Art Garfunkel: Wikis


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Art Garfunkel

Background information
Birth name Arthur Ira Garfunkel
Born November 5, 1941 (1941-11-05) (age 68)
Origin Forest Hills, New York, U.S.
Genres Folk rock, folk pop, rock, pop
Occupations Singer-songwriter, Actor, Poet
Instruments Vocals, guitar, piano
Years active 1956–present
Labels Columbia Records
Atco Records
Associated acts Simon & Garfunkel

Arthur Ira "Art" Garfunkel (born November 5, 1941) is an American singer, poet and actor, best known as half of the folk duo Simon & Garfunkel. In particular, he is remembered for being the singer of the #1 Hit single, "Bridge Over Troubled Water", as well as going on to have three Top Twenty US Hits, a top ten hit, six top forty hits, fourteen Adult Contemporary top 30 singles, Five Adult Contemporary number ones, two UK number ones, a Golden Globe nomination and a People's Choice Awards after the duo split up.


Early life and career

Art Garfunkel was born in Forest Hills, Queens, New York City, the son of Rose (b. 1911, d. June 17, 2005), a housewife, and Jacob "Jack" Garfunkel (b. 9-Jul-1908, d. Aug-1986), a travelling menswear salesman.[1][2][3] His family was Jewish, with his paternal grandparents having immigrated from Iaşi in Romania, and Garfunkel is the first cousin of pop impresario Lou Pearlman on his mother's side.[4][5][6] Garfunkel attended Forest Hills High School. While neither of Garfunkel's parents had connection to the music business, both did possess good singing voices.

According to the Across America DVD, Garfunkel's love for singing "Came in the first grade. when we were lined up in size order, and after everyone else had left, I'd stay behind and enjoy the echo sound of the classroom tiles and sing "Unchained Melody" and "You'll Never Walk Alone", learning the love this goose-bumps song from the tender age of five." Later, Garfunkel's father bought him a wire recorder and from then on, Garfunkel spent his afternoons singing, recording and playing it back, so he could listen for flaws and learn how to improve.

He met his future singing partner, Paul Simon, in the sixth grade - PS 164, Queens, when they were both cast in the elementary school graduation play, Alice In Wonderland. (Garfunkel was the Cheshire Cat; Simon was the White Rabbit.) At school, Garfunkel was shy, but was able to make friends due to his singing voice. He also had several girlfriends during his teens thanks to his voice, a sweet demeanor and a sense of humor. It has been said by Garfunkel that Simon first became interested in singing after hearing Garfunkel sing a rendition of Nat King Cole's "Too Young" in a school talent show.

Between 1956 and 1962, the two had performed together as Tom & Jerry, occasionally performing at school dances. Their idols were the Everly Brothers, whom they imitated in their use of close two-part harmony. In 1957, while in their mid-teens, Simon and Garfunkel recorded the song "Hey, Schoolgirl" under the name Tom and Jerry, given to them by their label Big Records. The single reached number forty-nine on the pop charts. Garfunkel ("Tom Graph") chose his nickname because he liked to track, or "graph" hits, on the pop charts. He also released some singles as a solo artist, under the name Artie Garr (a shortened version of Garfunkel). In interviews, Garfunkel has noted himself how these early singles distinguished him as a folk-styled crooner,[citation needed] with songs like "Beat World" and "A Soldier And A Song" (both released 1959).

After graduating from Forest Hills high school, Garfunkel studied at Columbia University Garfunkel attended Columbia College in Manhattan in the early 1960s, where he sang with the Kingsmen, an all-male a cappella group (not to be confused with The Kingsmen of "Louie Louie" fame) and was a brother in the Alpha Epsilon Pi Fraternity [7]. In 1962, Garfunkel earned a Bachelor of Arts degree majoring in art history, followed by a Master's degree in mathematics, while Simon attended Queens College.

