FLASHBACK: SIMON & GARFUNKEL REUNITE IN CENTRAL PARK

FLASHBACK: SIMON & GARFUNKEL REUNITE IN CENTRAL PARK

FLASHBACK: SIMON & GARFUNKEL REUNITE IN CENTRAL PARK

It was 37 years ago tonight (September 19th, 1981) that Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel reunited in front of a reported 500,000 fans for a free concert in New York’s Central Park. Although the duo had performed together several times after their 1970 break up — most notably at a fundraiser in 1972 for Democratic Presidential nominee George McGovern, a handful of times in 1973 during Simon’s first solo tour, and on Saturday Night Live — The Concert at Central Park was Simon & Garfunkel‘s first full-blown reunion concert. Back in 1975, Simon & Garfunkel scored a Top 10 duet with “My Little Town” in 1975, with the song appearing on both Simon’s album, Still Crazy After All These Years and Garfunkel’s Breakaway.

Prior to the Central Park show, Simon & Garfunkel butted heads about how the concert should be performed. Garfunkel preferred just the duo as they did in the ’60s; two voices along with Simon’s guitar. Simon insisted on a full band, including a horn section. Simon explained in Simon & Garfunkel – The Definitive Biography how he convinced Garfunkel to see his way: “I kept saying to him ‘Artie, the band will jell and when it does, you’ll want to sing. You’ll like it.'” The majority of the backing band was familiar with the songs’ arrangements, having backed Simon on his then-recent One Trick Pony tour.

The show was mainly comprised of Simon & Garfunkel’s ’60s classics, including “Homeward Bound,” “America,” “The Sound Of Silence,” “Mrs. Robinson,” “The Boxer,” “Old Friends,” “April Come She Will,” “Scarborough Fair,” “The 59th Street Bridge Song (Feelin’ Groovy),” “America,” “Bridge Over Troubled Water,” and others.

The duo also performed several of Simon’s ’70s hits, such as “Kodachrome,” “Me & Julio Down By The Schoolyard,” “50 Ways To Leave Your Lover,” “Still Crazy After All These Years,” “Slip Slidin’ Away,” “American Tune,” and Simon’s latest hit, 1980’s “Late In The Evening,” which was featured twice in the show, being reprised as the concert’s final encore. The pair made two nods to early influences, playing the Everly Brothers‘ “Wake Up Little Suzie,” and performing Chuck Berry‘s “Maybellene” in a medley with Simon’s “Kodachrome.”

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