It was 54 years ago Sunday (April 3rd, 1968) that Simon & Garfunkel released their fourth album, Bookends. The album was coming off the success of the duo's songs being featured in Mike Nichols' blockbuster 1967 hit movie, The Graduate — the soundtrack for which topped the charts for nine non-consecutive weeks. Bookends was propelled by Simon & Garfunkel's massive Number One hit that spring, "Mrs. Robinson," which was by far the pair's biggest hit to date.
Bookends, which was issued the day before the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in Memphis, followed the soundtrack to The Graduate in the Number One spot on May 25th, 1968 for the first of seven non-consecutive weeks. Bookends was immediately heralded as a masterpiece of modern record making and a cultural signpost of its time.
The album, which featured such instant Paul Simon-written standards as "America" and "Old Friends/Bookends Theme," was in truth only half a new album, and was padded out by the group's recent non-LP singles — "A Hazy Shade Of Winter" (#13) from 1966 and 1967's "At The Zoo" (#16) and "Fakin' It" (#23).