Listen to this track by folk-rock titans and close harmony bar setters Paul Simon and Arthur Garfunkel, known to the world by the partnership name of Simon & Garfunkel. It’s ‘The Only Living Boy In New York” as taken from the duo’s 1970 album, Bridge Over Troubled Water, their final (to date) studio album and the B-side to their well-known favourite “Cecilia”. This song is the sound of the edge of the 1970s, and what would soon be a disolved partnership most associated with the 1960s.
The pair had made four albums before this one, gaining an audience as a folk-rock duo, with an impressive number of hit singles in that vein, making them one of the most prominent acts of that decade. But, before they were Simon & Garfunkel, they were Tom & Jerry, a pop duo with a minor hit in the charts at the end of the ’50s in “Hey Schoolgirl“, influenced heavily by another titanic vocal duo – The Everly Brothers. They even appeared on the venerated TV show American Bandstand under that moniker. So, when Simon sings about ‘Tom’ in this particular song, it’s not hard to imagine that he’s talking about his soon-to-be-erstwhile partner, who by the end of the ’60s had found a second career as an actor. (more…)