Simon and Garfunkel

In 1963, he and Simon reformed their duo under their own names as "Simon and Garfunkel" and released their first album, Wednesday Morning, 3 A.M. on Columbia Records in October 1964. It was not a critical success, and the duo subsequently split again. The next year, producer Tom Wilson lifted the song "The Sound of Silence" from the record, dubbed an electric backing onto it, and released it as a single that went to #1 on the Billboard pop charts.

Simon had gone to England in 1965 after the initial failure of Wednesday Morning, 3 A.M., pursuing a solo career. But he returned to the US to reunite with Garfunkel after "The Sounds of Silence" had started to enjoy commercial success, and went on to become one of the most popular acts of the 1960s. Together they recorded four more influential albums, Sounds of Silence; Parsley, Sage, Rosemary and Thyme; Bookends; and the hugely successful Bridge over Troubled Water. Simon and Garfunkel also contributed extensively to the soundtrack of the 1967 Mike Nichols film The Graduate (starring Dustin Hoffman and Anne Bancroft). While writing "Mrs. Robinson," Simon originally toyed with the title "Mrs. Roosevelt." When Garfunkel reported this indecision over the song's name to the director, Nichols replied, "Don't be ridiculous! We're making a movie here! It's Mrs. Robinson!"[8] Simon and Garfunkel returned to England in the Fall of 1968 and did a concert appearance at Kraft Hall which was broadcast on the BBC, and also featured Art's solo performance of "For Emily, Whenever I May Find Her", which received a standing ovation.

While Garfunkel was not a song-writer per se, he did write the poem "Canticle" as a re-write of Simon' "Side of A Hill" From his debut album, for "Scarborough Fair/Canticle". He also worked as the harmony writer for the duo, working out who the songs would be sung by the two and how each song was produced. He is also credited as having written the instrumental on "The Boxer", and creating the Audio montage, "Voices Of The Old People" on "Bookends". Citing personal differences and divergence in career interests, they split following the release of their most critically acclaimed album, Bridge over Troubled Water, in 1970.

Both Simon and Garfunkel pursued solo projects after the duo released their popular album Bridge over Troubled Water. Occasionally, they did reunite, such as in 1975 for their Top Ten single "My Little Town," which Simon originally wrote for Garfunkel, claiming Garfunkel's solo output was lacking "bite." The song was included on their respective 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 City, but on Garfunkel's childhood in Queens.[9] In 1981, they got together again for the famous concert in Central Park, followed by a world tour and an aborted reunion album Think Too Much, which was eventually released (without 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 a 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.[10]

Garfunkel is better known out of the two for this song, since it was solo sung song, instead of a harmony and it has been credited as being the grace note of the seventies. Throughout their career together, Garfunkel was regularly acknowledged as the more popular member, even though Paul Simon was the one who wrote the majority of Simon and Garfunkel's songs. This caused problems during their professional relationship.

Solo career

Art Garfunkel (center) with his band after the show at Liseberg fairground on June 4, 1998

Following a three-year hiatus after Simon & Garfunkel's Break-Up, Garfunkel (who had spent 1971 working as a mathematics teacher in Connecticut), returned to a musical career. His first album was 1973's Angel Clare, which contained "All I Know" (#9 in the United States, US AC #1), along with "I Shall Sing" (US #38, US AC #4) and "Travelling Boy" (US #102, US AC #30) as singles, the album was received with mix reviews, but reached #5 in the U.S.

On his next album, 1975 Breakaway, Garfunkel briefly reunited with Paul Simon for the 1975 hit "My Little Town" (US #9, US AC #1). The album also included the singles "Breakaway" (US #39, US AC #1) and "I Only Have Eyes For You" (a 1934 song written by Harry Warren)[11] (US #18, US AC #1, UK #1), which is noted as being Garfunkel's first U.K. Number One.

Garfunkel's next release was the 1977 album, Watermark (US #19, UK #26), which upon initial release, failed to make an impression on the public. Its main single, Crying In My Sleep (UK #25) failed to reach the US Top 40, but after a two month hiatus where it was taken off the market, it was re-released in January 1978, with Garfunkel's cover of Sam Cooke's "(What a) Wonderful World", which reached #1 on the Adult Contemporary chart and #17 pop, as the new single. Paul Simon, and mutual friend James Taylor, had contributed backing vocals to the song, making the song a huge hit on the U.S. A.C. charts.

