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Simon And Garfunkel, The Interview

Art Garfunkel (left) and Paul Simon perform in 2003.
Adam Rountree/Getty Images
Art Garfunkel (left) and Paul Simon perform in 2003.

Simon and Garfunkel made some of the most memorable music of the 1960s and '70s. They're back together on tour, performing old favorites and a new song, "Citizen of the Planet." On Weekend Edition Saturday, NPR's Scott Simon conducts a rare interview with the musical duo.

Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel reminisce about how they met in grade school (in a production of Alice in Wonderland). A year later, they were singing doo-wop together, caught up in the rock-and-roll craze.

Simon remembers how his singing partner inspired his own interest in music. Garfunkel "was the most famous singer in the neighborhood. In fact, it was Artie's singing in a talent show when we were in the fourth grade that prompted me to try singing."

Initially, their musical aspirations were unsuccessful. By the time they were in high school, Garfunkel remembers, they were ready to give up on their dream. In 1957, in a last-ditch effort, they plunked down $7 to record a demo of "Hey Schoolgirl." The song, which they performed under the name Tom and Jerry, became their first hit. They were 15 years old.

In the interview, Simon and Garfunkel discuss the origins of some of their greatest songs — including "Sound of Silence" and "Bridge Over Troubled Water" — and they explain how they've dealt with recurring tensions in their 50-year friendship.

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Scott Simon is one of America's most admired writers and broadcasters. He is the host of Weekend Edition Saturday and is one of the hosts of NPR's morning news podcast Up First. He has reported from all fifty states, five continents, and ten wars, from El Salvador to Sarajevo to Afghanistan and Iraq. His books have chronicled character and characters, in war and peace, sports and art, tragedy and comedy.