Happy Birthday to Carly Simon, who turns 76 today (June 25th)!!! In 2019, Simon published the book about her friend, and former First Lady, Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, titled, Touched By The Sun. Onassis, who died in 1994, befriended Simon years before on Martha’s Vineyard, where the pair began an “improbable, but lasting friendship.”
In 2018, a long-lost Mick Jagger-Carly Simon collaboration, believed to be titled “Fragile,” from 1972 has been unearthed by a Rolling Stones collector. The Associated Press reported London entrepreneur Matt Lee “declined to say where the tape of the song came from. But he said he sent a digital copy of the song to Rolling Stone magazine because they promised to give it to Simon.” Lee explained, “I’m not doing it for the money. I’m a collector. My motive for sending it to Rolling Stone was to pass it to Carly.”
In 2016, Carly Simon spoke to Rolling Stone about the team-up stating, “We had this little back and forth at the piano for about an hour, (singing) ‘Funny, funny, funny, funny, funny, How love can make you cry.’‘” On the demo recording, after the song finishes, a voice — believed to be Simon’s — says, “good song.” Fans have possibly already heard a bit of the tune in the Rolling Stones‘ infamous and long-unreleased 1972 tour film C***Suckers Blues, where Jagger can be heard singing an unknown tune, with the lyrics: “It’s funny, funny, funny.”
Back in 2011 Carly Simon revealed that Mick Jagger took a 1974 collaboration by the two and co-credited Keith Richards instead of her. At the same time that Jagger laid down backing vocals on Simon’s 1972 track and eventual chart-topper, “You’re So Vain,” she says that she and Jagger went on to co-write a future Stones classic — which found her edged her out of the songwriting credit.
Simon was quoted on Marc Spitz‘ recent biography, Jagger: Rebel, Rock Star, Rambler, Rouge, as saying, “We wrote a song together that became a song on the next Stones album (It’s Only Rock N’ Roll) called, ‘Till The Next Goodbye.’ I thought that was going to be a joint venture, but I’d never heard from Mick about how he’d like me to share the royalties.”
She went on to clarify that Jagger was not the subject of “You’re So Vain” — or that the relationship was ever anything other than professional. Simon also said, that there’s no hard feelings for Jagger cribbing the tune from her: “It’s the very least I can do to thank Mick for turning what could have been an ordinary record into an iconic huge song for me over the years — so, my God, let him take all my songs and say he wrote them.”
In 2015, Simon published her autobiography, titled, Boys In The Trees – A Memoir. Simon’s most recent original album, 2009’s Never Been Gone, features new acoustic version of her classics “That’s The Way I’ve Always Heard It Should Be,” “Let The River Run,” “Coming Around Again,” “Anticipation,” “You Belong To Me,” and “You’re So Vain.”
Over the course of her career, Simon has scored a dozen Top 40 hits — and won two Grammy’s — snagging the awards for 1972’s Best New Artist and in 1990 the prize for Best Song Written Specifically For A Motion Picture Or Television for her song “Let The River Run” as featured on the Working Girl soundtrack. The song also earned Simon the Academy Award for Best Original Song.
In July 2013, Simon, who infamously suffers from stage fright, joined Taylor Swift onstage at Boston’s Gillette Stadium to duet on “You’re So Vain.”
Carly Simon admits that she was never a big fan of birthdays, even as a little girl: “They’re all big in a way. I’ve never been a birthday person. I’ve always had birthdays that were at the beginning of summer camp and so all my friends went away to summer camp on my birthday, generally, so I never had parties. And so I was the only one in the family that was never given a party because of it being just that my friends were all away then. Boo-hoo. I always say I don’t care about my birthday and then it turns out if people forget it, I get sad, but I say I don’t really care.”
Simon told us about her life-long battle as a stutter — which continues through today — and revealed that music became a key part of how she learned to communicate: “Even as a child, I would sing most of what I wanted to say. I had a terrible stammer; I couldn’t really speak until I was 16. I couldn’t speak at all fluently until I was 16, and so my mother would always say, ‘Well, just go ahead and sing it,’ because I didn’t stammer when I sang because you use a whole different set of muscles when you sing as opposed to when you talk. So when I would start hesitating or stammering, she would say, ‘Just sing it,’ and then I would sing whatever I was trying to say and I’d be able to do it.”
She told us that says that the most enjoyable part of recording these days is singing with her adult children from her marriage to James Taylor, Sally and Ben Taylor: “With Sally and Ben, when the three. . . I mean Sally and I have very different voices, but there’s something about them that sounds almost identical when we sing. And Ben and I have very similar voices even though he enunciates very much like James, but the huskiness in his voice is like mine. So when Ben and I sing together it sounds very much like the way James and I used to sing.”
Carly Simon recalled recording the backing vocals to “You’re So Vain” with Mick Jagger and Harry Nilsson during the 1972 sessions for her No Secrets album: “Y’know, Harry and I were in there, we were doing it, it didn’t quite have the right character, because it wasn’t tough. I didn’t ask Mick to come over because I needed a tough voice. Mick just showed up, and so we invited him to join us. And so the three of us were singing it together. And it sounded too sweet. The three-part harmony didn’t work, but Harry was the first to notice it, and Harry said, ‘Well, why don’t the two of you try it together?’ Y’know that’s how it happened — but more than anything Harry wanted to go out and have a drink (laughs).”