Breakfast with: Carly Simon

Nov 2019 Breakfast with: Carly Simon

CARLY ELISABETH SIMON was born in the Bronx, New York, on June 25, 1945. Her father was from a German-Jewish family, a classical pianist, and her mother was a singer from Catholic/freed slave descendants raised mainly in England.

Carly grew up within the Bronx as a Roman Catholic. Carly and sister Lucy formed a short-term music group the Simon Sisters with some success, followed by other collaborations. Carly became a singer/ songwriter-musician-actress and children’s author with 23 studio albums, one live album, nine compilation albums and two holiday albums, four soundtrack albums, one audiobook and 41 singles.

Her labels were Elektra – Warner Bros – Epic – Arista – Rhino – Columbia – Hear Music – Iris – plus – Qwest – Angel – Walt Disney – and Macmillan, all with 50% of Carly Simon music. However, all of these statistics concerning Carly lead in just one direction – to the remarkable list of successful major singles in many international charts and we will enjoy looking at that success in the US and UK charts, followed by a glimpse of her awards and recognitions.

Carly has achieved nine entries in the book of British Hit Singles, plus numerous entries in the three foremost US charts. Her singles success started in March ,1971, with the release of her debut album ‘Carly Simon’ which included her Top 10 hit “That’s the Way I’ve Always Heard It Should Be”.

In the US, the album peaked at No.30 and the single at No.10. Her second album in the same year, “Anticipation” , also included a successful single of the same name, and in the US it peaked at No.l3 with the album again at No.30. Neither of these singles entered the UK charts. Her next single release was the modest “Legend in Your Own Time” which peaked at No.50 Pop singles, and No.1 Easy Listening: but there then followed her greatest career accomplishment and one of the great hits of the seventies – “You’re So Vain”- from the ‘No Secrets’ album achieving No.1 on five international charts, including three in the US, and was her first UK hit single reaching No.3. It sold more than one million copies in the US alone, reached Gold status in 1972, and then was certified Platinum in 1997. It received three Grammy Award nominations, and in 2014, the UK Official Charts Company named it the ‘ultimate song of the 1970s’.

So much success for Carly; so much deserved for a first hit single with a mystery subject for the word ‘vain’ – “You’re So Vain” which, in 2015 , Carly confirmed as Warren Beatty, for just the second verse, leaving two other mystery men for the remaining verses. The 1973 follow-up single “The Right Thing to Do” from the ‘No Secrets’ album was another substantial hit in the US, and provided Carly’s second UK hit single, reaching No 17 in UK and US.

Then, in 1974, Carly achieved her third UK hit single singing “Mockingbird” with James Taylor reaching No.34 in the UK and No.5 in the UK hit singles and also Gold certified. Her fourth success was “Nobody Does It Better”, 1977, No.7 in UK and No.2 in US – the theme to the James Bond film ‘ The Spy Who Loved Me’ a million-selling gold single and her second most successful US hit to “You’re So Vain”.

The fifth success was “Why”, 1982, No.10 in UK and No.74 in US; a film soundtrack which became something of a classic in the late eighties. Her sixth success was “Coming Around Again”, 1987, No.10 in UK and No.l8 in US, a revival single for Carly’s faltering career.

The seventh success was “Why”, 1989, an extended version and No.56 in UK. The eighth “You’re So Vain” was a reprise which reached No.41 in the UK. Finally the ninth success was “Son of a Gun (Betcha Think This Song is About You)”, 2001, No.13 in the UK and No 28 in US with Janet Jackson on her album ‘All for You‘.

Other notable singles successes in the three foremost US charts for Carly included ‘Anticipation’ 1971 Nol3 – ‘You Belong to Me’ 1978 No 6 – ‘Jesse’ 1980 Nol 1 – ‘Let the River Run’ 1989 No.49. Four of Carly’s singles have been certified Gold – ‘You’re So Vain’ – ‘Mockingbird’ – ‘Nobody Does It Better’ – ‘Jesse’.

Her singles successes extend from the seventies into the eighties and well beyond. Apart from her singles, Carly also has Five Platinum certified albums and three Gold-certified albums with two of her compilation albums charting in the Top 40. During a long career, Carly’s achievements are considerable: 20 Billboard Hot 100 charting singles – 28 Billboard contemporary charting singles – won two Grammy Awards from 14 nominations – inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame 1994 – inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame for “You’re So Vain” 2004.

Carly was married to singer-songwriter James Taylor from 1972 until 1983. They had two children and Carly became a grandmother in 2007.

She enjoyed a friendship with Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, the former First Lady of the United States, and is releasing a memoir ‘Touched by the Sun’ in 2019.

In her role as a children’s author Carly, has written Midnight Train – Nighttime Chauffeur – The Fisherman’s Song – The Boy of the Bells – Amy the Dancing Bear.

See her website:

for information and orders.