Garfunkel's last release of the seventies was the 1979 album, Fate For Breakfast (US #67, UK #2), was his first US flop album. the album first single, "In A Little While (I'll Be On My Way)" (US AC #12) failed to break the top forty, and neither did his second single, "Since I Don't Have You" (US #53, US AC #5, UK #38). But in the U.K. the album was a huge success, scoring a number one hit with "Bright Eyes" (US AC #29, UK #1) (a song written by Mike Batt). A version of "Bright Eyes" also appeared in the movie (based on the famous novel) Watership Down. However, tragedy struck at this time when his long-term girlfriend, Laurie Bird, committed suicide in June 1979, at their Manhattan apartment, just three months after the album's release in March. Garfunkel later admitted that the incident left him in a deep depression for most of the 80's, hence the reason for a lack of musical output during the majority of the decade.

Garfunkel's next album was a low point in his career. The 1981 album, Scissors Cut (US #113, UK #51) (dedicated to Laurie Bird), contained three singles, "A Heart in New York" (US #66, US AC #10), "Scissors Cut" and "Hang On In", with the two failing to chart.

Following disappointing sales of Scissors Cut, Garfunkel reunited with Simon for The Concert in Central Park and a world tour. They had disagreements during the tour. In 1984 Stereo Review Magazine reported that Simon mixed out Garfunkel's voice from a new album, initially slated to be a Simon and Garfunkel studio reunion, but ultimately released as a Simon solo album (Hearts and Bones). In 1986, Garfunkel played the part of the butcher on the Mike Batt Concept Album, The Hunting Of The Snark. Garfunkel again left the music scene during which time his father died, leading further into depression. But in the fall of 1985 he met his future wife, Kathryn Cermack. Garfunkel's retirement lasted a full seven years, until his 1988 album, Lefty (US, #134), which produced only one single, "So Much in Love" (US #76 AC #11).

Garfunkel released his first compilation album in 1984, The Art Garfunkel Album (UK #12), which contained the minor hit "Sometimes When I'm Dreaming" (UK #77). This was followed by 1988 Garfunkel and 1993 Up 'til Now, neither of which received significant critical or commercial success.

His live 1996 concert Across America (UK #35), recorded at the registry hall on Ellis Island features musical guests James Taylor, Garfunkel's wife, Kim, and his son James.[12]

Garfunkel performed the theme song for the 1991 television series, Brooklyn Bridge, and "The Ballad of Buster Baxter" for a 1998 episode of the children's educational television series Arthur, where he was depicted as a singing/narrator moose.[13] Garfunkel's performance of Monty Python member Eric Idle's "Always Look on the Bright Side of Life" was used in the end credits of the 1997 film As Good as It Gets.

Recent events

In 2003, Garfunkel made his debut as a songwriter on his Everything Waits to Be Noticed album. Teaming up with singer-songwriters Maia Sharp and Buddy Mondlock, the album contained several songs whose origins were poems written by Garfunkel. The album is recognized as his first effort at songwriting since his teenage years with Tom & Jerry.

In 2003, Simon and Garfunkel reunited again for a successful world tour that extended into 2004. In 2005, his song "Sometimes When I'm Dreaming" from The Art Garfunkel Album (1984) (written by Mike Batt) was re-recorded by ex-ABBA singer Agnetha Fältskog on her album My Colouring Book.

In 2006, Garfunkel signed with Rhino Records (revived Atco Records), and his first Rhino/Atco album Some Enchanted Evening was released in America on January 30, 2007.[14] The album was a dedicated celebration of pop standards of Garfunkel's childhood. In late February 2007 during a German television interview to promote the new album, he expressed interest in reuniting with Paul Simon on a new Simon and Garfunkel album.[citation needed]

In 2009, Garfunkel appeared as himself on the HBO television show "Flight of the Conchords" episode entitled "Prime Minister." He continues to tour in 2009 with four musicians and his son.[15]

Voice Classification

Garfunkel's voice has been noted as changing over the past four decades, but virtually unnoticeable until his late fifties, when his voice began to lower, after years of smoking. Garfunkel's voice has been noted as being a natural voiced Tenor (In the lower register), who can lower his voice to a G2 on the keyboard (Baritone) and, as heard on the first chorus of "Bridge Over Troubled Water" As high as Eb5 (Counter-Tenor).

