Tuesday, October 9, 2012

80's Party 1

Next Saturday, October 13th, we have at T.R.A.C.S an 80's Party.
And October 13th is the birthday of Paul Simon.

Paul Frederic Simon (born October 13, 1941) is an award-winning musician whose talents in composing, performing, and vocal harmony placed him at the forefront of the singer-songwriters on an international scale. Simon's fame, influence and commercial success began as part of the duo Simon & Garfunkel, launched in 1964 with musical partner Art Garfunkel. Simon wrote most of the pair's songs, including three that reached No. 1 on the U.S. singles charts: "The Sound of Silence", "Mrs. Robinson", and "Bridge Over Troubled Water". The duo split up in 1970 at the height of their popularity, and Simon began a successful solo career, recording three highly acclaimed albums over the next five years. In 1986, he released Graceland, an album inspired by South African township music. Simon also wrote and starred in the film One-Trick Pony (1980) and co-wrote the Broadway musical The Capeman (1998) with the poet Derek Walcott.

Simon was born in Newark, New Jersey. His father, Louis (1916–1995), was a college professor, upright bass player, and dance bandleader who performed under the name "Lee Sims". His mother, Belle (1910–2007), was an elementary school teacher. In 1941, his family moved to Kew Gardens Hills, Queens, in New York City.

Simon's musical career began at Forest Hills High School after meeting Art Garfunkel when they were both 11. They performed in a production of Alice in Wonderland for their sixth grade graduation, and began singing together when they were 13, occasionally performing at school dances. Their idols were the Everly Brothers, whom they imitated in their use of close two-part harmony. Simon also developed an interest in jazz, folk and blues, especially in musical legends Woody Guthrie and Lead Belly.
Orginally, the duo went as Tom & Jerry, and they had a hit in 1957 with a song called, "Hey, Schoolgirl." After high school, Simon attended Queens College, where he studied English literature. Over the next seven years, he recorded a few dozen songs, reunited a bit with Garfunkel, and did a short stint as a student at Brooklyn Law School.

In 1964, he and Art Garfunkel scored a record deal with Columbia Records. It was Columbia who decided to rename the duo Simon & Garfunkel.
After they released Bridge Over Troubled Water in 1970, Simon broke off to pursue his own solo career. In 1972, he released his self-titled debut solo album, which was well received.
Since then, Paul Simon has released numerous solo albums, including the hugely popular Graceland in 1986, when he teamed up with Ladysmith Black Mombazo. Paul has released 14 solo albums to date; and in 2003, Simon & Garfunkel were awarded a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Grammy's, and spent a year on a reunion tour.

Graceland is the seventh studio album by American folk musician Paul Simon, released in August 1986. It was a hit, topping the UK Album Chart, and reaching number three on the US Billboard 200. The album won the 1986 Grammy Award for Album of the Year, while the title song won the 1987 Grammy for Record of the Year. In 2007, the album was added to the United States National Recording Registry, along with another 24 significant recordings that year. It is included in many "best of" and "greatest" album lists including both Rolling Stone's and Time's.
You Can Call Me Al
"You Can Call Me Al" is a song by Paul Simon, the first single released from his album Graceland. The song originally charted in the U.S. at No. 44 in October 1986 but it was reissued with greater promotion in March 1987 and hit No. 23. In the UK it peaked at No. 4, while in Sweden and the Netherlands it reached No. 2.
The lyrics can be interpreted as describing a man experiencing a midlife crisis ("Where's my wife and family? What if I die here? Who'll be my role model?"). However, as Paul Simon himself explained during the Graceland episode of the Classic Albums documentary series, by the third verse the lyrics move from a generic portrait-like perspective to a personal and autobiographical one, as he describes his journey to South Africa which inspired the entire album.
The song features a bass run performed by Bakithi Kumalo (whose birthday was on the day of recording the track); the solo is palindromic as only the first half was recorded, and was then played backwards for the second half. The pennywhistle solo was performed by jazz musician Morris Goldberg.
The names in the song came from an incident at a party that Simon went to with his then-wife Peggy Harper. French composer and conductor Pierre Boulez, who was attending the same party, mistakenly referred to Paul as "Al" and to Peggy as "Betty", inspiring Simon to write a song.
Ladysmith Black Mambazo provided the "Mmmm Mmmm" backup vocals in the song, but are uncredited.

Paul Simon did not like the original music video that was made, which was a performance of the song Simon gave during the monologue when he hosted Saturday Night Live in the perspective of a video monitor. A replacement video was conceived partly by Lorne Michaels and directed by Gary Weis, wherein Chevy Chase lip-synced all of Simon's vocals in an upbeat presentation, with gestures punctuating the lyrics. Chase, at 6'4", towered over the much shorter (5'3") Simon.

The two men enter a white-walled room, sit down, and shake hands; Simon begins to sing, but stops and looks puzzled when Chase commandeers the vocal line instead. Simon then adopts a bored expression for the remainder of the song, occasionally stepping out to bring in other instruments such as a bass guitar and conga drum for later use. He only sings to provide bass harmony on the "If you'll be my bodyguard" and "I can call you Betty" phrases during the chorus. The two men perform a rhythmic dance step in unison during the bridge, with Simon and Chase playing alto saxophone and trumpet, respectively. For the fade-out instrumental and dance, Simon switches to bass guitar and nearly hits his head against the bell of Chase's trumpet as Chase pivots toward him, prompting Simon to smile. The two men keep playing as they exit the room. 
source: WikiPedia

You Can Call Me Al lyrics

A man walks down the street
 He says why am I soft in the middle now
 Why am I soft in the middle
 The rest of my life is so hard
 I need a photo-opportunity
 I want a shot at redemption
 Don't want to end up a cartoon
 In a cartoon graveyard
 Bonedigger Bonedigger
 Dogs in the moonlight
 Far away my well-lit door
 Mr. Beerbelly Beerbelly
 Get these mutts away from me
 You know I don't find this stuff amusing anymore

If you'll be my bodyguard
 I can be your long lost pal
 I can call you Betty
 And Betty when you call me
 You can call me Al

A man walks down the street
 He says why am I short of attention
 Got a short little span of attention
 And wo my nights are so long
 Where's my wife and family
 What if I die here
 Who'll be my role-model
 Now that my role-model is
 Gone Gone
 He ducked back down the alley
 With some roly-poly little bat-faced girl
 All along along
 There were incidents and accidents
 There were hints and allegations

If you'll be my bodyguard
 I can be your long lost pal
 I can call you Betty
 And Betty when you call me
 You can call me Al
 Call me Al

A man walks down the street
 It's a street in a strange world
 Maybe it's the Third World
 Maybe it's his first time around
 He doesn't speak the language
 He holds no currency
 He is a foreign man
 He is surrounded by the sound
 The sound
 Cattle in the marketplace
 Scatterlings and orphanages
 He looks around, around
 He sees angels in the architecture
 Spinning in infinity
 He says Amen and Hallelujah!

If you'll be my bodyguard
 I can be your long lost pal
 I can call you Betty
 And Betty when you call me
 You can call me Al
 Call me Al

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