Arts & Entertainment

Musician Art Garfunkel opens up in new memoir

Grammy Award-winning American singer Art Garfunkel performs on stage at the Bloomfield Stadium in the Israeli city of Tel Aviv, on June 10, 2015.
Grammy Award-winning American singer Art Garfunkel performs on stage at the Bloomfield Stadium in the Israeli city of Tel Aviv, on June 10, 2015.
GIL COHEN MAGEN/AFP/Getty Images

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When he was a kid, Art Garfunkel says he was a bit of a loner. He spent many hours playing with his pink Spalding rubber ball in the alley behind his house. As he tried to lob the ball into an attic window, he would sing popular songs of the day, and he says, "I noticed with my ears that I had a nice voice and that I had God's gift in my throat."

The curly-haired half of Simon and Garfunkel recently spoke with KPCC's Alex Cohen about his new memoir "What Is It All But Luminous? Notes From an Underground Man." In the book, Garfunkel writes about growing up in Queens, New York in the 1940s and '50s.

He writes of meeting Paul Simon at their graduation play, "Alice in Wonderland." Simon was the White Rabbit, Garfunkel the Cheshire Cat. The book offers an account of recording a demo of their song "Hey Schoolgirl" for $7 and the actual record (with Simon's father on bass) going to No. 40 on the charts.

Garfunkel will be appearing with Cohen at Grand Performances on Friday at 7:30 p.m. When he spoke with Cohen for KPCC's Morning Edition, the two talked about the role of music in social protest and how California influenced the Simon and Garfunkel sound.