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Art Garfunkel is a singer and one half of the 60s folk-rock duo Simon & Garfunkel.
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Art Garfunkel was born on November 5, 1941, in Forest Hills, New York. He met fellow musician Paul Simon while in school and went on to form a band called Tom and Jerry. Though the duo didn't find much success with the Tom and Jerry moniker, they began to gain a following after changing their name to Simon and Garfunkel and releasing songs that spoke to the generation of the '60s and '70s,
such as "Bridge over Troubled Water" and "The Sound of Silence." They continued to combine their talents to create a catchy folk sound for audiences.
Singer Arthur "Art" Garfunkel was born in Forest Hills, New York, on November 5, 1941, to Rose and Jack Garfunkel. Sensing his son's enthusiasm for melody, Jack, a traveling salesman, bought Garfunkel a wire recorder. Even as young as 4, Garfunkel would sit for hours with the gadget, singing, listening and fine-tuning his voice, and then recording again. "That got me into music more than anything else, singing and being able to record it," he recalls.
At Forest Hills Junior Elementary School, the young Art Garfunkel was known for belting out Righteous Brothers songs in empty hallways, and for performing in plays. He soon caught the attention of classmate Paul Simon. The two lived only blocks from each other in Queens, but wasn't until Simon heard Garfunkel sing that their fates aligned. Soon, the duo began singing in school talent shows and practicing long hours in basements. During their high school years, the future Grammy winners performed as the band Tom and Jerry, writing their own music and making professional recordings. Their Everly Brothers-influenced track "Hey Schoolgirl" was a minor hit, and secured the duo a recording contract with Big Records in 1957.
After their initial success waned, Simon and Garfunkel decided to go their separate ways and attend college. Garfunkel stayed close to home and attended Columbia University, where he studied Art History and joined a fraternity. He later earned a Master's degree in mathematics, also at Columbia. Throughout college, he continued to sing, releasing a handful of solo tracks while becoming ensconced in the growing folk scene. Once again, their parallel talents and interests brought Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel together. In 1962, the former Tom and Jerry reunited as a new, more folk-oriented duo.
In late 1964, as the newly minted Simon & Garfunkel, the pair released the studio album Wednesday Morning, 3 A.M. Now signed to Columbia Records, Simon & Garfunkel began an ascent to folk-rock stardom that continued until 1970. Some of their most iconic songs still grace the airwaves today. Songs like "Bridge over Troubled Water," "The Sound of Silence," "Scarborough Fair/Canticle," and "America" are part of the consciousness of an entire generation. Simon & Garfunkel won five Grammy Awards between 1968 and 1970, including Record of the Year and Album of the Year. Perhaps most notable was their work on the soundtrack of the 1967 film The Graduate.
Longtime bandmates Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel parted ways in 1970, but they remained friends, and eventually reunited later in their careers.
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Legendary folk-rock duo Simon & Garfunkel—comprised of Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel—performed songs that spoke to the generation of the 1960s and '70s, including "Bridge Over Troubled Water," "The Sound of Silence" and The Graduate soundtrack hits "Scarborough Fair" and "Mrs. Robinson." Today, the duo is credited as one of the most popular and influential acts of the era.
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