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November 5, 2013

Art Garfunkel

Today, November 5th, marks the 72nd birthday of Art Garfunkel, the Grammy-award winning American singer, poet, and Golden Globe-nominated actor, He’s, of course, best known for being one half of the folk duo Simon & Garfunkel.

Although not exactly a classic rocker in the truest sense of the term, Art’s musical career nonetheless deserves mention in this blog. His voice, which has since been diminished by heavy smoking and aging, was at one time one of the most recognizable and respected in all of music. I still think his effort on Bridge Over Trouble Water stands as one of the pivotal vocal performances in pop music history.

Yet, for all his talents, Art Garfunkel remains an enigma for this blogger. How do we define Art Garfunkel and his musical legacy?

And every time I hear a Simon & Garfunkel classic, I can’t help but ask myself “How much of it was Paul Simon and how much of it was Art Garfunkel?” and “How much did Garfunkel ride on the coat tails of Simon, who wrote and arranged practically all their songs?”

I know I’m not alone in debating who was the more talented musician, Simon or Garfunkel?

Here is my conclusion: Paul Simon would’ve been an incredibly talented singer-songwriter and guitar player, regardless of Art Garfunkel. Art Garfunkel, meanwhile, was in his day the better singer, with far greater range, who provided the perfect harmonizing vocals and often lead voice to the duo’s best songs.

Simon & Garfunkel, childhood friends in Queens, New York, became one of the most successful singing duos in rock history because of each other. They needed each other to complete one of the best singing duos in music history.

So, for all his great contributions to all that great music, the Rocking Lyrics blog wishes Art Garfunkel a happy 72nd birthday.

Now it’s your turn. What is your overall impressions of Art Garfunkel, and what are your favorite Simon & Garfunkel songs?

One Comment
  1. Michelle permalink

    Can’t say that I have any particular impressions of our friend Art. He had the voice of an angel that brought a transcendental quality to the music so beautifully constructed by Paul. Said in another way, Paul Simon’s writing (and here I confess–at the risk of getting smacked around by my musician friends–I connect with his lyrics more than Dylan’s) feeds my mind and my heart, while Art Garfunkel’s voice ministers to my spirit.

    Blah blah blah. Anyway, here are my picks:

    “America” and “My Little Town”.

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