Over 40 years ago, Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel reunited in front of thousands of fans for a free concert in New York’s Central Park. This was their first full-length concert together since their break up in 1970. Do you have a favorite Simon & Garfunkel song?
‘The Concert in Central Park’ was an epic event for both musicians, and their fans were thrilled to attend on September 19th, 1981. Simon & Garfunkel played all their hits for their adoring fans, including their number 1 song ‘Bridge Over Troubled Water.’
Art Garfunkel recalled, ‘It was Central Park, we were full of joy, and I can tell you a singer gets very happy when he performs in front of 500,000 people. It was thrilling to be in front of an enormous crowd of that size. It tells you that they’re saying, ‘we love you, big time,’ and that made us very, very happy.’
The entire event was filmed by HBO and released the following year along with the soundtrack album. The duo toured Europe and North America after the success of the show.
Proceeds from the concert went toward the redevelopment and maintenance of the park, which had deteriorated due to a lack of municipal funding. The show and album marked the start of Paul Simon’s and Art Garfunkel’s three-year reunion.
Besides hit songs from their years as a duo, their set-list included material from their solo careers and covers. The show consisted of 21 songs, including the classics ‘The Sound of Silence,’ ‘Mrs. Robinson,’ and ‘The Boxer.’ The evening concluded with a reprise of Simon’s song ‘Late in the Evening.’
Simon & Garfunkel was one of the best-selling music groups of the 1960s. They scored number 1 records and became beloved folk musicians. They sold over 100 million records, making them one of the most successful music acts in history.