Carly Simon

Carly Elisabeth Simon (born June 25, 1945) is an American singer-songwriter, musician, and children’s author. She rose to fame in the 1970s with a string of hit records, and has since been the recipient of two Grammy Awards, an Academy Award, and a Golden Globe Award for her work.

She is the former wife of another notable singer-songwriter, James Taylor, with whom she has two children: Sarah “Sally” Maria Taylor and Ben Taylor, who are also musicians.

A long respected and acclaimed artist Simon was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1994.

Simon was born in New York City, New York. Her father, of Jewish descent, was Richard L. Simon (co-founder of Simon & Schuster), a pianist who often played Chopin and Beethoven at home. Her mother was Andrea Louise Simon (née Heinemann),[1] a civil rights activist and singer of black and German descent. In a 2004 interview with journalist Michael Kors for the July issue of Interview Magazine, Simon revealed her full ancestry as being Jewish, African, Cuban and French, making it evident that her multiracial mother was of German, Cuban and African ancestry.[2]

Carly Simon was raised in the Riverdale neighborhood of the Bronx, New York City [3] and has two older sisters, Joanna (b. 1940) and Lucy (b. 1943), and a younger brother, Peter (b. 1947). Simon, her sisters and brother Peter, were raised nominal Catholics, according to a book of photography Peter published in the late 1990s.[4] She attended Riverdale Country School. She also briefly attended Sarah Lawrence College and joined Alpha Gamma Delta, before dropping out to pursue music.

Carly Performing, “You’re So Vain”

Simon’s career began with a short-lived attempt with her sister Lucy as The Simon Sisters. They had a minor hit in 1964 which was called “Winkin’, Blinkin’, and Nod”, and made three albums together before Lucy left to get married and start a family. Later, Simon collaborated with eclectic New York rockers Elephant’s Memory for about six months. She also appeared in the 1971 Milos Forman movie Taking Off and played an auditioning singer and sang “Long Term Physical Effects”, which was included in Taking Off, the 1971 soundtrack for the movie.

Her solo music career began in 1971, with the self-titled Carly Simon on Elektra Records. The album contained her breakthrough top-ten hit “That’s the Way I’ve Always Heard It Should Be“. It was followed quickly by a second album, Anticipation. The title song from that album, written about a romance between Simon and Cat Stevens, was a significant hit, reaching #3 at Easy Listening radio and #13 on Billboard’s Hot 100. The next single release – also reportedly written about Stevens – was “Legend In Your Own Time” which failed to make much of an impact on the charts.[5] After their brief liaison during 1970-1971 ended amicably, Stevens wrote his song “Sweet Scarlet” about Simon, who also had highly publicized relationships with Warren Beatty, Mick Jagger, Kris Kristofferson, and James Taylor during this period.

1972 “Anticipation”

In 1973 Simon scored the biggest success of her career with the classic global smash “You’re So Vain“. It hit #1 on the US Pop and Adult Contemporary charts and sold over a million copies in the United States alone. It was one of the decade’s biggest hits and propelled Simon’s breakthrough album No Secrets to #1 on the US album charts, where it stayed for six consecutive weeks. The album achieved Gold status that year, but by the album’s 25th anniversary in 1997, the album had been certified Platinum. “You’re So Vain” received Grammy Award nominations for Record Of The Year, Song Of The Year and Best Pop Vocal Performance, Female. Additionally, as of 2008, it is listed at #72 on the Billboard Hot 100‘s definitive list of the Hot 100’s top 100 songs from the chart’s first 50 years, August 1958 through July 2008.

The subject of the song itself has become one of the biggest enigmas in popular music, as this track also carries one of the most famous lyrics: “You’re so vain/I bet you think this song is about you.” Simon has never publicly admitted who the song is about. She hinted that it could be a composite of several people, and for many people the most likely “suspects” have always been Beatty or Jagger, who sings backup vocals on this recording. Simon has given vague hints over the decades to a variety of talk shows and publications, saying that riddles wouldn’t be interesting if everyone knew the answers to them. On August 5, 2003, she did finally auction off the information to the winner of a charity function for a grand total of $50,000.00 USD, with the condition that the winner (a television executive, Dick Ebersol on NBC’s Today Show) not reveal who it is.[6]

1972 “That’s The Way I always Heard It should Be” -My favorite Carly Simon Tune.

