Happy 80th Birthday Paul Simon: Performing Live For BBC In 2006

Watch Paul perform classics including “Me and Julio Down by the Schoolyard,” “The Boxer” “You Can Call Me Al” and more.

By Nate Todd Oct 13, 2021 1:52 pm PDT

Paul Simon celebrates his 80th birthday today. Simon was born on October 13, 1941 in Newark, New Jersey but grew up in Queens. It was in the New York City borough where Paul met Art Garfunkel in school at age 11 and by 13 Simon had penned his first tune, “The Girl For Me,” which also became the first copyrighted Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel song and the chart, handwritten by Paul’s father for the boys, now sits in the Library of Congress as an important historical document as Simon would go on to become one of the greatest singer-songwriters of all time, not to mention a skilled guitarist, with a career that spans six decades.

The first three of those decades can be viewed in three career-defining eras, the Simon & Garfunkel days of the 1960s, his breakthrough solo work of the 1970s and the Graceland era of the late 1980s. Simon would touch on all three of those epochs in a performance for BBC One Sessions in November 2006 from St. Luke’s in London. Although cross pond success has been the norm for pop stars for as long as Simon has been one, the quintessential New Yorker also has roots in England having lived and worked there as a songwriter in the early 1960s ahead of Simon & Garfunkel’s success.

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But Paul and his band kicked off his 2006 BBC performance with one of his first solo hits, “Me And Julio Down By The Schoolyard,” from Simon’s 1972 self-titled solo debut. The album original featured the use of the Brazilian percussive instrument the cuica, foreshadowing Simon’s foray into experimenting with what was then considered unusual rhythmic elements for pop music. Simon would further that experimentation after visiting South Africa and subsequently recording Graceland, a single for which, “You Can Call Me Al,” would come next.

Simon returned to his Simon & Garfunkel days with the stellar song “The Only Living Boy In New York” from the duo’s landmark 1970 album Bridge Over troubled Water. Paul then performed “Outrageous” from his current album at the time, Surprise. While the singer-songwriter also delivered Surpsie’s “How Can You Live In The Northeast?” the rest of the set is full of solo classics like “Still Crazy After All These Years,” “Diamonds On The Soles Of Her Shoes,” “Late In The Evening,” “The Boxer” and more.

To celebrate Paul Simon’s birthday, watch the celebrated singer-songwriter perform for the BBC in 2006 below:


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Paul Simon (See 28 videos)

Setlist

Set: Me And Julio Down By The School Yard, You Can Call Me Al, The Only Living Boy In New York, Outrageous, Still Crazy After All These Years, Diamonds On The Soles Of Her Shoes, Father And Daughter, Loves Me Like A Rock, How Can You Live In The Northeast?, Late In The Evening, The Boxer

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