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Ray Kelly, former New York City police commissioner, recently spoke with The Wall Street Journal about Simon & Garfunkel's "The Sound Of Silence." Here is an excerpt:

During the Vietnam War, I was a first lieutenant in the Marine Corps. I was sent over to Vietnam in August 1965 and spent almost a year there. During our down time, I hung out with other Marines in a makeshift hut where we had a bar that served beer. That’s where I first heard Simon & Garfunkel’s “The Sound of Silence.”


Legacy Recordings Set to Release 'Simon & Garfunkel - The Complete Columbia Albums Collection' on 180gram Audiophile Vinyl and 'Simon & Garfunkel: The Concert in Central Park' on CD/DVD for the First Time and 12" Vinyl

PBS to Air "Simon & Garfunkel: The Concert in Central Park" Film in August 2015


Columbia Records and Legacy Recordings Set to Release Simon & Garfunkel - The Complete Albums Collection on Monday, November 24, 2014

Monumental Box Set Includes 5 Studio Albums, 4 Live Albums, The Graduate Soundtrack and 1972's 14x Platinum Selling Simon and Garfunkel's Greatest Hits


Today their acclaim is universal but in 1964 Simon & Garfunkel’s debut LP Wednesday Morning, 3 A.M. ... only sold about 2,000 copies. A mix of Paul Simon originals, folk covers and traditional tunes, its highlight was a Simon composition recorded on March 10, 1964, "The Sounds of Silence."

...Simon and tenor Art Garfunkel honed the song in Greenwich Village coffeehouses before they recorded "The Sounds of Silence" with producer Tom Wilson. Backed by just two acoustic guitars and an upright bass, ‘The Sounds of Silence’ was drowned out by the wave of Beatlemania that swept America in 1964. Discouraged, the long-time friends split up. Simon moved to England and Garfunkel returned to college in New York.

In an interview with NPR, Simon explained the appeal of the song, retitled "The Sound of Silence" on later compilations. “The key to ‘The Sound Of Silence’ is the simplicity of the melody and the words, which are youthful alienation.