Later in 1973, the follow-up single, “The Right Thing To Do”, was another sizable hit, reaching #4 Adult Contemporary and #17 Pop. That same year Simon performed on Lee Clayton‘s album Lee Clayton and co-sang on the song “New York Suite 409” and on Livingston Taylor‘s album Over the Rainbow and sang with both Livingston and his famous brother, James Taylor (who was, by then, her husband) on the songs “Loving Be My New Horizon” and “Pretty Woman“.

in 1974, Simon followed the smash No Secrets album with Hotcakes, which reached #3 on Billboard’s Album Chart and was certified Gold, though it did not match the sales of No Secrets. Hotcakes included two top ten singles, “Mockingbird,” a duet with James Taylor that peaked at #5 on Billboard’s Pop Singles chart, and “Haven’t Got Time For the Pain,” which hit #2 on Billboard’s Adult Contemporary chart.[7] The same year, Simon provided vocals on Tom Rush‘s album Ladies Love Outlaws and co-sang with Rush on “No Regrets” and as backup on “Claim On Me”. In 1975, Elektra released her first greatest-hits album, The Best of Carly Simon, which became Simon’s all time best-selling disc and eventually reached Triple-Platinum status in the United States.

1987 “Nobody Does It Better”

Simon’s record sales declined considerably with 1975’s Playing Possum and 1976’s Another Passenger. Playing Possum was a Top Ten album, with a Top 40 single “Attitude Dancing” and two other charting singles,[8], but Another Passenger produced only one single, “It Keeps You Running,” which barely scraped into the top 50.[9]. 1976 also saw Simon contributing backup vocals on the song “Peter” on Peter Ivers‘s album Peter Ivers. She also made her only appearance on Saturday Night Live. It was a pre-taped performance—a rare occurrence on that show—because Simon suffered terrible bouts of stage fright. In the appearance, she sang two songs: “Half A Chance” and her signature song, “You’re So Vain”.

In 1977, Simon had a surprise international hit with “Nobody Does It Better“, the theme to the James Bond film The Spy Who Loved Me. The million-selling Gold single held at #2 for several weeks, behind Debby Boone’s mega-hit “You Light Up My Life” (which became the biggest hit of the entire decade). “Nobody Does It Better” remains Simon’s second biggest US hit, after “You’re So Vain”. It was 1977’s biggest Adult Contemporary hit, where it held at #1 for seven straight weeks. It also received Grammy nominations for Song Of The Year and Best Pop Vocal Performance Female.

Also in 1977, Simon co-produced Libby Titus‘s album Libby Titus and sang backup on two songs: “Can This Be Our Love Affair?” and “Darkness ‘Til Dawn”.

Simon’s career took another upward swing in 1978 with the hit album Boys In The Trees. The album produced another Top 10 Pop and Adult Contemporary hit with the jazzy and sensual “You Belong To Me”. Boys In The Trees was a major success, and returned Simon to Platinum album status in the United States. It later earned Simon yet another Grammy nomination. Simon was featured on the front covers of People Magazine and Rolling Stone Magazine that spring. Also in 1978, Simon and James Taylor sang backing vocals on two songs for Taylor’s sister Kate‘s album Kate Taylor: “Happy Birthday Sweet Darling” and “Jason & Ida”. Simon and Taylor also sang backup on three songs on John Hall‘s debut solo album John Hall, “The Fault”, “Good Enough” and “Voyagers”. Simon and Taylor would also sing backup on one song, “Power”, from Hall’s next album, which is also titled Power (1979).

On November 2, 1978, Simon guested on the song “I Live In The Woods” at a live, four hour concert by Burt Bacharach and the Houston Symphony Orchestra at Jones Hall in Houston, Texas. All of the songs at that concert became Bacharach’s album Woman, which was released in 1979. That year, shortly after the Three Mile Island nuclear accident, from September 19 to September 22, a series of concerts were held at New York’s Madison Square Garden and sponsored by MUSE (Musicians United for Safe Energy), a group of musicians against nuclear power, co-founded by John Hall. Always politically active, Simon and James Taylor were part of the concerts which later became a film documentary, as well as a live album that was called No Nukes.

