Carly Simon

Carly Simon, a New England music icon, was born in the the Bronx, NY. Although she grew up in Riverdale, NY, she chose to live most of her life in Massachusetts, a state which happily adopted her as one of its own. Carly was one of four children born into a family with a love for music. Her father, co-founder of Simon and Schuster Publishing, was a classical pianist, and her mother was a singer and social activist. 

When Carly was seven, she was sexually assaulted by a family friend resulting in the development of a severe stutter by the time she was eight. Psychiatry was unsuccessful in curing her. Fortunately, people who stutter are usually able to sing or recite poetry without difficulty, leading Carly to turn to writing music as therapy and eventually curing herself by doing something she loved. 

She began her career in 1964 with her sister, Lucy, performing as the Simon Sisters. The duo had some minor success and recorded three albums,  including one of songs for children. In spite of her constant struggle with stage fright, Carly decided to attempt a solo career and was signed by Elektra in 1970. With the release of her first album in 1971, Carly was quickly on her way to the top. In  1972 she won a Grammy for Best New Artist.

Carly had known James Taylor as a child on Martha’s Vineyard, but didn’t meet him again until 1971. By 1972, they married and became one of music’s royal couples. Together they had three children and made several duet recordings, frequently singing back-up for each other. By 1983, Taylor’s drug use and cheating brought an end to the marriage. 

Over the years, Carly has won multiple awards for her work.  In 1988-1989 she became the first to win an Oscar, a Golden Globe, and a Grammy for songs composed, written, and performed by a single artist. This achievement confirmed that Carly Simon is a unique and incredible talent. 

During her long career, Carly has written and recorded every type of music from contemporary opera to Disney songs. She has recorded and performed with many artists including Mick Jagger, Stevie Wonder, Taylor Swift, and her children, Sally and Ben. She beat breast cancer in the ’90s and shows no sign of slowing down. Carly Simon has enriched our lives and maybe someday she’ll reveal the identities of all of  the men in “You’re So Vain.” Warren Beatty has been identified as the man in the second verse, but the other two remain the subject of much speculation and one of music’s most entertaining mysteries. 

(By Carol Starkey)


Published on December 28, 2012

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