Jewish Musician Paul Simon Retiring

By Matthew Straubmuller (imatty35) (https://www.flickr.com/photos/imatty35/5795651734/) [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Paul Simon has spent six decades composing and singing songs.

Paul Simon has announced he will be retiring from regular touring gigs. At 76-years-old, he has had a career of about 60 years. Simon, although Jewish, never highlighted his religion. His stance goes against his Jewish music compatriots like Bob Dylan, Matisyahu, and Leonard Cohen.

Simon has earlier hinted at retirement in 2016. He said that he has no more interest in showbiz. The retirement is a fitting end to an extraordinary career. There was scarcely any other rock artist like him to import musical styles from different corners of the world. Paul Simon sampled them all: reggae, African, gospel, and zydeco. Even Jesus found more than a mention in his songs. He said that all musical styles intrigued him. This is why his music has shades of world music.

If there is one aspect which is rarely to be found in Simon's music, then it is what can be termed as “Jewish” music. Only one song Silent Eyes from the Still Crazy After All These Years album makes the cut. It evoked Jewish sensibilities.

In his statement, Simon said that he frequently wondered how it would be like to reach a certain stage where it would make sense to end his performing career. When he reached that point, he found it a tad unsettling. There was also relief and a little exhilaration. Simon admitted that the death of Vincent N'guini, his longtime guitarist, made up his mind to go for retirement. The decision was sealed when he considered the time he could not see his family due to touring commitments. He has assured his fans that he will fulfill all his commitments like doing the Homeward Bound tour. The tour plan will witness the singer and songwriter performing 30 times across the United States and Europe.

Simon's commercial success started with being one half of the iconic Simon & Garfunkel singing duo. The other singer was Art Garfunkel. The pair sang to songs written by Simon. The duo began singing together in 1964. The partnership lasted six years before finally dissolving in 1970. Simon then started a highly successful singing career by himself. He was both singer-songwriter and guitarist. His most popular work until now has been Graceland, the album inspired by the music he heard in the townships of South Africa. The album sold 14 million copies all over the world.

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