Everybody knows who Paul Simon is, and we can all probably even name and sing along with some of his records. Granted, a lot of his success was writing songs and singing along with Art Garfunkel, but Paul had a number of successful singles himself.
But the radio ignores a lot of his singles. Paul released at least 27 singles that failed to make it to the Hot 100 and a half-dozen more that didn’t make it to the top forty. And exactly two singles that made it to #40, but no higher.
His fourth album, Still Crazy After All These Years was released in 1975 and won Grammy awards in 1976 for Album of the Year and Best Male Pop Vocal Performance. It even spawned the chart-topping single 50 Ways to Leave Your Lover. Unfortunately, one single from the album failed to chart and a second single only reached #23 in 1975.
Perhaps the surprise from the album was the poor performance of the title song. Still Crazy After All These Years was released as the third single from the album and while it did reach #40 in 1976, it failed to get any higher. Maybe the problem was releasing a slow ballad at a time when Disco was starting to boil. Maybe we’re measuring the record incorrectly by ignoring its climb to the top five on the Adult Contemporary chart.
Maybe it just needed a video, and it was too soon for MTV or even PopClips.
Fortunately, we did get a video of sorts. The week before Thanksgiving in 1976 Paul appeared as the host of Saturday Night Live and started the show with the song. There was just one problem…he was dressed in a turkey suit. Now that’s a video for the ages!
Oh, almost forgot – the other single that only got to number 40 was One Trick Pony, the 1980 title song from a movie about a musician who is trying to save a dying career. It was six years before Paul reached the top forty again after that movie, and that success came about mostly because it had a video which featured Chevy Chase.