The Day Paul Simon Launched His First Solo Tour
Paul Simon kicked off his first tour as a solo artist on May 6, 1973 in Boston. He and longtime partner in musical splendor Art Garfunkel parted ways in 1970, following a highly successful run as pop's premier duo.
The Simon & Garfunkel musical relationship dated back to 1957 as Tom & Jerry, but it wasn't until the 1965 single of "The Sounds of Silence" that the gates swung open. Their final album, Bridge Over Troubled Water, was released in early 1970, and despite its huge success, time had frayed the duo and they split.
Simon issued his self-titled solo debut in January 1972, and it spawned the hits "Mother and Child Reunion" and "Me and Julio Down by the Schoolyard," but it would be more than a year later before Simon hit the stage as a solo act. Despite a hit album, not to mention a catalog of Simon and Garfunkel hits, Simon was initially somewhat tentative about the tour – fearing that a tour without Art Garfunkel would be a flop.
His second solo album was rush released to coincide with the tour. There Goes Rhymin’ Simon hit shelves the day before his first shows and proved to be another rousing smash with songs like "Kodachrome" and "Loves Me Like a Rock." Simon brought along vocal groups Urubamba and the Jesse Dixon Singers on tour, wanting to show off his growing interest in what would become known as world music.
The set list that first night consisted of just what you would imagine, solo tracks and S&G hits. An official live LP from the tour, Paul Simon in Concert: Live Rhymin, arrived the following spring.