, including news clips of Martin Luther King, Robert Kennedy, activist Cesar Chavez, and the Poor People’s March on Washington.
The List: Simon & Garfunkel’s Greatest Songs
From The Washington Times
“September 19th marked the 30th anniversary of Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel´s reunion concert in Central Park. The concert in New York City was attended by an estimated 500,000. Mr. Simon and Mr. Garfunkel had broken up in 1970 after disagreements over their last (and most successful) album, “Bridge Over Troubled Water.” The New York City duo made five studio albums from 1964 to 1970. ‘The List’ this week looks at the top 10 songs from those albums.
10. “Dangling Conversation”: This haunting song about broken love and failed communication reveals some of Mr. Simon’s best lyrics. “Couched in our indifference/Like shells upon the shore,” writes Mr. Simon. The song was later recorded by Joan Baez.
9. “Wednesday Morning, 3 A.M.”: The title song from the duo’s debut album is a simple and poignant folk song. While tragic and filled with the dread of what the morning may bring, the tune is also a touching love song.
8. “America”: An achingly beautiful story of a couple traveling across the United States by bus. The song appeared on the “Bookends” album. David Bowie sang a moving version of the song at the “Concert For New York City” after 9/11.
7. “I Am a Rock”: First recorded on “The Paul Simon Songbook” album in August 1965 in England, it was later rerecorded and appeared as the final track on the “Sounds of Silence” album in December 1965. The song was recorded by the British band the Hollies in 1966.
6. “Mrs. Robinson”: This was the duo’s second No. 1 hit. An early version appeared in the motion picture “The Graduate.” The complete song debuted on their album “Bookends” (1968) and earned the duo a Grammy for Record of the Year in 1969.
5. “Homeward Bound”: This folk song was written by Mr. Simon in the industrial town of Widness, near Liverpool, England, in 1965 while he was a solo performer. The song appeared on the “Parsley, Sage, Rosemary and Thyme” album in 1966.
4. “The Only Living Boy in New York”:Mr. Simon wrote this while Mr. Garfunkel was down in Mexico filming scenes for the film “Catch-22.” Mr. Simon felt abandoned as he worked on the “Bridge Over Troubled Water” album alone.
3. “The Boxer”: This was the first hit single from the “Bridge Over Troubled Water” album. The duo performed the missing verse at the Central Park concert. The lyrics from the verse, “After changes upon changes, we are more or less the same,” drew a large applause from the crowd, who associated it with the duo’s 12-year separation.
2. “Bridge Over Troubled Water”: This was from the eponymously titled album. Mr. Garfunkel’s voice range was truly tested with this song. Mr. Simon has acknowledged that while Mr. Garfunkel performed the song alone on the stage, he would stand in the wings thinking, “That’s my song, man.” The tune spent six weeks at No. 1, but the duo separated shortly afterward.
1. “The Sound Of Silence”: The remixed electric/acoustic version of the song started it all and propelled the singing duo to fame. The acoustic version appeared on “Wednesday Morning, 3 A.M.” in 1964. The overdubbed version, with electric guitar by Al Gorgoni, and without the knowledge or participation of Mr. Simon and Mr. Garfunkel, was re-released as a single in September 1965. It reached No. 1 on New Year’s Day 1966. Mr. Simon sang the song at the recent 9/11 Memorial at ground zero.
Bonus track: “For Emily, Whenever I May Find Her”: This song didn’t make the Top Ten list, but it´s one of the duo’s best songs, with sublime synchronization of Mr. Simon’s lyrics and Mr. Garfunkel’s voice. The rock-funk band the Red Hot Chili Peppers and Sarah McLachlan both produced excellent covers of the tune.”
Art’s vocal cord paresis continued to affect his voice. “I had such hopes of being finally ready to perform. How painful to try and not be quite yet there,” says Garfunkel. Manager John Scher says, “Art wants to perform, more than anything. He’s going to come back stronger than ever.”
The Singer – ( August 28) a new compilation of songs personally selected by Art Garfunkel from his life’s work. It has 34 songs on two CDs (1/4 S&G; ¾ AG) including two brand new cuts, “Long Way Home” and “Lena” which Art recently recorded in Los Angeles with Maia Sharp. Matt Craig, a “brilliant engineer,” according to Art, “should be credited with helping put it together (cross fades, etc.).” Art said “the selections are are deep favorites of mine, like; “The Promise,” “All I Know,” stripped down to just Jimmy Webb and me, “Perfect Moment,” Jobim’s “Waters of March,” a stage recording of “Kathy’s Song” from the Old Friends tour 8 years ago, “Skywriter” my bio from Jimmy Webb, “The Decree,” from “The Animal’s Christmas,” “The Thread” which I co-wrote.”
