Art Garfunkel, the distinctive tenor voice that brought life to half of the iconic folk-rock duo Simon & Garfunkel, is a legend in his own right. His collaboration with childhood friend, Paul Simon, produced timeless hits like “Sound of Silence,” “Mrs. Robinson,” and “Bridge over Troubled Water,” which still reverberate across generations. Born and raised in Queens, New York, Garfunkel’s journey has taken him from youthful vibrancy to seasoned wisdom.
As Garfunkel is gearing up to turn 82 in November, it’s the perfect time to explore his life and recent endeavors. In this journey, we’ll see his current visage, so different yet still reminiscent of his youthful glow. We’ll delve into what he’s been up to in recent years, and we’ll also touch on some health challenges that have led to speculation that he may never sing professionally again.
Adding to the intrigue, there’s been perpetual speculation and yearning among fans for a potential Simon & Garfunkel reunion. Is it within the realm of possibility? What have both Simon and Garfunkel said about this subject? We’ll look at all the angles, bringing you closer to the current realities and future possibilities of this beloved musician’s life.
Join us as we journey through the highs, lows, and everything in between of Art Garfunkel’s illustrious career and personal life. From the young star who captivated millions, to the stalwart figure he is today, Garfunkel’s story is a fascinating voyage you won’t want to miss.
Facts Verse Presents: Art Garfunkel is 81, Look at Him Now He’ll Never Sing Again
Losing His Voice
In a 2010 concert in New Orleans, which was part of a Simon & Garfunkel reunion tour, then-78-year-old Art Garfunkel experienced a major setback to his singing career. Midway through the performance, he lost his ability to sing, an incident that led to the diagnosis of partial paralysis of one of his vocal cords. After the unfortunate incident, Garfunkel stopped smoking both tobacco and cannabis later that same year.
The freak medical crisis that took place a little more than a decade ago threw his career into uncertainty. In the immediate aftermath, Garfunkel, who had been singing since he was five, canceled his tour with Simon and took a hiatus from performing.
Not surprisingly, he was faced with a serious identity crisis, as he couldn’t imagine himself without singing. In his own words from a 2018 interview with The Desert Sun, Garfunkel said, “I’m born to be a singer. I don’t know myself without singing.”
Long Road Recovery
Garfunkel’s road to recovery was lengthy, taking until 2014 for him to regain his singing ability and resume touring. However, the journey was not easy and involved what he referred to as “patience beyond patience.” To aid his recovery, he began by softly singing along to the mellow tunes of his favorite artists, including James Taylor and the Everly Brothers. He then graduated to performing in empty concert halls, later progressing to small audiences such as his wife’s Buddhist congregation and an art gallery in New York City with about 90 seats.
In what he described as a major “identity crisis,” he transitioned from being the perfectionist Art Garfunkel to a far-less-capable and confident man he jokingly referred to as “Walter.” Despite the fears and doubts, Garfunkel bravely took on the challenge of getting back on stage, even when he felt he couldn’t sing. Through a combination of adrenaline, fear, and sheer determination, he slowly regained his voice, stating in an interview, “When you act as if you’re recovered, the act brings along the truth.”
Finally, four years after the devastating incident, he felt comfortable enough to return to large-scale performances. Once again, Garfunkel found a new identity, which this time he thoroughly enjoyed.
What Happened To Art?
Following the dissolution of Simon and Garfunkel in 1970, Art Garfunkel embarked on a solo career, releasing his first critically acclaimed album, “Angel Clare,” in 1973. His second solo album, “Breakaway,” in 1975 marked a brief reunion with Simon, with the duo collaborating on “What a Wonderful World.” This was a poignant moment, marking the first Simon and Garfunkel track released since their breakup.
However, a 1981 reunion concert in Central Park, New York City, which drew around 500,000 people, demonstrated that the pair still struggled with their working relationship. Subsequent plans for a tour and a double album were eventually abandoned, with the songs originally meant for their collaborative work ending up in Paul Simon’s solo repertoire.
Art Garfunkel then explored other avenues, taking up acting roles in movies such as 1971s “Carnal Knowledge” and television shows like 1998s “Arthur”. Meanwhile, he continued to work on his solo music, occasionally collaborating with renowned artists like Bruce Springsteen. Despite the aforementioned vocal cord issue in 2010 that threatened his career, Garfunkel managed to recover and continue singing, stating in 2013 that his voice was “96 percent back” after three years of diligent work.
The Breakup Of Simon And Garfunkel
The breakup of Simon and Garfunkel originated from a perceived breach of trust. As one half of a massively successful musical duo, Art felt betrayed when Paul released a solo single under a different name while they were still signed to Big Records as a pair. This sparked tensions that eventually led to their official separation in 1970.
