Remember the image of a young Dustin Hoffman racing toward Berkeley in a fire engine-red Alfa Romeo Spider in 1967’s The Graduate?

Would it be as memorable without Simon and Garfunkel’s songs driving the inner drama?

As one-half of the famous folk duo, Paul Simon lost no time as a solo performer giving his audience albums that chimed with fans as well as critics. He has earned 12 Grammy Awards – the albums Bridge Over Troubled Water, Still Crazy After All These Years and Graceland won album of the year honors – and numerous other honors that include induction to the Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame and recipient of the Kennedy Center Honors.

With so much acclaim to his name already, Simon could rest on those abundant laurels and “retire” from the biz in a cloud of media fury. Instead, he quietly released his first album in five years. April’s So Beautiful So What has been called his best since 1986’s powerful Graceland, most of which was recorded in South Africa with such groups as Ladysmith Black Mambazo.

He set out on tour soon after, but then last month Simon released Songwriter, a collection of songs on two discs delivering some of his best-known work as well as those less often heard but no less bearing all the marks of his genius for writing popular music.

The songwriter heads to Oklahoma City Civic Center Music Hall for a Nov. 6 concert. Showing no signs of slowing down, Simon, perhaps, may be that artist/performer who refuses to tease with the “r” word. The American songbook wouldn’t have it any other way. For tickets, visit

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