Simon released her last album for Elektra , Spy, in 1979. It sold poorly, although a harder-edged single from the album, “Vengeance”, was a modest hit and received airplay on US Album Rock stations. “Vengeance” earned Simon a Grammy nomination for Best Rock Vocal Performance Female in early 1980 – the first year to feature the new category.

From 1972 to 1979, Simon sang backup vocals on the following James Taylor songs and albums (not counting compilations): “One Man Parade” from 1972’s One Man Dog, “Rock ‘n’ Roll Is Music Now”, “Let It All Fall Down”, “Me And My Guitar”, “Daddy’s Baby” and “Ain’t No Song” from 1974’s Walking Man, “How Sweet It Is (To Be Loved By You)” from 1975’s Gorilla, “Shower the People“, “A Junkie’s Lament”, “Slow Burning Love” and “Family Man” from 1976’s In the Pocket, and “B.S.U.R.” from 1979’s Flag. She also co-wrote with Taylor the song “Terra Nova” on his 1977 album JT. At the end of the song, Simon sang what has come to be known as “Lambert’s Cove“.

In 1980, Simon signed with Elektra’s sibling label Warner Bros. Records. During a show in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania while she toured to promote her album, Come Upstairs, Simon collapsed onstage of exhaustion. She subsequently performed considerably less throughout the 1980s. Simon scored another million-selling US Gold single with the memorable hit, “Jesse”, from that album. Simon also contributed the song “Be With Me” to the 1980 album In Harmony: A Sesame Street Record , which was produced by her sister Lucy and Lucy’s husband, David Levine. Simon can also be heard on the song “In Harmony”, along with other members of the Simon/Taylor families. Carly and Lucy contributed a “Simon Sisters” song – which was called “Maryanne” – to the 1982 follow-up album In Harmony 2, which was also produced by Lucy and her husband. Both albums won Grammy Awards for Best Album for Children.

Torch (1981) was an album of melancholy jazz standards, but suffered from disappointing sales. The Nile Rodgers & Bernard Edwards produced single “Why“, from the soundtrack to the 1982 movie Soup For One, was a top 10 hit single in the UK but stalled at #74 in the US. She had another minor UK success with the single “Kissing With Confidence“, a song off the 1983 album Dancing For Mental Health by Will Powers (a pseudonym for photographer Lynn Goldsmith). Simon was the uncredited singer of the song co-written and mixed by Todd Rundgren. Simon’s singles were generally less successful in the 1980s, although most of them did quite well on Adult Contemporary radio formats. In 1983, she made her last album for Warner, Hello Big Man, but this also suffered from disappointing sales. That same year, Simon performed on two albums, The Perfect Stranger by Jesse Colin Young (singing on the track “Fight For It” with Young) and Wonderland by Nils Lofgren (singing on the track “Lonesome Ranger” with Lofgren). By this time, her contract with Warner Bros ended. In 1985, she signed with Epic Records and made one album for them, Spoiled Girl. Unfortunately, this too was commercially unsuccessful and her contract with Epic was cancelled.

In 1986, Simon signed with Arista Records and soon rebounded from her career slump. Her first album for them, Coming Around Again (1987), gave Simon another international hit with the title track (which was featured in the film Heartburn), returning her to the Billboard Pop Top 20 and the UK Top 10 (It also garnered her a Grammy nomination for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance). The album also featured the Top 10 Adult Contemporary hits “Give Me All Night”, “The Stuff That Dreams Are Made Of”, “All I Want Is You” and a cover of “As Time Goes By” (featuring Stevie Wonder on harmonica). The album itself was her first Gold release in nine years, and went Platinum in 1988. These and older songs were featured in a picturesque HBO concert special which was filmed at Martha’s Vineyard, where Simon and her band performed live on a pier. Most of these songs were compiled for her 1988 album, Greatest Hits Live. The album continued her mounting comeback, quickly going Gold, and was later certified Platinum by the RIAA in 1996.From “Live” a recording of Simon’s evergreen “You’re So Vain” was released as a single in the UK.

