Happy Birthday to Art Garfunkel, who turns 71 today (November 5th). Garfunkel, who is best known for his string of hits as part of Simon & Garfunkel, has gone on to enjoy a long and varied career since his 1970 split with Paul Simon. Before the pair split in 1970, Garfunkel began his acting career, debuting in 1969's Catch .22, followed by 1971's Carnal Knowledge, and the 1980 drama Bad Timing. Since 2010, Garfunkel has been battling to regain his voice after suffering from a paralysis of his vocal cords. Last month, he once again was forced to scrap a handful of European and North American comeback dates until his voice returned.
In 1973 he released his first solo album, Angel Clare, which went to Number Five on the charts. His 1975 album Breakaway featured the Simon & Garfunkel reunion track "My Little Town," which became a Top Ten hit. In 1978, Garfunkel again teamed up with Simon and good friend James Taylor for a remake of Sam Cooke's "(What A) Wonderful World." That same year, Garfunkel embarked on his first-ever solo tour.
After the success of Simon & Garfunkel's 1981 reunion in New York's Central Park, the duo spent the better part of 1982 and 1983 touring Europe and the U.S. Although plans for a reunion album fell through in 1983, the pair reunited on stage in 1993 and again for their Old Friends tour in 2003-2004.
In 2006, Garfunkel released his first album of standards called Some Enchanted Evening. The set featured such evergreens as "Someone To Watch Over Me," "Life Is But A Dream," "What'll I Do," and the title track "Some Enchanted Evening."
Garfunkel says that he's never felt the need to chase fads or adapt to new industry trends: "Well, I'm true to my sense of Simon & Garfunkel, and everything since. A great medium-paced record, if the groove is there, is a wonderful thing. And I sing 'em gluey. I hold my notes and I feel the rock n' roll of my era in my style."
Despite being born and raised in New York, Garfunkel admits that he's always been a Philadelphia Phillies fan: "It occurred to me when I was a kid that if you're a New Yorker you don't have to be a Brooklyn Dodger fan or a New York Yankee fan, and those few New York Giant fans. . . not for me. And then one day I saw the Dodgers at Ebbetts Field play the Phillies and I just loved those red uniforms, they were pinstripe and there was Richie Ashburn and Robin Roberts. I thought, 'There's my team.'"
Out now is the new Art Garfunkel solo compilation, The Singer.
The set, which debuted at Number Seven on Billboard's Folk Albums chart, was compiled with Garfunkel's assistance, spans his entire career -- from Simon & Garfunkel through such solo classics as Angel Claire, Breakaway, Watermark, Scissors Cut -- up through his most recent collection, 2007's Some Enchanted Evening.