It was 40 years ago Sunday (September 19th, 1981) that Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel reunited in front of a reported 500,000 fans for a free concert in New York's Central Park. Although the duo had performed together several times after their 1970 break up — most notably at a fundraiser in 1972 for Democratic Presidential nominee George McGovern, a handful of times in 1973 during Simon's first solo tour, and on Saturday Night Live — The Concert In Central Park was Simon & Garfunkel's first full-blown reunion show. Back in 1975, Simon & Garfunkel scored a Top 10 duet with “My Little Town” in 1975, with the song appearing on both Simon's album, Still Crazy After All These Years and Garfunkel's Breakaway.
Prior to the Central Park show, Simon & Garfunkel butted heads about how the concert should be performed. Garfunkel preferred just the duo as they did in the '60s; two voices along with Simon's guitar. Simon insisted on a full band, including a horn section. Simon explained in Simon & Garfunkel – The Definitive Biography how he convinced Garfunkel to see his way: “I kept saying to him 'Artie, the band will jell and when it does, you'll want to sing. You'll like it.'” The majority of the backing band was familiar with the songs' arrangements, having backed Simon on his then-recent One Trick Pony tour.
The show was mainly comprised of Simon & Garfunkel's '60s classics, including “Homeward Bound,” “America,” “The Sound Of Silence,” “Mrs. Robinson,” “The Boxer,” “Old Friends,” “April Come She Will,” “Scarborough Fair,” “The 59th Street Bridge Song (Feelin' Groovy),” “America,” “Bridge Over Troubled Water,” and others.