top of page

Tom & Jerry – a duo that knows how to rock!

Back in 1953, Arthur Garfunkel was just 11 years old when he became friends with Paul Simon. The duo's shared love of music unwittingly led them on a long and successful career path in music, far exceeding their humble hopes as 11-year-olds.

Do-wop music provided the catalyst that brought these two together. Over time, Garfunkel began to focus on vocal duties while Simon honed his guitar playing.

As a result of growing up in a suburb of New York City, the duo had both opportunities to perform and easy access to recording studios.

When they were 15 years old in 1957, they pooled their money to pay the $25 recording fee for "Hey, Schoolgirl," a song based loosely on an Everly Brothers song, at the Sanders Recording Studio in New York City.

Big Records exec/songwriter Sidney Prosen, who took a strong interest in the upcoming duo, spotted the pair by chance. Prosen believed that the names Garfunkel and Simon lacked the pizazz to pique the public's interest. So the names Tom Graph (Garfunkel) and Jerry Landis (Simon) were chosen, and as we all know, here we are today, delving into the hows and whys.

"Dancin' Wild" and "Hey Schoolgirl" were re-recorded and released in stores and on the radio in 1958, performing well on various music charts. To top off their unexpected success, the duo appeared on the hugely popular television show "American Bandstand."

The duo attempted to capitalize further under the Tom & Jerry name with limited success, eventually abandoning their musical careers to attend college. The pair remained active in the music industry while attending college, thanks to the success of "Hey Schoolgirl."

Simon and Garfunkel have made many memorable contributions to conventional music and have long been a part of the classic music of days gone by, as history has long demonstrated.

According to Pitchfork, Simon & Garfunkel was a high-profile folk group distinguished by their intuitive harmony and Paul Simon's articulate songwriting, yet more conservative than Greenwich Village's folk revivalists.

In the late 1960s, they had become the unthreatening, accessible folk establishment, which forty years later made them an ideal gateway act to the weirder, harsher, more complex folkies of the 60s. Later albums, however, featured more ambitious production techniques and incorporated elements of gospel, rock, R&B, and classical music.

Bridge over Troubled Water ranked 51 on Rolling Stone's list of 500 Greatest Albums of All Time in 2003. Parsley, Sage, Rosemary, and Thyme at number 201, Bookends at number 233, and Greatest Hit at number 293. Among Rolling Stone's 500 Greatest Songs of All Time in 2004, "Bridge Over Troubled Water" ranked 47, "The Boxer" came in at 105, and "The Sound of Silence" came in at 156.


bottom of page