Carly Simon Biography - 1961 to late 1964 (Chapter 6)

 

Page 157 - Carly emulates Judy Henske

Carly was one of two folksingers on campus at Sarah Lawrence.  She was also beginning to admire Judy Collins, the former pianist who'd switched from piano to guitar and had just released A Maid of Constant Sorrow in the mold of Joan Baez singing Child Ballads, and especially Judy Henske who'd sung with the Whiskey-Hill Singers and opened for Lenny Bruce before becoming a solo act. 

Carly heard in Henske's belting voice a hint of her own potential.  "Henske was just kind of solidly earthy - amazing." Carly felt, especially on Wade In The Water.  Over the next few years, Carly "emulated" her and "copied her songs," which alternated a folk repertoire with the art songs of Jacques Brel.


 

Page 159 - The Simon Sisters perform

During the summer of 1962, Lucy Simon proposed to Carly that they embrace the idea Uncle Dutch had originally suggested and form a sister singing duo.  Lucy worked up a folklike arrangement for the nursery rhyme Wynken, Blynken and Nod by Eugene Field.

With this and a few other self-written songs under their belts, "we said, 'Let's go to Provincetown!' - with one guitar," recalls Lucy.  "We had little matching red dresses and matching red heels.  We roomed in a rooming house for $50 a week and went around to various bars, calling ourselves the Simon Sisters.


 

Page 167 - The Simon Sisters record a 2nd album

Wynken, Blyken and Nod was proving to be a surprise hit - quickly climbing to #76 on the Billboard chart.  Lucy had talked Carly into dropping out of Sarah Lawrence before the start of her junior year so the Simon Sisters could gain a following through touring.

Carly spent time in France with her boyfriend Nick Delbanco, and met Dionne Warwick on her flight home.  Dionne's Walk On By had just become an enormous hit.  Carly approached the singer and gave her a tape of one of the songs she'd just composed.  It would be the beginning of many such fruitless solicitations.

Carly and Lucy recorded a second Kapp album, Cuddlebug, that featured a song of Carly's, Pale Horse and Rider, which one reviewer called an "Ian-and-Sylvia-like-up-tempo troubadour gallop", along with folk standards like Motherless Child, Turn, Turn, Turn and a French version (Ecoute dans la Vent) of Dylan's Blowin' in the Wind.