It’s been a little while since I have been inspired to sit down and share the Beat. I am finding I need to follow the little inspiration that comes through my life and not wait just for the big events. So last night I watched the new Late Night with Stephen Colbert that aired on September 11 and found my little inspiration from his musical guest, Paul Simon. I am really into the great American songwriters, and of course Paul is in the top 5 on this list. His songs are some of the best and some of the most beautiful in all of modern music. He became a legend during his years with his partner Art Garfunkel and then continued on as a solo artist, exploring new rhythms from around the world while still telling the American story. I discovered Simon and Garfunkel when their first album, Wednesday Morning, 3AM, came out in 1964. The big song on that album, The Sound of Silence. I was 10 years old ! By the time I was in high school, Paul had gone solo and was changing the world with his music.
As Wikipedia lays out: Simon has earned twelve Grammys for his solo and collaborative work, including a Lifetime Achievement Award. In 2001, he was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and in 2006 was selected as one of the “100 People Who Shaped the World” by Time magazine. In 2011, Rolling Stone magazine named Simon as one of the 100 Greatest Guitarists. In 2015 he was named as one of The 100 Greatest Songwriters by Rolling Stone Magazine. Among many other honors, Simon was the first recipient of the Library of Congress‘s Gershwin Prize for Popular Song in 2007. In 1986, Simon was awarded an Honorary Doctor of Music degree from Berklee College of Music, where he currently serves on the Board of Trustees. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paul_Simon
So after all of these years, here he is, in 2015, sitting on the couch next to Stephen Colbert and closing the show with An American Tune. Just Paul and his acoustic guitar. It sent chills through me as my eyes got blurry. Thank you Paul Simon. We are simply better people because of your music.