10 Surprising Simon and Garfunkel Facts: How They Met, Their Fights, and More

simon and garfunkel facts
Singer-Songwriter duo Simon & Garfunkel performing outside at a concert in Dublin in 1981. Image by Eddie Mallin on Wikimedia Commons.

Last updated on August 4th, 2023 at 06:58 am

Simon and Garfunkel were an American musical duo who hit the scene in the late 1960s and were known for their folk rock sound. They’re most known for their hit songs like “Bridge Over Troubled Water,” “Mrs. Robinson,” “The Sound of Silence,” and more. 

Although this on-again-off-again duo often made musical magic together, their relationship has not always been sunshine and rainbows. Read on to learn some Simon and Garfunkel facts that you may have never heard of.

simon and garfunkel height
Photo of Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel as the duo Simon and Garfunkel in 1968. Image by GAC on Wikimedia Commons.

How Tall Are Simon and Garfunkel?

Even though Simon and Garfunkel had the perfect musical sound together, they were not alike. While Art Garfunkel stands at a height of 5 feet 9 inches, Paul Simon is only 5 feet 3 inches tall.

simon and garfunkel zodiac
Simon & Garfunkel, Jazz Fest 2010. Image by Alania Buzas on Wikimedia Commons.

Zodiac Signs of Simon and Garfunkel

Although their birthdays are only about a month apart, Simon and Garfunkel’s personalities could not be more different. This is primarily because they were born under different signs.

Paul Simon was born on October 13, 1941, making him a Libra known for being a bit flaky.

Art Garfunkel was born on November 5, 1941, which puts him under the sign of Scorpio, who is known for being overly sensitive and having a one-track mind.

Related: The 21 Best 60s Songs of All Time: Music That Defined a Decade

simon and garfunkel young
Simon and Garfunkel in 1966. Image by Joost Evers on Wikimedia Commons.

Did You Know that Simon and Garfunkel Met in Primary School?

This legendary duo met when they were both in primary school and rehearsing for their parts in the production of Alice in Wonderland. Paul Simon was set to play the White Rabbit, and Garfunkel was the Cheshire Cat.

simon & garfunkel songs
BARCELONA, SPAIN – JUNE 2: Kings of Convenience band performs at San Miguel Primavera Sound Festival on June 2, 2012 in Barcelona, ​​Spain. Image from Shutterstock.

The Duo Started With a Different Name

Since they both had what they considered to be basic names, Paul and Art decided that they needed to come up with a different name for themselves.

The duo chose to name themselves Tom and Jerry, after the famous cartoon cat and mouse characters that were popular at the time.

This is referenced in their iconic track “The Only Living Boy in New York” (“Tom, get your plane ride on time”).

simon and garfukel
Simon and Garfukel in Schipol Airport in Amsterdam in 1966. Image by Joost Evers on Wikimedia Commons.

They Were Teenagers When Their First Song Came Out

As Tom and Jerry, Simon and Garfunkel released their first single, “Hey Schoolgirl” when they were just 16 years old. The song, to the surprise of many people, made it to number 49 on many musical charts.

simon and garfukel performing
Picture depicting Simon and Garfunkel (Simon with guitar) in 2009. Image by benkatz100 on Wikimedia Commons.

Mrs. Robinson Was Originally Mrs. Roosevelt

Most people, even if they have never heard of any Simon and Garfunkel facts, have likely heard the song, “Mrs. Robinson” which was made famous in the hit film, The Graduate. But, did you know that the song was not originally named that way?

When Simon and Garfunkel created the song, it was originally “Mrs. Roosevelt,” possibly named after Eleanor Roosevelt. 

simon and garfunkel
Simon and Garfunkel in Rotterdam in 1982. Image by Joost Evers on Wikimedia Commons.

Did You Know That Garfunkel Had No Voice for 4 Years?

During one of their American tours, Garfunkel noticed that he was having a bit of trouble with his voice–he was unable to hit his usually high notes.

A few days later, he was eating lobster with his son and reportedly choked on a piece which prompted him to see a doctor. 

He was diagnosed with vocal cord paresis, which caused him to take a 4-year hiatus from singing to rest his vocal cords.

Paul simon
An image of Paul Simon in The Netherlands in 1982. Image by Joost Evers on Wikimedia Commons.

Paul Simon Was Once on the U.N.’s Boycott List

In the 1980s, decided to visit South Africa and record some of the songs for his Graceland album. The problem with this is that the U.N. had a boycott of the country for its involvement in apartheid.

As a result, Simon was put on the boycott list by the U.N.

In order to have his name removed from the list, he had to promise the U.N. in a letter that he was only there to record and would not perform or make money in any way.

Related: The 30 Best 70s Songs: Classic Rock, Punk, Disco, and Some Serious Wild Cards

simon and garfunkel concert
A sold out Simon and Garfunkel festival in 1982. Image by Robert Bogaerts on Wikimedia Commons.

The On-Again-Off-Again of Simon and Garfunkel

The most controversial happening of the legendary duo, Simon and Garfunkel, is the on-again-off-again relationship between them. While they created musical magic together, they did not get along very well.

During their career, the pair would split,  then reconnect to record and perform together, and then break apart again over and over.

Sometimes the contention between the two got so bad that they were known to publicly lash out at each other.

paul simon recent
Paul Simon in 2007. Image by CharoletteWebb on Wikimedia Commons.

Simon and Garfunkel Accidentally Created Folk Rock

Last on our list of Simon and Garfunkel facts is the fact that Simon and Garfunkel didn’t originally set out to record folk rock.

Their all-acoustic album Wednesday Morning, 3 A.M. sold so poorly that Simon and Garfunkel went their separate ways.

It took legendary producer Tom Wilson adding a rock band behind “The Sounds of Silence” to create the masterpiece we know today.

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Written by Hope Davis

Long-time music lover Hope became a full-time writer in 2020 after being laid off from her regular job due to COVID-19. She now spends her time traveling the world to see her favorite bands while writing about them!


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