Paul Frederic Simon (born October 13, 1941) is an American singer-songwriter and guitarist, half of the folk-singing duo Simon and Garfunkel who continues a successful solo career. In 2006, Time Magazine called him one of the "100 people who shape our world". 
Early life and career
Born into a Hungarian Jewish family in Newark Heights, New Jersey, who soon moved to Queens in New York City, Simon's musical career began in Forest Hills High School when he and his friend Art Garfunkel began singing together as a duo, occasionally performing at school dances. Their idols were the Everly Brothers, whom they often emulated and/or imitated in their early recordings. Simon and Garfunkel called themselves "Tom & Jerry", and it was under this name that the duo first had success. In 1957, they recorded the single "Hey, Schoolgirl", on Big Records which reached forty-nine on the pop charts while they were still in their late teens.
After graduating from high school, Simon attended and graduated from Queens College, while Garfunkel studied at Columbia University in Manhattan. Simon was a Brother in the Alpha Epsilon Pi Fraternity. Though Simon earned a degree in English literature, his real passion was rock and roll. Between 1957 and 1964, Simon wrote, recorded, and released more than thirty songs, occasionally reuniting with Garfunkel as Tom & Jerry for some singles, including "Our Song", "That's My Story", and "Surrender, Please Surrender", among others. He also briefly attended Brooklyn Law School.
Most of the songs Simon would record over the six years after 1957, however, would be performed either alone or with musicians other than Garfunkel. These were released on a multitude of minor record labels, such as Amy, ABC-Paramount, Big, Hunt, Ember, King, Tribute, and Madison. He used several different pseudonyms for these recordings, including Jerry Landis, Paul Kane (from Orson Welles's film Citizen Kane), and True Taylor. Simon enjoyed some mediocre success in recording a few singles under the pseudonym Tico as part of a group called Tico and the Triumphs. He wrote the song "Motorcycle", which was recorded by Tico and the Triumphs and reached ninety-nine on the Billboard charts in 1962. Tico and the Triumphs released 4 "45s". Marty Cooper, a member of the group, actually sang lead on several of these releases and was known as Tico. That same year, Paul reached ninety-seven on the pop charts as Jerry Landis with the hit "The Lone Teen Ranger"; both singles were released on Amy Records.
During this period, Simon met Carole King, with whom he recorded several unreleased demos as a duo called The Cosines to be recorded and released by other groups. In addition, Simon's experience in the studio led him to produce many singles for other acts, including The Vels, Ritchie Cordell, The Fashions, Jay Walker and the Pedestrians, and Dougie and the Dubs. It was also at this time that he became attracted to the New York folk music scene and made his first forays into the folk-rock genre, as is evident in the songs "Carlos Dominguez" and "He Was My Brother" (1963), the latter of which he dedicated to a friend and former classmate, Andrew Goodman, after Goodman was murdered while working on the Freedom Summer project in Mississippi in 1964. During the mid-1960s, Simon co-wrote the song "Red Rubber Ball" with Bruce Woodley of the Australian pop group The Seekers. When the American group The Cyrkle recorded a cover of the song, it reached number two in the US.
Simon and Garfunkel
In early 1964, Simon and Garfunkel got an audition with Columbia Records, whose executives were impressed enough to sign the duo to a contract to produce an album. Columbia decided that the two would be called simply "Simon & Garfunkel", which, according to Simon, was the first time that ethnic names (both Simon and Garfunkel are of Jewish descent) were used in pop music.
Simon and Garfunkel's first LP, Wednesday Morning, 3 A.M., released on 19 October 1964, consisted of a set of twelve songs in the folk vein, five of them written by Simon. The album initially flopped, but radio stations on the east coast of the USA began receiving requests for one of Simon's songs on the LP called "The Sound of Silence". Simon & Garfunkel's producer, Tom Wilson, overdubbed the track with electric guitar, bass, and drums, and released it as a single that eventually went to number one on the pop charts in the United States. Simon had gone to England after the initial failure of Wednesday Morning, 3 A.M., and pursued a solo career there, releasing the album The Paul Simon Song Book in the United Kingdom in 1965, but he returned to the USA to reunite with Garfunkel after "The Sound of Silence" began to enjoy commercial success. Together they recorded several influential albums, including 1966's Parsley, Sage, Rosemary and Thyme, Bookends, and Bridge Over Troubled Water (1970). Simon and Garfunkel also contributed exclusively to the soundtrack of the 1967 film The Graduate (starring Dustin Hoffman and Anne Bancroft). They recorded an early version of "Mrs. Robinson" not intended for the film. (The song was originally titled Mrs. Roosevelt, about the good old days of Eleanor Roosevelt and Joe Dimaggio. Reportedly, when director Mike Nichols heard the song, he told Paul, "It's Mrs. Robinson now.")