Throughout the 1980s, Simon successfully contributed to several film and television scores, including the songs: “Why” for the 1982 movie Soup For One, “Something More” for the 1982 movie Love Child, “Someone Waits For You” for the 1984 movie Swing Shift, “All The Love In The World” for the 1985 TV movie Torchlight, “It’s Hard To Be Tender” for the 1986 TV miniseries Sins, “If It Wasn’t Love” for Nothing In Common (1986), “Two Looking At One” for The Karate Kid, Part II (1986), “Coming Around Again”/”Itsy Bitsy Spider” for Heartburn (1987), and “Let the River Run” for Working Girl (for which she won the 1988 Academy Award for Best Song; the Golden Globe Award for Best Song and the Grammy for Best Song for a Motion Picture.

Carly Simon is the first artist to win all three awards (Oscar, Golden Globe and Grammy) for a song that is composed and written, as well as performed, entirely by a single artist (the only other such artist being Bruce Springsteen for his “Streets of Philadelphia” 1993: Oscar, 1994: Golden Globe & 2 Grammys).

The Working Girl soundtrack, came out in early 1989, which featured more music from Simon, and as a tribute to Christa McAuliffe, who was slated to be the first teacher in space and who died in the Space Shuttle Challenger disaster she also wrote a song entitled “You’re Where I Go”. McAuliffe was a Simon fan and had taken a cassette of her music on board the shuttle.

In 1987, Simon also sang the theme for the 1988 Democratic National Convention “The Turn of The Tide” for a Marlo Thomas TV special entitled Free to Be…A Family. The song was later included on the 1988 soundtrack album of the same name on A&M Records.

In 1990, Simon released two albums; her second standards album, My Romance, and an album of original material Have You Seen Me Lately. The latter featured a major (#4) Adult Contemporary hit with “Better Not Tell Her” – Simon’s biggest hit of the 1990s. Her second children’s book, “The Boy of the Bells” was also published in 1990 and she wrote the score for the 1990 film Postcards from the Edge. In 1991, Simon wrote her third children’s book, “The Fisherman’s Song”, which was based on the song of the same name from her 1990 album “Have You Seen Me Lately”. The same year, she performed a duet with Plácido Domingo on the song “The Last Night Of The World” (from the Miss Saigon musical) on Domingo’s album The Broadway I Love. A year later, Simon wrote the music for the Nora Ephron film “This Is My Life”, notable the song “Love Of My Life”. In 1993, she contributed the song “In the Wee Small Hours of the Morning” for the film Sleepless In Seattle and recorded the same song in combo with “Guess I’ll Hang My Tears Out to Dry” with Frank Sinatra for his album Duets.

1979 James Taylor and Carly Simon performing, “Mockingbird”

1993 saw Simon recording a contemporary opera called Romulus Hunt (having been commissioned by the Metropolitan Opera Association and the Kennedy Center) and published of her fourth children’s book, “The Nighttime Chauffeur”. She also contributed to Andreas Vollenweider‘s album Eolian Minstrel. Simon co-wrote the song “Private Fires” with Vollenweider and was featured vocalist on the song.

In 1994, she covered “Take Me Out To The Ball Game” for Ken Burns‘ 1994 film Baseball , as well as a recording of “I’ve Got a Crush On You” for Larry Adler‘s covers album The Glory of Gershwin. That same year, Simon recorded another album of original songs, Letters Never Sent, and contributed a Christmas song, “The Night Before Christmas”, to the movie and soundtrack Mixed Nuts. In April 1995, Simon surprised thousands of commuters at New York’s Grand Central Terminal with an unannounced performance which was filmed for a Lifetime Television Special. It was also released on home video in December of that year. Also in 1995, she put aside years of stage fright long enough to perform on an American concert tour in conjunction with Hall & Oates. That same year, Clouds In My Coffee, a boxed set (of highlights from her career from 1965 to 1995) was released. On August 30, 1995, Simon made a rare joint appearance with her ex-husband, James Taylor, for a concert on Martha’s Vineyard. Dubbed “Livestock ’95”, it was a benefit for the Martha’s Vineyard Agricultural Society, with over 10,000 people in attendance. She performed a duet with Mindy Jostyn on the song “Time, Be On My Side”, on Jostyn’s 1995 album Five Miles From Hope.

