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07

Apr

The hilarious part about The Graduate album for me is that I wasn’t sure why I was hired. I got there and Paul had been working on new songs for some time, but Mike almost had the picture cut with existing Simon & Garfunkel material. The few things that I wrote were little source-music pieces.

Jazz pianist and composer, Dave Grusin, on contributing to The Graduate soundtrack.

Grusin specifically composed these “little source-music pieces”: “The Singleman Foxtrot”, “Sunporch Cha-Cha-Cha”, “On the Strip”, “The Folks”, “A Great Effect”, and “Whew”.

Cover artwork of The Graduate soundtrack

Posted in celebration of the 46th anniversary of Simon & Garfunkel and Dave Grusin’s The Graduate soundtrack, which was a #1 album nine consecutive weeks on April 6, 1968.

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21

Jan

Suzanne Vega adores The Graduate in this sleeveface (#3378).
"Are you trying to seduce me, Mrs. Vega?"
Credit: Hélène / Alexis
This sleeveface post marks the 46th anniversary of The Graduate’s soundtrack release (January 21, 1968).
—
sleeveface |slēvfās|  n.  1. A picture depicting one or more persons obscuring or augmenting any part of their body or bodies with record sleeve(s) causing an illusion.

Suzanne Vega adores The Graduate in this sleeveface (#3378).

"Are you trying to seduce me, Mrs. Vega?"

Credit: Hélène / Alexis

This sleeveface post marks the 46th anniversary of The Graduate’s soundtrack release (January 21, 1968).

sleeveface |slēvfās|  n.  1. A picture depicting one or more persons obscuring or augmenting any part of their body or bodies with record sleeve(s) causing an illusion.

30

Nov

Who is responsible for Simon & Garfunkel’s split?

According to Charles Grodin, with Art Garfunkel voicing agreement, the instigator is none other than…

Mike Nichols.

Revealed during a special [February 2013] screening of their controversial 1969 documentary Songs of America … Art Garfunkel and doc producer Charlie Grodin point the finger at Mike Nichols – the man who had featured Simon & Garfunkel’s “Mrs. Robinson” and “Scarborough Fair” in 1967’s The Graduate, for which he won the Oscar for best director.

Nichols had casted the duo in his 1970 film, Catch-22, then cut out Simon’s role. While Garfunkel was occupied with filming his parts in Mexico then in Rome, Simon was left in New York to produce their final album alone, Bridge Over Troubled Water.

Garfunkel, who made his acting debut in the film, agreed. He also cited the film’s as Simon’s motivation for penning the song “The Only Living Boy in New York.”

"The Only Living Boy In New York", a song with Simon lead vocals and Garfunkel singing the background, documented the feelings that out-casted partner felt: lonely, forsaken, and wishing for the best.

“Yes, Chuck’s gone right to the heart of the difficulty in Simon & Garfunkel when he says, ‘Artie and Paul were cast for Catch-22, and Paul’s part was dropped.’ That, of course, is an irritant of the first order. So I had Paul sort of waiting: ‘All right, I can take this for three months. I’ll write the songs, but what’s the fourth month? And why is Artie in Rome a fifth month? What’s Mike doing to Simon & Garfunkel?’ And so there’s Paul in the third month, still with a lot of heart, writing about, ‘I’m the only living boy in [New York]. You used to be the other one.’ ” (Q&A moderator Bruce Fretts, articles editor for TV Guide, then jokingly added, “Mike Nichols is the Yoko [Ono] of Simon & Garfunkel!”)

It’s ironic that Mike Nichols, the director who enlisted Simon & Garfunkel to soundtrack his 1967 film, The Graduate, is the same director who created a fissure in America’s most popular duo.

One can probably hear voices muttering, “What have you done, silly Mike Nichols? A nation turns its scornful eyes to you… Boo, boo, boo.”

Call it a catch-22, will you?

Posted in honor of Songs of America, a documentary that was intended to be featured at Simon & Garfunkel’s performance on November 30, 1969.

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01

Sep

Arrested Development and the SOUNDS of silence again and again… and again.

♪ Hello darkness, my old friend
I’ve come to talk with you again 

Posted in celebration of the 48th anniversary of Simon & Garfunkel’s release of “The Sound of Silence” (electric version) as a radio single (September 1965).

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03

Apr

A social and historical retrospective on Simon & Garfunkel’s Bookends

Forty-five years ago, Simon & Garfunkel released their fourth album, Bookends (1968). This concept-album topped the music charts in the United Kingdom and United States at #1, and #3 in both Australia and France. Interestingly, this was the last album to be released in both mono and stereo. To the collector, the mono pressing of the album contains many noticeable sonic differences.

In their album retrospective, Marcello Carlin and Lena Friesen reflect on the historical context surrounding the album through a track by track examination.

A few highlights from the album retrospective:

The Kray Twins, David Bailey photograph     Simon & Garfunkel Bookends, Richard Avedon photograph

  • If [Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band] brought childhood to the fore, Bookends addresses the other end of the telescope – and apart from the Beatles, few players in this tale thus far have addressed the question of age and impermanence.

Image of Sgt. Peppers Lonely Hearts Club album cover

  • The film of The Graduate, too, attempted to address the question of age, and not simply how wrongly the old were regarding the young from either perspective (prospective employer or mistress); the couple may elope at the end, but are they also ready to turn into reactionaries, think by 1980 that Reagan has a point? 

The Graduate 1967 movie poster

  • But on Bookends the duo, and Paul Simon in particular, were keen to wrongfoot any doe-eyed newcomers, expecting some calming, soothing wisdom of folk.

Photograph of Simon & Garfunkel circa mid-1960

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21

Dec

This day in history… 45 years ago

On this day in 1967, the film “The Graduate” opens at two theaters in New York: the Coronet on Third Avenue and the Lincoln Art Theater on Broadway. 

(Source: history.com)