Art wrote insightful liner notes for each of the 34 songs. On the back cover of the cd, there is a photo of Art and his wife, Kathryn , semi-clad, on a swing in a primeval garden!
The Official UK Album Chart (Top 100) for the week ending 27 October 2012 has The Singer at #10. That’s the highest he has been on the chart since 1979’s Fate For Breakfast which peaked at number 2.
Rolling Stones Tribute
Art Garfunkel performed at Carnegie Hall on March 13, 2012 in a tribute concert to The Rolling Stones. This fundraiser concert, benefiting music & arts programs for underprivileged youth, celebrates the 40th Anniversary of the release of Hot Rocks 1964-1971, the Stones’ highest selling album. The Daily Express UK reported on the concert:
“Another highlight came when Art Garfunkel stepped up to perform “Ruby Tuesday” – it marked the singer’s first major public appearance since he was forced to step back from the spotlight in 2010 after being diagnosed with vocal paresis.” Billboard reported “a few a-ha moments were to come starting with a euphoric version of “Ruby Tuesday” by the made-for-Carnegie-Hall-Art Garfunkel, whose crisp tenor warmed the crowd.”
Rolling Stone Playlist
50 Top Artists Reveal their favorites. Art Garfunkel’s included:
‘This kicked me in the ass,” Garfunkel says of the rock & roll he discovered as a teen, listening to the radio with his pal Paul Simon. “It woke me up”.
– “Oh, What a Night” by The Dells, 1956
We used to dance the Fish to this: a slow backbeat with a bump and grind in the hips.
– “Gee”by The Crows, 1953
– “‘Earth Angel” by The Penguins, 1954
The Penguins said it best here. Some records are hot and percussive and it’s like they’re red-orange. This one’s midnight-blue, for me.
– “Soldier Boy”by The Four Fellows, 1955
– “Killer Joe” by The Rocky Fellers, 1963
“Be My Baby” by The Ronettes, 1963
Phil Spector wrote the bible on this one
– “Let It Be Me” by The Everly Brothers, 1960
It made everything else sound toneless
– “Help Me, Rhonda” by The Beach Boys, 1965
Paul and I were always jealous of their hits.
– “Baby Come Back” by Player, 1977
– “Have You Seen Her” by The Chi-Lites, 1971
I love that lead line. It’s moody as all hell.
Art’s Ten Favorite Architectural Spots in New York City
In a New York Post interview, Art talks about one of his favorite subjects – architecture.
Long Road to Recovery
While Art continued to struggle with his vocal cords, he began rehearsing with Tab Lavin on guitar. The process was slow and psychologically painful. To help regain his stage presence, Art scheduled dozens of “rehearsals” before small groups of fans (25 – 50). With each performance, Art’s voice grew stronger as the year came to an end. More formal, yet small shows were planned for late 2013 and well into 2014 – Art now believed he was truly on the road to recovery. Concerts were scheduled in the United States, England and Japan.
S&G Sounds of Silence
Simon and Garfunkel’s “The Sound of Silence” had been selected as one of 25 recordings to be preserved at the U.S. Library of Congress. The track, which was originally released on the duo’s first album, Wednesday Monring, 3 A.M., became a #1 hit in 1966 after Columbia Records producer Tom Wilson overdubbed drums, electric guitar and electric bass for the song’s release as a single. Recordings are added to the National Recording Registry for long-term preservation due to cultural, artistic and historic importance to the nation’s aural legacy.
Garfunkel, 71, told The Associated Press he’s thrilled and flattered to have his work preserved in the Library of Congress. He said the hit album was a life changer for him and Simon. “Da da dee, da dee, da dee,” he sang in an interview. “There’s something fundamentally appealing about the simplicity of those lines.”
“When you look at the little mesh, wire microphone … and you address people on the other side of the mic, you hope that your performance will be special, and you hope that it will have lasting power,” he said, adding that he remembers thinking in the 60s that “if we do really good and give a very special performance to these great Paul Simon songs, we might last right into the next century and be appreciated.”
Art Harmonizes with Jimmy Webb
Still Within the Sound of My Voice, the new album from Jimmy Webb, features vocal performances from singers who have recorded his songs over the last 45 years. Art and Jimmy have been friends for four decades and have worked together since 1973 (“All I Know”). Art joins Jimmy on “Shattered,” which they recorded in early 2013 and is one of Art’s favorite Jimmy Webb songs. Other featured artists include; Carly Simon, Brian Wilson, America, Marc Cohn, Amy Grant, Lyle Lovett, David Crosby & Graham Nash, Joe Cocker and others.