Simon wrote the theme songs to several more movies, including “Two Little Sisters” from the 1996 movie Marvin’s Room and “In Two Straight Lines” from the 1998 movie Madeline. 1997 saw the release of Simon’s third standards album in collaboration with Jimmy Webb, Film Noir, as well as her fifth children’s book, “Midnight Farm”. In 1998, Simon was diagnosed with breast cancer and had a mastectomy and received chemotherapy. In 1999 The Very Best Of Carly Simon: Nobody Does It Better, a UK-only greatest hits album, was released. That year, Simon was the featured vocalist for “Your Silver Key” on the album Cosmopoly by Andreas Vollenweider.

During the 1990s, the American press reported on an incident between Simon and the Pretenders‘ vocalist Chrissie Hynde, at a Joni Mitchell concert at New York’s Fez Club. Some reports stated that a drunk and disorderly Hynde grabbed Simon around the neck and punched her, although Simon, herself, attempted to put these rumors to rest on her official website in 2002. Numerous witnesses, however, claim that Simon was, indeed, assaulted by Hynde.[10]

In 2000, she returned from her illness with The Bedroom Tapes, her first album of original songs in almost six years. It was however one of the poorest selling albums of her career. One of the album tracks “Our Affair” was featured in a remixed version in the Gwyneth Paltrow film “Bounce”. In 2001, Simon performed on “Son of a Gun (I Betcha Think This Song Is About You)” with Janet Jackson on Jackson’s album All for You. She also contributed back-up vocals on two songs, “Don’t Turn Away” and “East Of Eden”, for Mindy Jostyn’s 2001 album Blue Stories. In November 2001, “Let the River Run” was used in a public service ad for the United States Postal Service. Entitled “Pride”, it was produced to boost public confidence and postal worker morale in the wake of the September 11, 2001 attacks and the 2001 Anthrax attacks.

In 2002, Simon recorded a Christmas album, Christmas Is Almost Here, for Rhino Records , while she was in Los Angeles to lend support to her son Ben Taylor and his band. That same year, Simon personally chose all of the songs for a two disc anthology album, to be titled Anthology for Rhino Records. 2003 saw a re-release of her 2002 Christmas album with two extra tracks and called Christmas Is Almost Here Again on Rhino Records. The two extra tracks, “White Christmas” and “Forgive”, were also released as a single. Simon also performed several concerts during the 2004 holiday season at Harlem’s Apollo Theater , along with BeBe Winans, son Ben and daughter Sally, Rob Thomas, Livingston Taylor, Mindy Jostyn and Kate Taylor, along with other members of the Taylor and Simon family.

Among Simon’s recent work, there were songs for the Disney Winnie the Pooh films Piglet’s Big Movie in 2003 and Pooh’s Heffalump Movie in 2005. Several of her songs were also featured in the 2004 movie Little Black Book that starred Brittany Murphy and Holly Hunter. Simon appears in a cameo role as herself at the end of the movie. 2004 also saw the release of her fourth greatest hits album, Reflections: Carly Simon’s Greatest Hits, which peaked at #22 on the Billboard charts that year (#25 in the UK). The album became Simon’s first Gold-certified disc since the late 1980s.

In 2005, she released her fourth album of standards, titled Moonlight Serenade. It reached #7 on the Billboard Album charts, her highest-charting album in nearly 30 years. To promote Moonlight Serenade, Simon performed two concerts onboard the Queen Mary 2 which were recorded and released on DVD in 2005. She also performed in a concert tour in the United States – her first tour in 10 years. Simon also sang a duet, “Angel Of The Darkest Night”, with Mindy Jostyn on Jostyn’s 2005 album Coming Home , which was released several months after Jostyn’s death, on March 10, 2005. As one of Simon’s closest friends, Jostyn was married to Jacob Brackman, Simon’s long-time friend and musical collaborator. In 2005, she became involved in the legal defense of musician and family friend John Forté with his struggle against a federal incarceration.