When asked about a possible reunion with Simon, Garfunkel has expressed pessimism in recent years. In 2014, he was quoted saying, “I know that audiences all over the world like Simon and Garfunkel. I’m with them. But I don’t think Paul Simon’s with them.” Further comments from both Simon and Garfunkel have reinforced the idea that a reunion is unlikely due to their personal issues.
In the end, it seems the legacy of Simon and Garfunkel is a complex one, shaped by immense success, personal tensions, and intermittent reunions. As Art Garfunkel himself said in a 2017 interview, his relationship with Paul is “like a marriage” that “waxes and wanes.” Despite their chilly relationship in recent years, the profound impact of their partnership on the world of music remains undeniable.
The thought of a reunion of the legendary duo Simon and Garfunkel is naturally quite tantalizing to fans, but Paul Simon has been quite candid about the unlikelihood of such an event. In a 2016 interview with David Greene of NPR, Simon underscored his belief that a reunion was not on the horizon. Contrary to the hope of many fans, Simon asserted, “I don’t think most people do [want a reunion]. The fact is, is, like, we did do two big reunions, and we’re done.”
Simon’s comments point to a deeply strained relationship with Garfunkel, suggesting that their reunions were less about reliving the glory days and more about fulfilling perceived obligations. He further clarified his stance, stating, “Quite honestly, we don’t get along. So it’s not like it’s fun.” This points to a relationship where harmony onstage does not translate to harmony offstage, making a reunion unlikely.
Best-Selling Artists Of All Time
The artist’s focus has decidedly shifted to his solo career since the dissolution of Simon and Garfunkel. Simon, one of the best-selling artists of all time, has consistently churned out critically acclaimed music, showcasing his immense talent and versatility. His fifteenth solo studio album, “Seven Psalms,” released on May 19, 2023, demonstrates his continued creativity and dedication to his craft. The album, conceived as a seven-part piece to be listened to in its entirety, is an entirely acoustic performance featuring guests like Wynton Marsalis and Simon’s wife, Edie Brickell.
Over the years, Simon has garnered numerous awards and accolades, reflecting his significant contributions to music. These include 12 Grammy Awards, a Lifetime Achievement Award, and induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, both as part of Simon and Garfunkel and as a solo artist.
Art Garfunkel, too, has his fair share of noteworthy achievements. Beyond his successful solo career, he received a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award with Simon and was also inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as part of the iconic duo. Despite the friction, both artists have continued to contribute significantly to the musical landscape, remaining active in their respective pursuits and maintaining their status as influential figures in the industry.
Passing The Torch
While a Simon and Garfunkel tour might not be in the cards, Art Garfunkel’s musical legacy continues to reverberate through his son, Art Garfunkel Jr., who has embraced the world of music with a passion and talent reminiscent of his father. Carrying the same name as his legendary father, the young Garfunkel is imbued with a sense of musical tradition, yet he brings his own unique style and flavor to his work, ensuring his individuality while upholding the family legacy.
Born into a household resonating with melodies and harmonies, Art Garfunkel Jr. had an early exposure to music. This early immersion naturally led to his interest in music and eventually a career in the same field. His musical style, while reflective of his father’s influence, also showcases his unique flair and understanding of contemporary music trends.
Although he has big shoes to fill, Art Jr. has shown promise, demonstrating the same emotive power and musical versatility that characterized his father’s career. While following in the footsteps of a renowned musician can be daunting, Art Jr. embraces the challenge, using it as motivation to push his musical boundaries and create his own mark in the music industry.
To Follow A Musical Path
By choosing to follow a musical path, Art Garfunkel Jr. is not only continuing his father’s legacy but is also carving out his own. His talent and dedication to his craft suggest a bright future ahead, promising to add a new chapter to the enduring legacy of the Garfunkel name in the music industry. His journey as a musician serves as a refreshing reminder of the timeless allure of music that transcends generations, further solidifying the Garfunkel legacy in the world of music.
Impressive Careers And Enduring Legacies
Reflecting on the impressive careers and enduring legacies of Art Garfunkel and Paul Simon, we can’t help but ponder the intricate dynamics of their relationship, their individual successes, and the potential of a new generation carrying forward the musical heritage. The duo’s unique blend of talents gave rise to some of the most memorable melodies of their time, and their solo careers continue to impress and inspire.
As we bring our exploration of Simon and Garfunkel’s legacies to a close, we’d love to hear your thoughts. What do you believe has been the key to their individual successes post-Simon and Garfunkel, and how do you perceive their continued influence in today’s music scene? And as we look to the future with Art Garfunkel Jr., do you feel he has the potential to carry the legacy forward and make a unique mark of his own? Let us know in the comments. And as always, thanks for watching!