Last night I caught part of Paul Simon’s Gershwin Award performance on PBS and let me tell you it is worth checking out.
In the last half hour alone he invited Ladysmith Black Mambazo up for Diamonds on the Soles of her shoes, Art Garfunkel for Bridge Over Troubled Water and Stevie Wonder and the Dixie Hummingbirds for Loves Me Like a Rock.
Each collaboration was fantastic and really showed the diversity that Simon has embraced as a performer over his career. His interaction with each artist was very friendly and showed a mutual respect that I had to admire as I watched.
While I will get to the moment that inspired me to write this in a minute I have to say that I was pleasantly surprised by Art Garfunkel. He really let go and brought the house down with a moving performance of a timeless song. His voice has suffered a bit over the years but his passion has only grown.
The final song of the broadcast, “Loves Me Like a Rock” featured Simon with The Dixie Hummingbirds and Stevie Wonder but it was the Hummingbirds lead man Ira Tucker who stole the show and even got to sing his verse twice (watch and you’ll see what I mean). It was incredible to see a man his age reinventing a modern classic as he poured his soul into the song. If you like, or even just respect, what Paul Simon has done for popular music over his career, don’t miss this special performance.