Simon pursued solo projects after the duo released their very popular album Bridge over Troubled Water. Occasionally, he and Garfunkel would reunite, such as in 1975 for their Top Ten single "My Little Town", which Simon originally wrote for Garfunkel, claiming his work was lacking ‘bite’, until Garfunkel insisted they sing the song together, and put it on both of their solo albums, Paul Simon's Still Crazy After All These Years, and Garfunkel's Breakaway. Contrary to popular belief, the song is not at all autobiographical of Simon’s early life in New York. In 1981, they reunited for the famous concert in Central Park, followed by an aborted reunion album Think Too Much, which was eventually released (sans Garfunkel) as Hearts and Bones. Together, they were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1990.
In 2003, the two reunited again when they received Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award. This reunion led to a U.S. tour, the acclaimed "Old Friends" concert series, followed by a 2004 international encore, which culminated in a free concert at the Colosseum in Rome. That final concert drew 600,000 people — 100,000 more than had attended Paul McCartney's concert at the same venue a year earlier.
Simon is not known as an especially prolific songwriter, but his output has nonetheless been of the highest calibre. After Simon and Garfunkel split in 1970, Simon began to write and record solo material. He released Paul Simon in 1972, which contained one of his first experiments with world music, the jamaican inspired Mother and Child Reunion, and There Goes Rhymin' Simon in 1973, which featured such popular hit songs as "Something So Right" (a tribute to his first wife, Peggy) and "Kodachrome". His 1975 album Still Crazy After All These Years is considered to be among his finest work, particularly the title track and the hit single "50 Ways to Leave Your Lover." Although mostly silent over the next ten years, he kept himself in the public with songs such as "Slip Slidin' Away," "Late in the Evening," "Hearts and Bones," and "The Late Great Johnny Ace," his tribute to slain ex-Beatle John Lennon.
In 1986 he released the immensely popular Graceland, for which he won a Grammy. The album featured the groundbreaking use of African rhythms and performers such as Ladysmith Black Mambazo. In 1990, he followed up Graceland with the commercially successful and consistent successor album The Rhythm of the Saints, which featured Brazilian and Cajun musical themes. These albums helped to popularize world music as a genre. The importance of both albums allowed Simon to stage another New York concert, and on August 15th 1991, almost 10 years after his concert with Garfunkel, Simon staged another concert in Central Park with both African and South American bands. The success led to both a live album and a Emmy winning TV special
His 2000 studio album You're the One, disappointed fans who expected more of the musical adventurousness found on his previous two albums. A DVD of the same title, taped in Paris, was released in 2000. In 2002 he recorded the theme song for the animated childrens movie The Wild Thornberrys Movie called "Father and Daughter". It was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Song.
Simon's latest album, called Surprise, produced by Brian Eno and Simon, was released on May 9, 2006. In commenting on US TV show "Ellen" what drove him to write material for this latest album, Simon noted the events of 9/11 2001 and also turning 60 since his previous album "You're the One".
In 2004, Simon's record company announced the release of expanded editions of each of his solo albums, individually and together in a limited-edition nine-disc boxed set, Paul Simon: The Studio Recordings 1972–2000. The expanded individual albums feature a total of thirty bonus tracks, including original song demos, live recordings, duets, six never-before-released songs, and outtakes from each of his nine solo albums.
Simon was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame a second time in 2000 for his achievements as a solo artist.
Simon has also dabbled in acting. He played music producer Tony Lacey in the 1977 Woody Allen film Annie Hall, and wrote and starred in 1980's One Trick Pony as Jonah Levin, a journeyman rock and roller. Paul Simon also appeared on The Muppet Show. In the late 1990s, he also wrote and produced a Broadway musical called The Capeman, which was a commercial flop, and lost $11 million. He has also appeared on Saturday Night Live, either as host or musical guest, seven times, most recently on May 13, 2006 when he appeared as musical guest and sang two new songs from his Surprise album, How Can You Live in the Northeast?, and Outrageous.
Simon has been married three times. His first was to the slightly older Peggy Harper; they were married in late autumn 1969. The song "Train in the Distance", from Simon's 1983 album, is about her. They had a son, Harper James Simon, in 1972. They divorced in 1975, though on good terms. His second marriage was to Carrie Fisher (Hearts and Bones is about her) to whom he proposed after a New York Yankees game. They were married on August 16, 1983 for a period of just eleven months, during which time she miscarried. Simon's current wife is Edie Brickell to whom he was married on May 30, 1992. Their first child, Adrian Edward, was born by the end of the year. Daughter Loulou Belle followed in 1995 and son Gabriel Elijah in 1998. His first son, Harper Simon is a guitarist.
As Simon and Garfunkel
As Paul Simon
[a] as True Taylor
[b] as Jerry Landis
[c] recorded on Laurie Records as a member of The Mystics
[d] recorded as Tico & The Triumphs with Mickey Borack, Marty Cooper, Gail Lynn and Howie Beck.
[e] as Jerry Landis, but recorded with the members of Tico & the Triumphs.
[f] backing vocals on this record by Ritchie Cordell
[g] as Paul Kane
[h] released only in the UK as CBS 201797
[i] A-side with The Dixie Hummingbirds
[j] A-side as a duet with Phoebe Snow
[k] A-side with The Oak Ridge Boys
[l] released only in the UK
NB: This discography does not include singles released under the pseudonym "Tom & Jerry" with Art Garfunkel or singles released by Simon & Garfunkel
Work on Broadway