Saturday, November 22, 2008

to my friends...

Paul Simon: You can call me Al

Here's a few miscellaneous facts about this song:

Simon recorded this 3 months after returning from South Africa, where he worked with local musicians and experimented with their sounds. At the time, South Africa was divided by Apartheid, a policy that separated blacks and whites, and many musicians were boycotting the country as a result (check out the Songfacts on "Sun City"). Simon's visit went over very well, and including South African musicians on the album gave it a distinctive sound that helped make it a huge hit.

This originally charted at US #44 in Oct, 1986. It was reissued with greater promotion in March, 1987 and hit #23.

This was the first single off Graceland, which won a Grammy for Album Of The Year in 1988.

The African Rhythms were supplied by the South African group Ladysmith Black Mambazo. Simon would later produce 2 albums for the group.

This was Simon's first hit since 1980, when "Late In The Evening" went to #6 in the US.

Al Gore used this while he was running for Vice President in 1992. Simon has played at various Democratic fund raisers.

More facts available at

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