I’m referring to folk rock, a genre influenced by The Beatles themselves to some degree but mostly typified in the music of Bob Dylan, The Byrds and the focus of this week’s theme, Simon & Garfunkel.
Early on, Simon & Garfunkel leaned more toward the “folk” side of folk rock, but over the course of their five albums they introduced a host of new sounds to their repertoire and created a legacy that resonates to this day.
Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel met when they were just twelve years old and formed a band (Tom & Jerry) a few years after that. They traded the moniker for their real names and released an album called Wednesday Morning, 3 a.m. in 1964. It didn’t make much of a splash (and I’ll admit, I don’t even own it) but it did introduce a track called The ‘Sounds of Silence,’ which found a small audience.
In 1966, the duo released their second album, and first hit, Sounds of Silence, which featured a rerecorded version of the title song and ten other songs penned by Simon and performed with the pretty acoustic guitar plus harmonies style for which they would become famous.
‘The Sounds of Silence’ and ‘I Am a Rock’ are the two best-known songs on this album, though I’ve always been partial to a pair of beautiful love songs. One is Kathy’s Song (hear it here). The other is ‘April Come She Will.’
This song, like ‘The Sounds of Silence,’ was featured in the film The Graduate, accompanying that great montage where Ben Braddock spends his summer alternately relaxing by the pool and sleeping with Mrs. Robinson.
When streams are ripe and swelled with rain
May, she will stay
Resting in my arms again
June, she’ll change her tune
In restless walks she’ll prowl the night
July, she will fly
And give no warning to her flight
August, die she must
The autumn winds blow chilly and cold
September I’ll remember
A love once new has now grown old