Famous Like Me > Singer > S > Carly Simon
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Profile of Carly Simon
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|Also Know As:
|Date of Birth:
||25th June 1945
|Place of Birth:
||New York, New York, USA
Carly Elizabeth Simon (born June 25, 1945 in New York City) is an American musician who emerged as one of the leading lights of the early 1970s singer-songwriter boom.
Simon's father was Richard L. Simon (co-founder of Simon & Schuster, Inc.), an accomplished pianist who often played Chopin and Beethoven at home. She was raised in the Riverdale neighborhood of New York City and has two sisters and a brother.
Simon married fellow singer-songwriter James Taylor in 1972. Simon and Taylor had two children, Sarah Maria "Sally" (born on January 7, 1974) and Benjamin Simon "Ben" Taylor (born on January 22, 1977), prior to their 1983 divorce.
After a short-lived attempt at launching a career with her sister Lucy (they had a minor hit in the mid-1960s with a version of the children's song "Winken, Blinken, and Nod" as "The Simon Sisters"), and a short spell with eclectic New York rockers Elephant's Memory, Simon launched her solo career in 1971 with the self-titled Carly Simon. The album contained a top-ten hit, "That's the Way I've Always Heard It Should Be", and was followed quickly by a second album, Anticipation, the title cut from which also scored airplay. Simon's major breakthrough, though, was 1972's No Secrets. The album spawned several successful singles, including Simon's biggest hit, "You're So Vain". (See that article for the enduring mystery of who the song is about).
Simon followed up the success of No Secrets with the well-received albums Hotcakes (1974) and Playing Possum (1975). Her sales began moderating, though in the later 1970s she would have hits with "Nobody Does It Better" (from the soundtrack to the James Bond film The Spy Who Loved Me) and "You Belong to Me" (from Boys in the Trees, 1978).
In 1980, Simon collapsed onstage of exhaustion, and largely retired from performing in the 1980s. Torch (1981) was an album of melancholy standards reflecting her mood at the time. "Why" (1982) was a hit in the UK, but few of her singles in the 1980s rose in the pop charts, although some did better among adult contemporary audiences. Moreover, during this time Simon successfully contributed to several film scores, including the songs "In The Wee Small Hours" for Sleepless In Seattle, "Coming Around Again" for Heartburn, and "Let the River Run" for Working Girl (for which she won the Academy Award for Best Song in 1988). The album Coming Around Again (1987) was her strongest during this decade, as exemplified by "Stuff That Dreams Are Made Of", and the title track, which wove in and out of the children's song "Itsy Bitsy Spider". These and older songs were featured in a picturesque HBO special set on Martha's Vineyard.
Simon worked on several projects in the 1990s including an opera Romulus Hunt and a cover of "Take Me Out To The Ball Game" for Ken Burns' 1994 film Baseball. In 1995 she put aside years of stage fright long enough to stage an American concert tour in conjunction with Hall and Oates. In 1998, Simon was diagnosed with breast cancer and received chemotherapy. In 2000 she recorded her first album since her illness, The Bedroom Tapes.
Among Simon's recent work were songs for the Disney Winnie the Pooh film Piglet's Big Movie. Her songs were also prominently featured in the movie Little Black Book starring Brittany Murphy and Holly Hunter . In 2005 she released another album of standards titled Moonlight Serenade. Moonlight Serenade debuted at number 7 on the Billboard charts, her highest debut since Hotcakes in 1973.
To promote Moonlight Serenade, Simon performed two concerts onboard the Queen Mary II which were recorded and will be released on DVD on November 22, 2005. She also announced a concert tour in the United States, her first tour in 10 years.
Also in 2005, she became involved in the legal defense of fellow musician and family friend John Forté with his struggle against a federal incarceration.
Carly Simon currently lives on Martha's Vineyard and co-owns a store in Vineyard Haven named Midnight Farm, which is also the title of one of the series of children's books she wrote in the 1990s.
Awards and recognition
- Best New Artist, 1972
- Best Song Written Specifically for a Motion Picture or Television, 1990, "Let the River Run" from Working Girl
- Best Song, 1988, "Let the River Run" from Working Girl
- Inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1994.
- Carly Simon, 1971
- Anticipation, 1971
- No Secrets, 1972
- Hotcakes, 1974
- Playing Possum, 1975
- The Best Of Carly Simon, 1975
- Another Passenger, 1976
- Boys In The Trees, 1978
- Spy, 1979
- Come Upstairs, 1980
- Torch, 1981
- Hello Big Man, 1983
- Spoiled Girl, 1985
- Coming Around Again, 1987
- Greatest Hits Live, 1988
- Have You Seen Me Lately, 1990
- My Romance, 1990
- Letters Never Sent, 1994
- Clouds In My Coffee, 1994 (three-disc career retrospective box set)
- Film Noir, 1997
- Nobody Does It Better, 1999
- The Bedroom Tapes, 2000
- Anthology, 2002
- Christmas Is Almost Here, 2002
- Christmas Is Almost Here Again, 2003
- Reflections: Carly Simon's Greatest Hits, 2004
- Moonlight Serenade, 2005
Top-20 hit singles
- "That's the Way I've Always Heard It Should Be",1971, US Adult Contemporary, #6; US Pop Singles, #10
- "Anticipation", 1972, US Adult Contemporary, #3; US Pop Singles, #13
- "You're So Vain", 1973, US Adult Contemporary, #1; US Pop Singles, #1
- "The Right Thing to Do", 1973, US Adult Contemporary, #4; US Pop Singles, #17
- "Haven't Got Time For the Pain", 1974, US Adult Contemporary, #2; US Pop Singles, #14
- "Mockingbird" (with James Taylor), 1974, US Pop Singles, #5
- "Nobody Does It Better", 1977, US Adult Contemporary, #1; US Pop Singles, #2
- "Devoted To You" (with James Taylor), 1978, US Adult Contemporary, #2; US Country Singles , #33; US Pop Singles, #36
- "You Belong to Me", 1978, US Adult Contemporary, #4; US Pop Singles, #6
- "Jesse", 1980, US Pop Singles, #11
- "Why", 1982, UK #10
- "Coming Around Again", 1986, US Adult Contemporary, #5; US Billboard Hot 100, #18
- "All I Want Is You", 1987, US Adult Contemporary, #7; US Adult Contemporary, #5
- "The Stuff That Dreams Are Made Of", 1987, US Adult Contemporary, #8
- "Let the River Run", 1989, US Adult Contemporary, #11
- "Better Not Tell Her", 1990, US Adult Contemporary, #4
- "Love of My Life", 1992, US Adult Contemporary, #16
- Amy the Dancing Bear, 1989
- The Boy of the Bells, 1990
- The Fisherman's Song, 1991
- The Nighttime Chauffeur, 1993
- Midnight Farm, 1997
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