Garfunkel was a legendary part of the 70s folk scene, but where is he today?
And what was his relationship with Paul Simon really like?
We did a deep dive into the legendary singer’s life and got those answers, plus more, for you.
Let’s look at the world of Art!
Who Is Art Garfunkel?
Art Garfunkel is a singer and actor from Forest Hills, New York, born in 1941.
He’s sung with excellent senses of melody and harmony all his life. Growing up, his parents bought him a little recorder, and he’d spend all day singing and playing it back.
In a sixth-grade school play, he met Paul Simon. The two recorded songs together, but they didn’t think their music would go anywhere. So they parted ways after high school.
Garfunkel attended Columbia University and studied art history. He later earned a master’s degree in mathematics. He was active in the New York folk scene and recorded some songs as Artie Garr.
Eventually, he reunited with Simon. They released their first music under the Simon and Garfunkel name, though the album wasn’t popular at the time.
Later, a producer remixed their song “Sounds of Silence,” and it went to number one. By then, they had disbanded again, but they reunited to make more music. They released several landmark albums together, but the two men were growing apart.
Art was cast in a movie adaptation of “Catch 22.” Paul was as well, but the producers cut his part, increasing tension between the two singers. In addition, Garfunkel spent more time filming instead of making music with Simon, which caused even more strain on their relationship.
Garfunkel received good reviews for his performance and was in “Carnal Knowledge,” a movie featuring Jack Nicholson and Ann-Margret the following year.
Mike Nichols directed both “Catch 22” and “Carnal Knowledge.” He was also director of “The Graduate,” for which Simon and Garfunkel created the soundtrack. One of their biggest hits, “Mrs. Robinson,” is from that soundtrack.
Art and Paul split up again, occasionally reuniting for appearances. While initially, they spoke well of each other, that soon changed as Garfunkel began openly saying that Simon was a narcissist.
Focus on a Solo Career
Art has mainly focused on his solo projects since, even through periods of deep depression. In 1979, Garfunkel’s girlfriend committed suicide. He withdrew into his grief, dedicating his next album, “Scissors Cut,” to her. Not long after, he faced another depression following the death of his father.
In 2010, the singer was diagnosed with paresis of the vocal cords. He had briefly choked on a piece of lobster while in New Orleans for Jazzfest, which temporarily hurt his mid-range vocals.
It took him four years to recover. However, once he re-emerged, he returned to recording and performing music, either solo or with collaborators.
In his personal life, he’s married to model Kim Cermack, and they have two sons.
What Are Art’s Hobbies?
Garfunkel likes to write. He’s released books in various genres, such as poetry and memoir.
The singer is also really into long-distance walking and walked the entire United States of America, Europe, and Japan.
Art oddly enjoys sharing lists he makes. His website features lists of his favorite classical music pieces, favorite books, and assorted additional favorite things. You can even see a picture of his favorite stuffed animal (a seal) there too.
What Are Art Garfunkel’s Best Known Songs?
Since Garfunkel doesn’t write songs, his solo work is mainly covers of songs by other artists. His popular covers include “Crying in the Rain” (recorded with James Taylor,) “What a Wonderful World,” and “I Only Have Eyes for You.”
Other songs include “Bright Eyes” (from the “Watership Down” movie) and “Sail On a Rainbow.”
Who Has Garfunkel Collaborated With?
Garfunkel has recorded with James Taylor, J.D. Souther. He was also the voice of a singing moose in the opening song of the children’s show, Arthur.
In 2003, Garfunkel made an album with singer-songwriters Maia Sharp and Buddy Mondlock. Some of these songs were developed from Garfunkel’s poems, making this his debut as a songwriter.
His latest collaboration is with his son, Art Garfunkel Jr, on his Wie Du (Just Like You) album. Art Jr’s homage to his father includes songs from Garfunkel’s long musical history. Art Sr sings with his son in a few songs, such as Bridge Over Troubled Water and Sounds of Silence.
Why Did Simon and Garfunkel Stop Talking?
Simon and Garfunkel have always had a problematic partnership. They had disbanded when “Sounds of Silence” was released without their consent, so they didn’t want to come back together in the first place.
Paul Simon always resented that Garfunkel got so much adoration and credit for singing songs that Simon wrote. And, Garfunkel resented Simon’s songwriting. Later in their career, Simon was angry and jealous that Garfunkel had a significant role in a movie and was away for so long.
However, they do reunite now and then for performances.
Is Art Garfunkel Still Touring?
Art Garfunkel is still touring. In fact, he has shows scheduled in Europe for 2022, and his website states more are coming. Check his website for current and future dates.
Garfunkel Is Still an Active Part of the Music World
Art Garfunkel is still a busy musician, recording and performing concerts. He’s also apparently active enough to walk entire countries! It seems likely that he’ll release more books too.
Whatever he does will inevitably be in the shadow of Simon and Garfunkel. Though that relationship was often turbulent, it did give us Garfunkel’s gently haunting voice, and that’s an excellent thing.
Have you read Art Garfunkel’s memoir? What did you think of it?