Happy Birthday to the legendary Paul Simon, who celebrates his 77th birthday on Saturday (October 13th)!!! Simon, who last month wrapped his farewell tour in his hometown of Queens, New York, will make history this weekend, when he sets the record as the first artist to serve as the musical guest on Saturday Night Live for the ninth time. Simon, who has a long history with the show, first appeared on SNL’s second episode on October 18th, 1975.
Last month, Paul Simon’s latest studio album, In The Blue Light, was released featuring new recordings of songs from his back solo catalogue. The album, which was produced by Simon and legendary Simon & Garfunkel co-producer Roy Halee, takes its title from the opening line of Simon’s 1980 song “How The Heart Approaches What It Yearns.” High profile musicians on the set include jazz icons Wynton Marsalis, Bill Frisell, Steve Gadd and Jack DeJohnette, as well as New York-based modern chamber sextet yMusic.
Simon said in a statement officially announcing the project: “This album consists of songs that I thought were almost right, or were odd enough to be overlooked the first time around. Re-doing arrangements, harmonic structures, and lyrics that didn’t make their meaning clear, gave me time to clarify in my own head what I wanted to say, or realize what I was thinking and make it more easily understood.”
The tracklisting for In the Blue Light is: “One Man’s Ceiling Is Another Man’s Floor,” “Love,” “Can’t Run But,” “How The Heart Approaches What It Yearns,” “Pigs, Sheep, And Wolves,” “Rene And Georgette Magritte With Their Dog After The War,” “The Teacher,” “Darling Lorraine,” “Some Folks’ Lives Roll Easy,” “and “Questions For The Angels.”
Coming later this year will be yet another new Paul Simon album. At his recent shows, Simon offered fans a music folio, which served as a concert program that included a six-sing MP3 download of a half-dozen songs, which are culled from his upcoming rarities collection, titled Alternative Tunings. No street date has been announced for the rarities set.
In May, Robert Hilburn’s long awaited biography Paul Simon: The Life was published. The book was culled from Hilburn’s years of covering Simon’s life and music — along with over 100 hours of recent and exclusive interviews with the singer-songwriter. Hillburn told us that he knew going in the book needed to serve several purposes: “I wanted him to be happy with it and I wanted history to be happy with it — if that doesn’t sound pretentious. I wanted to tell an honest story as if someone sat down with him and got to know him and learned his life — this is what’s there. I wasn’t looking to sensationalize it, I had no particular agenda other than my curiosity and respect — but that doesn’t mean that I wanted to hide things. If something happened in his life that wasn’t pleasant, I wanted to deal with it as hard as I could.”
Photo Courtesy of WEA