Art Signs Book Deal
Art has signed a book deal with Alfred A. Knopf, a New York publishing house which is part of the Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group at Random House.
Art completed his walk across Europe! Starting in western Ireland (County Clare) in May 1998, he reached Istanbul, Turkey in August, 2014. Garfunkel first traversed Japan on foot, and then the United States between 1983 and 1997 which was celebrated with the live Across America concert CD and film. Art started his European trek the next year. “I walk for the exercise, for the spiritual flush,” says Art. “I sing, I write, I try to connect with the wonder of it all. It’s been a beautiful, healthy, and fine madness.”
Continuing his “rehearsal” tour in small venues throughout the United Sates, Art was building up his voice and finessing his show. In September, Art officially kicked off his theater tour with guitarist Tab Laven. He brought his two-man show to five venues across the U.K., including a performance at London’s Royal Festival Hall. He finished up the year with six shows in Japan in December. His live set encompassed his solo hits, Simon & Garfunkel songs, cuts from his favorite songwriters–Jimmy Webb, Randy Newman, A.C. Jobim and Paul Simon–parts of his new book, and answering questions from the audience. Recalling his return to singing on stage, Art said, “The first 30 to 40 were dodgy, but I did them anyway. It was very brave stuff. I give myself credit for kicking my ass onto the stage and singing, even if I wasn’t quite ready. I’m grateful to God. I delight in hearing that Artie Garfunkel sound coming out of my mouth.”
“The voice is back,” Art told Rolling Stone magazine. “I’m in flight again. I believe I have grown through adversity. A new creation has emerged that is truly exciting me — my stage show.”
In a review of a July Los Angeles-area concert, Daily Variety said he
” …connects emotionally with several songs from his post S&G career, including a remarkably powerful ’99 Miles From L.A.’ and ‘Corcovado,’ which he described as a ‘mature love song’…Part of the show’s appeal is Garfunkel’s laser-like focus on the theme of love’s redemptive powers and there’s nary a moment in the show when he strays from a yearning idealism and emotional purity that would seem too precious in hands less sure and a spirit less seasoned…Other tales are closer to home for Garfunkel and packed with emotional resonance, such as his appreciation for his late father, who he credits with bringing Caruso records to their home in Queens back in his youth, thus setting him on his career path…Since he also leads his audience through beautifully rendered valleys and delicate side-streets, the combination makes for a richly rewarding, unique evening.”
Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction
On the evening of Thursday, April 10, 2014 Brooklyn’s Barclays Center had witnessed a long evening full of miraculous moments only possible at the annual Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction. Art inducted Cat Stevens, who now goes by the name Yusuf Islam. “If Paul and I hadn’t split up around 1970 there’d be no room on the charts for Cat Stevens to take over,” he said. “‘Bridge Over Troubled Water had to go away so that Tea for the Tillerman could arrive.” Ceremony aired May 31 on HBO.
On October 3rd Art received the prestigious Steiger Award in Dortmund, Germany. The award was created by private initiative and is presented annually to individuals who are notable for accomplishments in charity, music, film, media, sports, the environment and building of the European community
In March 2015, Art returned to Europe for shows in Ireland, Holland, Belgium, France, Germany and Denmark. He continued to perform dozens of cities across the United States. Art performed two special sold out shows at London’s Royal Albert Hall on September 21 and New York’s Carnegie Hall on October 3rd.
On Performing Live Shows
“The live show allows me to be the sensitive singer that I like to be. I can drop the notion that I have to have upbeat numbers. It’s just me and a guitar, so it’s less-is-more taken to the extreme. If you believe in your own vocal as colorful and worth hearing, you only want one guitar. You want a sort of 75/25 volume balance where the vocal is paramount,” he explained.
Art in Israel – 10,000 people maybe more…..
On June 10th, Art performed for the first time in Israel as a solo artist to a sellout cowed at Bloomfield Stadium. He began and ended the show with Hebrew invocations, sung with a white satin kippa on his head.
Comments from Art Garfunkel Regarding His Return to Carnegie Hall for a Sold Out Performance
I keep going back to Jampol– “Why are you, Art, not seen in the way Van Morrison, the Ramones, Doors, Leonard Cohen as a Mainstain- a re-emerging artist, devoted for decades to the music world.
I had a home run in New York City last night. Sold out up to the high rafters, I was in form. My love showed. Stage legs are back. Less is more worked beautifully in the room.
