Happy birthday Art Garfunkel!

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Art Garfunkel (born November 5, 194) is an American singer, poet, actor, and songwriter. He is best known as part of the folk duo Simon & Garfunkel. Some of their biggest hits included "The Sound of Silence," "Mrs. Robinson," and "Bridge Over Troubled Water."

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Garfunkel was born in Queens, New York to Rose and Jacob "Jack" Garfunkel. Garfunkel loved music from an early age and after he began singing, his father bought him a wire recorder. He would spend hours in his room recording his own voice, then playing it back. He became interested in basketball as a result of a lung infection that left him temporarily unable to sing.

He met Paul Simon, who would go on to become his singing partner in Simon & Garfunkel, in the sixth grade after the two were cast in the same school play. Between 1956 and 1962, the two performed and even recorded together under the name Tom & Jerry, including the hit "Hey Schoolgirl."

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During the early 1960s, Garfunkel went to Columbia University, where he studied art history and later got an M.A. in mathematics. It was around this time that he and Simon got back together and recorded their first album as Simon & Garfunkel, Wednesday Morning, 3 A.M (1964) under Columbia Records. Though the album was not much of a commercial success, the following year the producer added electronic backing to the song "The Sound of Silence," and it went to no. 1 on the Billboard pop charts.

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The duo went on to produce four more popular albums together: Sounds of Silence (1966), Parsley, Sage, Rosemary and Thyme (1966), Bookends (1968), and Bridge over Troubled Water (1970).

The two also contributed to a major part of the soundtrack for the film The Graduate (1967).

Garfunkel was the vocal manager of the duo, coordinating who would sing what and how the songs would be produced. (image source)

As he and Simon began to drift apart, Garfunkel appeared in two Mike Nichols films, Catch-22 (1970) and Carnal Knowledge (1971).

In 1973, he released his first solo album, Angel Clare, which contained the singles "All I Know," "I Shall Sing," and "Travelling Boy." He followed with the album Breakaway in 1975.

It wasn't until 1978 that Garfunkel found another hit with his cover of Sam Cooke's "(What a) Wonderful World" (B-Side: "Wooden Planes"), which reached #1 on the Adult Contemporary chart and #17 pop. By 1979, when he released Fate for Breakfast, his career began to take a downward turn.

His longtime girlfriend, Laurie Bird, committed suicide in their Manhattan apartment not long after and the event left him depressed for most of the next decade.

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The 1980s saw Garfunkel record a few albums of little commercial success, but he did reunite with Simon to perform The Concert in Central Park as well as a world tour. He all but disappeared from the scene until his 1996 live concert Across America. Following this, he performed the theme song for the television series Brooklyn Bridge and a song for the children's series Arthur.

Since then, he has released a few more albums including his first songwriting effort in years, Everything Waits to Be Noticed (2002) and Some Enchanted Evening (2007). He has also appeared in several high-profile concerts including at Madison Square Garden in New York and at the New Orleands Jazz & Heritage Festival. (image source)

He has won several Grammys, a Golden Globe, and was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1990.

 

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Additional Info

  • Birthday Date: Wednesday, 05 November 2014
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