Celebrating Seniors – Carly Simon Turns 70 – 3/3
Carly Simon: Music For The Movies and Maturity on Martha’s Vineyard – Part 3 of 3
Featuring 5 vintage and new Carly Simon live music videos – You Belong to Me (1978), Coming Around Again/Itsy Bitsy Spider (1986), Let The River Run (1989), I haven’t Got Time for the Pain (1974), Alone Together (2005)
Carly Simon and James Taylor continued to record together for the remainder of the 70’s, producing the duet Devoted to You on the 1978 album Boys in Trees, which also included the hit single and Grammy-nominated You Belong to Me. They sang back-up on different albums, and supported various “no Nuke” activities.
With her sister Lucy, Carly Simon recorded a children’s album which was released in 1980. That fall, with her marriage to James Taylor in the process of breaking up, and their son Ben recovering from emergency kidney surgery, Carly collapsed onstage from exhaustion and anxiety. Subsequently, her performing schedule was considerably reduced; she left James Taylor and he moved on with actress Kathryn Walker, who helped him quit his drug habit (they’d later marry).
Below, Carly Simon singing You Belong to Me at her 1987 Martha’s Vineyard Concert.
The James Taylor-Carly Simon divorce was finalized in 1983, to the dismay of their baby boomer fans. With a few exceptions, they’ve had virtually no contact (according to Carly, this is James Taylor’s preference), although she remains friends with his younger brother Livingston Taylor to this day.
Post-divorce, Carly Simon continued to record albums, switching record labels frequently as her albums failed to find the same level of success she’d had in the 70’s. She turned to writing and recording songs for the movies and television. (Carly Simon 1989 Academy Awards Photo: Alan Light | Flickr Some rights reserved)
After ending a two-year engagement (1985-1987) with drummer Russ Kunkel, who had been James Taylor’s drummer and played backup for her when she opened for Cat Stevens in 1971, Carly Simon married businessman and poet/writer James Hart in 1987.
1986’s poignant and almost auto-biographical Coming Around Again/Itsy Bitsy Spider was the theme song for the movie Heartburn, starring one of her old lovers, Jack Nicholson. The Coming Around Again/Itsy Bitsy Spider video below features a Carly Simon from 1986 singing, interspersed with vintage clips of home movies of the Simon family from the 1940’s and 1950’s (Carly, her sisters Lucy and Joanna, brother Peter, father Richard and mother Andrea).
Carly Simon won her most recent Grammy Award in 1990, along with an Academy Award for Best Original Song, for Let The River Run, from the movie Working Girl. Below, the Carly Simon music video for Let the River Run.
The 90’s were not a great decade for Carly Simon – she experienced the death of her mother, close friends Jackie Onassis, and Linda McCartney, all from cancer.
Professionally, she continued to make rare public appearances, cut a few albums, write songs for the movies; and turned to writing children’s books – Amy the Dancing Bear (1989), The Boy of the Bells (1990), The Fisherman’s Song (1991), and The Nighttime Chauffeur (1993).
Below, in her 1995 Grand Central Station concert, Carly Simon singing her hit from 1974 I haven’t Got Time for the Pain.
In 1997 Carly Simon and Jim Hart separated – with the understanding they were still in love and would stay married to see what happened with their relationship. Later that same year a doctor diagnosed a lump in her breast as cancer, and she underwent a mastectomy, followed by chemotherapy and reconstructive surgery for breast cancer in 1998. In his recently released autobiography The Second Husband, Jim Hart revealed that he discovered he was gay when he was 52, and that Carly was very supportive.
With her breast cancer battle now behind her, 55-year-old Carly Simon picked up her album recording schedule. She even embarked on a tour to promote her surprise top 10 hit album of standards, Moonlight Serenade. Into White, another hit album of cover tunes which featured Carly singing different songs with her daughter Sally Taylor and son Ben Taylor, was released in 2007 and entered the Billboard charts at #13. Below, with Sally and Ben accompanying her, Carly Simon performs Alone Together on the Martha Stewart show in 2005 to promote Moonlight Serenade.
Carly Simon met surgeon Richard Koehler in 2006 and they have been dating since then; she and Jim Hart finally divorced in 2007 after having been separated for almost 10 years.
Her last studio album was 2009’s Never Been Gone, which son Ben Taylor performed on and co-produced. Daughter Sally gave birth to son Bodhi Taylor Bragonier in 2007, making Carly Simon a grandmother.
Since becoming a senior citizen in 2010 and weathering the loss of millions of dollars invested in a Ponzi scheme, Carly Simon has released 2 album compilations.
And although she said in a 2010 interview with Richard Barber for mailonline that she wanted to enjoy her grandson and “not have to worry about being in the spotlight,” she has also performed You’re So Vain on Taylor Swift’s Red tour in 2013, and appeared (in voiceover) on the animated series Family Guy (2013).
(Carly Simon Photo: William Waterway | Wikimedia CC 3.0)
Carly Simon sang a song clip for the Work Hard or Die Trying Girl episode in 2014 for the animated series Bob’s Burgers (2014). She still lives on Martha’s Vineyard; son Ben Taylor and daughter Sally also live there.
Her autobiography has been written and turned in to the publishers, but there is as yet no title or publication date.