Little Beau started the night with intense adorability, in his rented tuxedo: “Ladies and Gentlemen, here’s my Daddy-“. I open with “April” then give them my piece- 3 stages of the fame trip. The 3rd stage, poor Domino, booked to work a 5 year old’s B Day party and is lame. I then rewrote: “I AM Domino (slip into Dylan Thomas’ voice-) I wasn’t always this way; I was once a lovely little curly-headed lad, . . Now I’m an old entertainer with a phony British accent. But the heart is still young. And the voice is back! Surge into “The Boxer”. “I dare to be a man who loves pretty things- dusty rose. Here’s a song I wrote from the 11th of my 12 Cds – “Perfect Moment”. It scored beautifully in the house. I then gave them “Beau and the Globe” (the bliss he has sometimes in his home life). “A Heart in New York/All I Know” (I could feel the voice is firm. I’m on tonight. I do the “Texter” my story of vocal vulnerability during mending (“I always made peace with the fiercest of lions because I could sing in the cage. Now I lost rapport .). When I hit the part where the politician/ass starts texting in the front row center (editor’s note: this incident occurred several years ago on Long Island), and I verbally challenge him, then walk off, the audience applauds me. “Ahh, I say, you applaud confrontation. . But where exactly do you go from there? . . Then “Scarborough,” “Side of a Hill” the anti-war song hidden between the lines of Scarborough. Then the galloping “Poem on the Underground Wall”
After the intermission, my son Arthur Jr and I come out together, I say “This is my son, I want you to hear him sing. We duet “Devoted to You”. I leave, he solos “Smile”. He absolutely kills; the finishing notes are an octave higher than his father’s range!! I read my “Note to Self”. CBS-TV wanted me to give my ‘life lessons” (I say “What do we really ever learn about life, except that it’s a fabulous mystery and you have to be kind to people”. “Fame is a kick, the party’s at your house”. “If you can embrace the differentness of another” (guess whoy Into “Homeward Bound”. Then Randy Newman’s “She’s a Real Emotional Girl” (work the stage, Artie, left and right). I then give them my piece about my father who gave me “Enrico Caruso”, it led to “Bridge Over. I was five.
So I sing the most delicate “For Emily”. Poem: “I have sung for creatures all my life – humans in ’51. I illustrate a Hebrew piece, lovely minor key memory. “Years later I sang for cows, as I WALKED the country. .” “I get weary and sick of tryin’. I’m tired of livin,’ I sing. Many eyes widen, one creature’s cryin’, I say “I’m feared of dyin'” I sing with fragility (who says this in a pop performance?) Into blue-lit “Bright Eyes” (“following the river of death downstream. .) Now Paul Simon. “Forget everything you’ve read, Paul is a man who has enormously enriched my life. Period. “Who will speak at who’s funeral?” (A line that get’s every audience. I do Jack Benny, deadpan pause). Into “The Sound of Silence”. When the pre-recorded drum kicks into the 2nd verse, a “cheat” we finally go rock ‘n’ roll. Fade to black. Bows. Great great appreciation. Tab and I. “Kathy’s Song” most beautiful singing of the night. Here, God make’s His first appearance– in Tab’s “ride out” at the end of “Kathy” I find my eyes, my head going up and up and all around and up to the roof of Carnegie to the alleyway in Queens age five when I first sang and felt the Giver of the gift. I felt: ‘I will return’. Now Arthur Jr returns, tribute to Phil Everly, “Let It Be Me”. I say to my boy, almost cheek to cheek, “So never leave me lonely.” His warmth to me is palpable. Kim runs up on stage, with roses for us, “This is my bride, the great actress, Kathryn Luce”, we kiss, I introduce “Bridge with my piece about playing the Albert Hall (“Soon I will rise onto the mesa . Enter the pop warrior. . Be beautiful, be a man, . Go out on the field of praise to the apron, tell every stall, . Tonight is all.
Tonight Show Appearance
On the September 30 episode of The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon, Art took part in a funny “Black Simon & Garfunkel” skit with members of The Roots.
Art and Arthur Jr. to Appear on German TV
On November 26, 2015, Art and his son, Arthur Jr. will make an appearance on the popular German television show Florian Silbereisen Show. They will sing solo as well as together.
National German Sustainability Award
Art was the recipient of the prestigious National German Sustainability Award on November 27, 2015. The Awards Ceremony is designed as a gala night including film clips, tribute speeches, appearances by prominent musicians and guests of honour. The award is endorsed by the German Federal Government and are presented to individuals promoting the idea of a sustainable society by Federal Chancellor Angela Merkel or other members of her cabinet. The German Sustainability Award was established in 2008 to encourage the acceptance of social and ecological responsibility and to identify role models in this area.
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