Bridge Over Troubled Water – Simon and Garfunkel.

THIS DAY IN MUSIC………………………………..on February 28th of 1970 “Bridge Over Troubled Water” becomes Simon And Garfunkel‘s third US number one hit. The song would go on to win five awards at the 13th Annual Grammy Awards in 1971, including Record Of The Year and Song Of The Year. The piano player on the track is Larry Knechtel, who also played for the soft-rock group, Bread. The drummer was legendary session man Hal BlainePaul Simon wrote this about providing comfort to a person in need. It started as a modest gospel hymn but became more dramatic as he put it together. Speaking in the documentary The Making of Bridge Over Troubled Water, Simon said, “I have no idea where it came from. It came all of the sudden. It was one of the most shocking moments in my songwriting career. I remember thinking, ‘This is considerably better than I usually write.” Art Garfunkel sang this alone, although he thought Simon should have sung it. Says Simon, “Many times I’m sorry I didn’t do it.” Simon wrote this song with just two verses, considering the song “a little hymn.” Garfunkel and producer Roy Halee heard it as more epic, and convinced him to write a third verse, which Paul did in the studio (the “Sail on, Silvergirl part”). This was very unusual for Simon, as he usually took a long time writing his lyrics. Simon’s “little hymn” got a grand production, and after hearing it, Paul thought it was too long, too slow and too orchestral to be a hit. Clive Davis at Columbia Records is the one who heard the commercial appeal of the song, and insisted they market it like crazy and use it as the album title. In 1971, this won five Grammy Awards: Song of the Year, Record of the Year, Best Contemporary Song, Best Engineered Record, and Best Arrangement Accompanying Vocalists. The album also won Album of the Year. Simon, Garfunkel,  Larry Knechtel and the album’s producer Roy Halee worked together to transform it into a piano piece. Knechtel, who was best known as a bass player, had a background in Gospel music and was able to come up with the Gospel piano sound they were looking for. This was one of the few songs to top the US and UK charts at the same time. It was #1 in the US for six weeks, #1 in the UK for three.