Garfunkel has suggested his next album will have songs that are more vocal based.

Acting career

Garfunkel pursued an acting career in the early 1970s, appearing in two Mike Nichols films: Catch-22 (1970), where he played the 19-year old naive Captain Nateley, and Carnal Knowledge (1971), where he played the idealistic Sandy.

He later appeared in Nicholas Roeg's Bad Timing: A Sensual Obsession (1980) as Alex Linden, an American psychiatrist and the film's main Antagonist, which received the Toronto Film Festival's highest honour, the People's Choice Award, in 1980 and the London Film Critics Circle Award for Best Director.

He appeared in Good to Go, (1986) directed by Blain Novak, starring as a Washington, D.C. journalist who struggles to clear his name after being framed for rape and murder.

He then appeared in the dramatic medical crime drama Boxing Helena (1993) directed by Jennifer Chambers Lynch, as Dr. Lawrence Augustine, the supporting character to Antagonist and his close friend.

Garfunkel's most recent film is The Rebound (2010) directed by Bart Freundlich, playing Harry Finklestein, the slightly senile and comedic relieving father of the film's main character, Aram Finklestein (Justin Bartha).

Poetry career

Garfunkel, an avid reader and bibliophile, has admitted that the Garfunkel household was not a literary family, but it was not until his entrance to Columbia College in 1959, that he began to "read a million books and became a reader". It was through this he began an interest in poetry.

Garfunkel's poetic career began in 1981, while on the Simon & Garfunkel 1981-1982 tour in Switzerland, he was riding a motorcycle and began writing a motorcycle describing the countryside. In 1989, Still Water, Garfunkel's collection of prose poetry was released to wide acclaim. Much of the book showed his depression over the loss of his father, Laurie Bird, the friendship of Paul Simon, while others showed the joy of returning to music.

He reportedly has plans to release a second book sometime in 2010.

Personal life

Garfunkel married Linda Marie Grossman in 1972; they divorced in 1975. He has claimed that the marriage was turbulent, and that not only did it end bitterly, Garfunkel has never spoken to her since, and claims he never loved her.[16]

He was romantically involved with actress and photographer Laurie Bird until her suicide in 1979.[17] According to a 1986 interview, Art said about his relationship with Laurie Bird "I asked myself constantly why I didn't marry her, because surely she was the apple of my eye. She was everything I was looking for in a woman. But I was very hurt by my first marriage, so as far as marriage to Laurie was concerned, I was extra scared. I was heartbroken. It laid me low. I used to get very sad when the sun went down. The nights were very lonely for me."

In fall, 1985, Garfunkel met model Katryn Cermack while shooting Good To Go. On 18 September 1988, he married former model Kathryn (Kim) Cermak. They have two children, James, born 15 December 1990, and Beau Daniel, born 5 October 2005 via surrogate mother.[18]

Garfunkel is an avid reader and bibliophile; his website contains a year-by-year listing of every book he has read since 1968.[19] Currently the list contains more than 1,000 books. He has also read the entire Random House Dictionary.

Garfunkel is a huge fan of the Philosopher Jean-Jacques Rousseau, having read his book, The Confessions, twice (According to his library, the book was the first and thousandth book he'd read).

Garfunkel has undertaken several cross-continental walks in his lifetime, writing poetry along the way. In the early 1980s, he walked across Japan in a matter of weeks.[20] From 1983 to 1997, Garfunkel walked across America,[21] taking 40 excursions to complete the route from New York City to the Pacific coast of Washington. In May 1998, Garfunkel began an incremented walk across Europe.[22]

His all-time favorite pop song is Paul McCartney's "Here, There and Everywhere" and his all-time favorite album is Fleetwood Mac's "Rumours". When asked what were his musical preferences, he answered, "I have a very sure-footed sense of what I like, and exactly how much I like it. Give me two listenings of a song, and I can tell you exactly how it sits with me, and...I know my musical taste. I know my ears, I know what I respond to." [23]

Garfunkel has been arrested twice for the possession of cannabis: in early 2004 and again in August 2005.[24]

Garfunkel is the brother of Jerome Garfunkel, the former member of the American (ANSI) and International (ISO) Committees that wrote the specification for the COBOL programming language.

Garfunkel is the younger brother of Jules B. Garfunkel, a United States Navy Veteran and financial analyst. Jules Garfunkel died on September 17, 2006 in Sofia, Bulgaria.

Garfunkel is left-handed.

Garfunkel plays Piano, Guitar and Violin.


  • 1969 Grammy Award, Record of the Year, for "Mrs. Robinson" (with Paul Simon)
  • 1969 Grammy Award, Best Contemporary Pop Performance, for "Mrs. Robinson" (with Paul Simon)
  • 1970 Grammy Award, Best Album, for Bridge Over Troubled Water
  • 1970 Grammy Award, Best Single Record, for "Bridge Over Troubled Water"
  • 1970 Grammy Award, Best Arrangement Accompanying Vocalists, for Bridge Over Troubled Water
  • 1972 Golden Globe, Best Supporting Actor - Motion Picture, for Carnal Knowledge (Nominated)
  • 1977 Britannia Award, Best International Pop LP and Single, 1952–77, for "Bridge Over Troubled Water"

Work on Broadway


See Simon & Garfunkel discography for joint works with Paul Simon.

Solo albums

To date, Garfunkel has had three US Top 40 Albums and Six UK Top 40 Albums (With Two in The Top 10)


(To Date, Garfunkel has had 1 US Top 10 hit, 5 Adult Contemporary Number 1's and two UK Number 1's.)

  • 1973 – "All I Know" (US #9, US AC #1)
  • 1973 – "I Shall Sing" (US #38, US AC #4)
  • 1974 – "Traveling Boy" (US #102, US AC #30)
  • 1974 – "Second Avenue" (US #34, US AC #6)
  • 1975 – "Breakaway" (US #39, US AC #1)
  • 1975 – "I Only Have Eyes for You" (US #18, US AC #1, UK #1)
  • 1975 – "My Little Town" (US #9, US AC #1, UK #13)
  • 1975 - "I Believe (When I Fall In Love It Will Be Forever)"
  • 1976 - "We Are Going (Woyaya)"
  • 1977 – "Crying in my Sleep" (US AC #25, UK #25)
  • 1977 – "Wonderful World" (with Paul Simon and James Taylor) (US #17, US AC #1)
  • 1978 - "Marionette"
  • 1979 – "In A Little While (I'll Be On My Way)" (US AC #12)
  • 1979 – "Since I Don't Have You" (US #53, US AC #5, UK #38)
  • 1979 – "Bright Eyes" (US AC #29, UK #1)
  • 1981 – "A Heart in New York" (US #66, US AC #10)
  • 1981 - "Scissors Cut"
  • 1981 - "Hang On In"
  • 1984 – "Sometimes When I'm Dreaming" (UK #77)
  • 1988 – "So Much in Love" (US #76 AC #11)
  • 1988 - "When A Man Loves A Woman"
  • 1996 - "Grateful (Live)"
  • 1997 - "Daydream"




Year Film Role Notes
1970 Catch-22 Captain Natley Debut Screen Role
1971 Carnal Knowledge Dr. Sandy Kaufman Nomination for Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actor – Motion Picture
1980 Bad Timing Dr. Alex Linden
1986 Good To Go S.D. Blass Out Of Print
1993 Boxing Helena Dr. Lawrence Augustine
1998 54 Himself Cameo
2009 Flight Of The Conchords Himself Cameo
2010 The Rebound Harry Finklestein Most Recent Performance


  1. ^
  2. ^
  3. ^ Martin, Douglas. "About New York; Just Simon in the Park, to Garfunkel's Disappointment", The New York Times, August 14, 1991. Accessed June 2, 2009. "Soon, he and Paul Simon, two sons of Forest Hills, Queens, who became bards of the 60's, would stride to the shimmering center of a vast Central Park stage, and a generation growing overweight and apart would for a few fleeting hours feel forever young."
  4. ^
  5. ^
  6. ^
  7. ^
  8. ^ David Fricke, in the leaflet accompaniment to the Simon and Garfunkel 1997 album "Old Friends"
  9. ^ "The Boy in the Bubble" by Patrick Humphries, page 96.
  10. ^ Paul Simon News on Yahoo! Music
  11. ^ I Only Have Eyes For You (1975 version)
  12. ^ simon and garfunkel the sound at
  13. ^
  14. ^ New Art Garfunkel CD - Rhino Press Release #455
  15. ^
  16. ^
  17. ^ Art Garfunkel - Official Website
  18. ^ Baker, KC, "Art Garfunkel a Father Again at 64", People (December 7, 2005)
  19. ^ Art Garfunkel - Official Website
  20. ^ Art Garfunkel - Official Website
  21. ^ Art Garfunkel - Official Website
  22. ^ Art Garfunkel - Official Website
  23. ^
  24. ^ Garfunkel arrested over marijuana possession. 31/08/2005. ABC News Online

External links


Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikiquote

Art Garfunkel (born November 5, 1941) is an American singer-songwriter and actor, best known as half of the duo Simon and Garfunkel.


  • We human beings are tuned such that we crave great melody and great lyrics. And if somebody writes a great song, it's timeless that we as humans are going to feel something for that and there's going to be a real appreciation. [1]
  • Records have images. There are wet records and dry records. And big records. [2]
  • Then I would sing a little in the synagogue. See, if you're a singer, you love to turn your own ears on. You look for those rooms where the reverb is great. I remember the synagogue had a lot of wood and it was a great room. And it was a captive audience and you could sing these minor key songs and make them cry, and that was a thrill. [3]

External links

Wikipedia has an article about:

Simple English

Art Garfunkel

Art Garfunkel (born November 5, 1941) is an American singer. Along with Paul Simon, he was part of the duo Simon and Garfunkel, a popular group in the 1960s and early 1970s. After that, he made several solo albums. He has also acted in a few movies.



  • The Animal's Christmas - (1986) with Amy Grant, the London Symphony Orchestra and the Kings College School Choir, songs by Jimmy Webb.[1]
  • Angel Clare, (1973)
  • Breakaway, (1975)
  • Watermark, (1978)
  • Fate For Breakfast, (1979)
  • Scissors Cut, (1981)
  • The Art Garfunkel Album, (1984)
  • Garfunkel, (1988)
  • Lefty, (1988)
  • Up 'Til Now, (1993)
  • Across America, (1996)
  • Songs From A Parent To A Child, (1997)
  • The Best of Art Garfunkel, (1998)
  • Everything Waits To Be Noticed, (2002)
  • Some Enchanted Evening, (2007)


  • Catch-22, (1970), directed by Mike Nichols, with Alan Arkin, Orson Wells, Martin Sheen, Anthony Perkins, Martin Balsam and Jon Voight.[2]
  • Carnal Knowledge, (1971), directed by Mike Nichols, with Jack Nicholson.[2]
  • Bad Timing - A Sensual Obsession, (1980), by Nicholas Roeg, with Theresa Russell and Harvey Keitel.
  • Good to Go, also called Short Fuse, (1986), by Blaine Novak.[3]

Other websites


  1. "The Animal's Christmas" (in English). Art Garfunkel. Retrieved 2010-02-26. 
  2. 2.0 2.1 "Chronology 1970's" (in English). Art Garfunkel. Retrieved 2010-02-27. 
  3. "Chronology 1980's" (in English). Art Garfunkel. Retrieved 2010-02-27. 

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