The following year, Simon recorded yet her fifth album of covers, a collection of “soothing songs and lullabies” which was called Into White for Columbia Records. The eclectic collection featured covers of songs by Cat Stevens – the title track, Judy Garland, The Beatles and the Everly Brothers , as well as two new original songs. It also features the vocal collaborations of her children, Ben Taylor and Sally Taylor, both accomplished artists. Released in 2007, it became Billboard Magazines “Hot Shot Debut”, entering the chart at number #13.

Simon is also the featured vocalist on four songs on Andreas Vollenweider‘s holiday album Midnight Clear, released in 2006: “Midnight Clear“, “Suspended Note”, “Hymn to the Secret Heart” and “Forgive”. “Forgive” is a song Simon wrote for her own holiday album on RHINO Records from 2002 (re-released in an expanded version in 2003), Christmas Is Almost Here.

In 2005, Simon paired up with Livingston Taylor on his CD There You Are Again, adding her vocals to his opening track “We’re The Best Of Friends“.

In March 2008, it was announced that Simon had signed to the Starbucks label Hear Music. She released a new album entitled This Kind of Love with them in the spring of 2008. The album is her first collection of original songs since 2000’s The Bedroom Tapes.[11] However, in October 2009, it was reported that Simon was suing Starbucks, saying they didn’t adequately promote her This Kind of Love album – despite the fact that it peaked at a lofty #15 on Billboard’s album chart and sold nearly 150,000 copies. (Incidentally, Simon’s suit states that Starbucks publicly announced it was backing out of participation in Hear Music just days before the album debut – a decision that she claims doomed the record before it was even released.) [12]

On June 19, 2008 Carly Simon and her son, Ben, performed “You’re So Vain” together on The Howard Stern Show on Sirius Satellite radio.

Simon recently released an album of reworkings of many of her classic songs titled “Never Been Gone” on Iris Records.[13]

On November 26, 2009, Simon appeared on the Care Bears float of the 83rd Annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, where she sang “Let The River Run”.

In 1978, I attended a Carly Simon concert at Stoneybrook University out on Long Island, NY. It was one of the most memorable concerts I’ve ever seen. Carly had reinvented her familiar look of the early 1970’s, (blue jeans, tee shirt, hat). She was much more glamorous. She came out on stage wearing a beautiful white lace skirt and blouse. I was surprised by how nervous she was. I also never knew that she stuttered. Interestingly, with every song she grew less and less nervous until you could clearly see she was relaxed and no longer stuttering. She performed most of the familiar songs that made her famous. Among them were, “You’re So Vain,” “Anticipation,” “That’s The Way I always Heard It should Be.” The audience loved her. About three-quarters of the way through the concert the band played the intro to, “Mockingbird.” The real surprise came when James Taylor walked out on stage and the two finished the concert together performing many of James Taylor’s songs as well. unforgettable night!

Sources: Wikipedia, YouTube,

Alternate Bio Info Source:

Carly  SimonBorn: 25-Jun1945
Birthplace: New York City

Occupation: Singer/Songwriter, Author

Nationality: United States
No 1 Hit Song: You’re So Vain

Born into the wealthy New York family that co-founded the Simon & Schuster publishing empire, Carly Simon developed her interest in performing as a young child, both she and her two sisters having been given ample encouragement from their parents to express themselves creatively. All three girls sang together at first, but as the oldest sister Joanna moved on to become a professional opera mezzo-soprano, Carly and Lucy formed the folk duo The Simon Sisters and eventually landed a contract with Kapp Records in 1963. The next year their first single Winkin’, Blinkin’ And Nod made a minor chart impact. Lucy subsequently dropped out of the duo to get married, and Carly — under the ‘guiding hand’ of Bob Dylan‘s manager Albert Grossman — continued on with an attempt at a solo album; although recording was completed and a deal with Columbia was in place, the project never materialized. A period spent basking in secretarial work occupied the next year.

