Monday, June 20, 2016

Simon and Garfunkel - "El Condor Pasa (If I Could)" (1970)

Simon and Garfunkel - "El Condor Pasa (If I Could)" (Billboard #18, entered 9/12/70; easy listening #6). Arrangement and lyrics by Paul Simon. Produced by Paul Simon, Art Garfunkel, and Roy Hallee. 45: "El Condor Pasa (If I Could)"/"Why Don't You Write" (Columbia (1970). LP: Bridge Over Troubled Water (Columbia 1970).

The fine print on the labels said "arrangement and original lyrics by Paul Simon," but "El Condor Pasa" actually had a more complicated authorship history, all of which, apparently, has been settled in court. Official songwriting credits now go to Daniel Alomía Robles for the music, Jorge Milchberg as co-arranger (he's a member of Los Incas, the Peruvian band featured on the recording), and Paul Simon for co-arrangement and English lyrics. Simon and Los Incas, whom he had learned it from, were both unaware of Robles's 1913 copyright. The song would be the third single from Simon and Garfunkel's Bridge Over Troubled Water LP, but it had already managed to get a cover version recorded by Perry Como on his It's Impossible album. Los Incas would return to the pop charts with Simon on his "Duncan," a 1972 song with no copyright hiccups.

Simon and Garfunkel - "El Condor Pasa (If I Could)"

See also: A KMPC Playlist circa 1971

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