Happy Birthday to Art Garfunkel, who turns 76 on 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. Garfunkel has just published What Is It All But Luminous – Notes From An Underground Man, his long-awaited autobiography, which sheds new and important light on his relationship with Paul Simon and the evolution of Simon & Garfunkel’s sound and rise to fame.
Back in May 2015, Garfunkel slammed Simon for continuing full force on his solo career, seemingly oblivious to both Garfunkel and their fans’ pleas for yet another Simon & Garfunkel reunion, saying he had “created a monster” by befriending and supporting Simon while school kids back in Queens and referred to Simon alternately as a “jerk” and an “idiot” for splitting with him in 1971 at the peak of the duo’s success. Garfunkel also went on to agree with the interviewer who suggested that the five-foot, three-inch Simon might suffer from a “Napoleon complex.”
After that, during Garfunkel’s chat with The Guardian, he once again touched upon his relationship with Simon, saying, “Paul Simon is a man who has enormously enriched my life, period. . . we’ve enriched each other’s lives. What would have been his life if his friend Artie didn’t sing so good and been so good and produced those records so good? What would it have been? Something smaller.”
Before the Simon & Garfunkel 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 slowly battled to regain his voice after suffering from a paralysis of his vocal cords, which thankfully have fully healed.
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 10 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.”
Paul Simon recently broke down the magic behind Simon & Garfunkel’s classic sound: “With Simon & Garfunkel, we would sing a take together on mic — on one mic. And when we got the take that we wanted, then we would double it individually. I would sing my part individually on mic, and Artie would sing his individually on mic. And when you combine them together, and they would be, y’know, perfectly in sync; that’s what Simon & Garfunkel sounded like. That’s what the sound was.”
Photo Courtesy of CBS Records