If you'll be my bodyguard, I can be your long lost pal.
I can call you Betty and Betty when you call me you can call me Al.
Paul Simon (born October 13, 1941) is an American folk and rock musician known both for his initial career in the folk-rock duo Simon & Garfunkel
and his eclectic solo career, which has ranged from straightforward pop, rock and folk to world music explorations.
Simon first got together with Art Garfunkel
in 1957 under the name "Tom and Jerry", but the partnership only became permanent with the success of their 1964 Signature Song
"The Sounds of Silence". The duo released a string of critically acclaimed albums and became famous for their close harmonies and Simon's alternately surreal, poetic and humorous lyrics, before calling it a day in 1970.
Simon quickly moved on to a solo career, releasing the eponymous Paul Simon
in 1972. For the rest of The Seventies
, Simon pursued a jazz-pop sound with occasional elements from other genres such as gospel ("Loves Me Like a Rock") and reggae ("Mother and Child Reunion"). While his first three albums were greeted warmly by the record-buying public and critics, he went on a hiatus after 1976, dabbling with acting for a while. His supposed "comeback" records between 1980-1986 saw him abandoning his jazzy sound in favour of more experimentation and sold poorly.
However, Simon rebounded with his Magnum Opus
. Recorded in South Africa
with a cast of talented African musicians and containing a fusion of Western pop-rock and folk music with African genres such as isicathamiya and mbaqanga, the album was released in 1986 to a wildly positive response despite criticism of Simon for recording in South Africa at the height of Apartheid
. The album re-established Simon as a successful artist and became an enduring benchmark by which "world music" experiments by other pop artists are measured.
Away from the music world, Simon is a member of the Saturday Night Live
Five-Timer's Club (even appearing in the original titular sketch). His memorable music video for "You Can Call Me Al" features Chevy Chase
This musician provides examples of: