(Written by Emma Kelley)
So I’m walking into Lai Lai Wok on Green Street and my friend and I break out into a god-awful rendition of Simon and Garfunkel’s “The Boxer,” lyrics matching the name of the lovely restaurant, “lie la lie…” My friend and I couldn’t have graced every customer in the place with our lovely singing without the beautiful writing and recording done by Simon and Garfunkel. Today in music history we celebrate the grand 73rd birthday of Art Garfunkel, or the one with the afro. Paul Simon might have written most of the band’s songs, but they would never be who they are today without the harmonic dynamics the two had, all thanks to Art.
Garfunkel went to school for architecture at Columbia University and then continued to get a masters in mathematics. But nothing strayed Art from his true passion; music. He was a member of an all-male a capella group at school called the Columbia Kingsmen. What I wouldn’t do to get my hands on a recording of these guys. He became friends with Simon and the two performed at school dances at first until they were able to hit a record deal. Trivia Fact: Before they were the dynamic duo known as Simon and Garfunkel, the two first started as Tom & Jerry, Garfunkel was known as Tom Graph because he liked to track, or “graph” hits, on the pop charts. Garfunkel wasn’t only a singer in Simon and Garfunkel, but he also had a solo career that wasn’t as successful as the two, but his songs are smooth listening nonetheless.
Art has had many accomplishments throughout his life (and hopefully more to come) including multiple Grammys won with Paul Simon, winning Record of the Year twice, and Album of the Year in 1969. He dipped his toes in the acting scene, and was even nominated for a Golden Globe as Best Supporting Actor for his performance in Carnal Knowledge. He also had a love for poetry, and frequently wrote about his struggles with depression after his father passed away. Even though he was a man of many talents, Art Garfunkel will always be in our hearts as the man without the guitar, the man with the higher harmonies, but most importantly, simply a very special musician who blazed the trail for folk rock music throughout the 20th century to today.