Its not very often that the town I was raised in ever gets on the TV even on the local news,so its even more amazing when I found out the other day that Brentwood is actually famous in the annals of popular music. It was while watching the local news this report came up:
Paul Simon was born on October 13, 1941 and is an American musician, actor and singer-songwriter. Simon’s fame, influence, and commercial success began as part of the duo Simon & Garfunkel, formed in 1964 with musical partner Art Garfunkel. Simon wrote nearly all 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”.
In early 1964, Simon and Garfunkel got an audition with Columbia Records, whose executive Clive Davis was impressed enough to sign the duo to a contract to produce an album. Columbia decided that the two would be called simply “Simon & Garfunkel,” instead of the group’s previous name “Tom and Jerry.” Simon and Garfunkel’s first LP, Wednesday Morning, 3 A.M., was released on October 19, 1964; it consisted of 12 songs in the folk vein, five written by Simon.
Simon, who had dropped out of New York law school, had decided to tour England’s pubs and clubs after struggling to make a name for himself in America.At the first club he played, the Railway Inn Folk Club in Brentwood, Essex, he met Kathy Chitty who became his girlfriend. A year before that in 1963, Kathy then aged 18, with her love of folk music,had gone to the nearby Railway Inn folk club, in Brentwood, Essex, where she eventually sold tickets.
Her elfin qualities, huge eyes and aura of gentleness through her shy personality caught his attention and an intense love affair followed. During their relationship he wrote dozens of hits that were later performed alongside his friend Art Garfunkel in Simon and Garfunkel. Kathy is mentioned by name twice in ‘America’ and the song ‘Homeward Bound’ is about returning from a gig in Widnes to see her in Essex.
But perhaps the most poignant is ‘Kathy’s Song’ which he wrote about missing her while in New York. It includes the lines: ‘I gaze beyond the rain drenched streets, to England where my heart lies… My thoughts are many miles away, they lie with you when you’re asleep, and kiss you when you start the day.’ But with his initial success, the shy and sensitive Kathy became frightened of the huge attention from fans and returned home from the US in the mid-1960s
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