In 1968 Simon worked briefly as the lead singer for Elephant’s Memory, a band that subsequently earned their fame as backing for John Lennon and Yoko Ono. A contract with Elektra in 1970 finally put her solo career back on track, and her self-titled debut reared its head in 1971; the album received a warm reception from most quarters, with the anti-marriage single That’s the Way I’ve Always Heard It Should Be even finding its way into the top ten. The follow-up Anticipation was released later the same year, giving her two more charting singles in the form of the title track and Legend in Your Own Time. 1972’s No Secrets and 1974’s Hotcakes both maintained her popularity, and in the space between the two Simon married singer/songwriter James Taylor and started a family. By the arrival of Playing Possum in 1975, however, interest in the singer began to decline; it wouldn’t be until her recording Nobody Does It Better for the James Bond flick The Spy Who Loved Me in ’77 that her career once again took an upswing, continued with Boys In The Trees in 1978.

A switch to Warner Brothers was made in 1980 after her final release on Elektra, Spy (1979), failed to generate much attention. Occasional peaks took place during the 80s, but on the whole her best years in music seemed to be behind her. A collection of standards entitled Torch (1981) received a slow-burn kind of popularity, while the ballad and the subsequent album Coming Around Again — written for the Mike Nichols film Heartburn (1986) — made a reasonable impact on the charts. By this time a jump from Warner to Arista had been made (with a sole album for Epic surfacing in between). In 1987 another song (Let The River Run) written for another Mike Nichols feature (Working Girl (1988)) provided perhaps the greatest accomplishment of her career: earning her an Oscar, a Golden Globe and a Grammy award for a single song.

At the close of the 80s, Simon embarked on a parallel career of writing books for children. The first of these, Amy The Dancing Bear, was published in 1989; four further stories (The Boy Of The Bells, The Fisherman’s Song, The Nighttime Chauffeur, and Midnight Farm) materialized in later years. Soundtrack work continued throughout the 1990’s, both songs and full scores being contributed to a number of films — amongst them Mike Nichols’ Postcards From The Edge (1990) and Primary Colors (1998), and Nora Ephron‘s This Is My Life (1992). Her recorded output became somewhat less regular towards the end of the decade, but two more collections of standards, a recording of her ‘family opera’ Romulus Hunt, and three more albums of original material were issued by the arrival of 2000.

[1] Calls herself “one-quarter Jewish.” Current Biography Yearbook (1994), page 372.

Father: Richard L. Simon (Co-Founder of Simon & Schuster, d. 1960)
Mother: Andrea Louise Heinemann
Sister: Joanna (opera singer, b. 1940)
Sister: Lucy (b. 1943)
Brother: Peter Simon (b. 1947)
Cat Stevens
Boyfriend: Milos Forman
Husband: James Taylor (singer/songwriter, m. 3-Nov-1972, div. 1983)
Daughter: Sarah Maria Taylor (“Sally”, b. 7-Jan-1974)
Son: Benjamin Simon Taylor (musician, b. 22-Jan-1977)
Boyfriend: Russ Kunkel (musician)
Husband: James Hart (writer, m. 23-Dec-1987)

High School: Riverdale Country Day School, Bronx, NY
University: Sarah Lawrence College (dropped out)

Brill Building
Dean for America
Friends of Hillary
Alpha Gamma Delta Sorority
Grammy Best New Artist Of The Year (1971)
Grammy Best Song Written Specifically For A Motion Picture Or Television (1989)
Oscar for Best Music Original Song 1989 for Working Girl “Let the River Run”
Songwriters Hall of Fame
Risk Factors: Breast Cancer, Smoking, Stuttering

Taking Off (28-Mar-1971)

Official Website:

Author of books:
Midnight Farm (1987, juvenile)
The Boy of the Bells (1990, juvenile)
Amy the Dancing Bear (1990, juvenile)
The Fisherman’s Song: A Romantic Story for All Ages (1991, juvenile)
The Nighttime Chauffer (1993, juvenile)



  1. I had no idea she was Richard Simon of Simon & Schuster’s daughter—interesting!

  2. Well – MLN got my morning off to a great start. Hadn’t seen the Mockingbird video before and it’s such a treat … the chemistry, the moves and [of course], their voices. Woo Hoo! Downright Perky!

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