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California State University, Northridge

88.5 FM's Robert Hilburn Completes Biography on Paul Simon

Simon discovered rock and roll when he heard DJ Alan Freed on WINS, the radio station which broadcast his beloved Yankees. After teaming with Art Garfunkel in school, Simon sold his baseball cards to purchase a tape recorder to capture their harmonies. They scored a minor hit while still in high school, but it was years before they prospered as a duo.

Based on extensive interviews with Simon and many others, Hilburn (Johnny Cash, 2013) has assembled a thorough and engrossing account of the Rock and Roll Hall of Famer, who broke up a successful partnership and triumphed as a solo act.

Hilburn delves into Simon’s youth in Queens, his many loves (including Carrie Fisher and Edie Brickell), and philanthropy. He also closely examines Simon’s approach to making music including his revisions, experiments in the studio and worldwide search for interesting sounds.

Simon is revealed as sensitive yet tough, spontaneous yet controlled, as well as reflective, perceptive, and empathetic, but also judgmental, insecure, and extremely competitive. As a songwriter, he has earned a spot in the canon alongside Gershwin, Lennon-McCartney and Dylan.