Early life and education
Simon was born in New York City, the daughter of the co-founder of the book publisher Simon & Schuster, Inc., Richard L. Simon and Andrea (Heinemann) Simon, a former switchboard operator, civil rights activist, and singer. She is the older sister of musician Carly Simon. Her father was from a German Jewish family, while her maternal grandfather Friedrich was of German descent. Lucy's maternal grandmother, known as "Chibie", was a Catholic from Cuba, and was of pardo heritage, a freed-slave descendant (the show Finding Your Roots tested Carly Simon's DNA as 10% African and 2% Indigenous). Her grandmother was sent to England and raised by nuns until the age of sixteen.
In addition to her younger sister Carly, she has an older sister, opera singer Joanna, and a younger brother, photographer Peter. Simon grew up in Fieldston, a section of Riverdale in the Bronx. She attended the Fieldston School, graduating in 1958 and Bennington College. She earned a Bachelor of Nursing from the Cornell School of Nursing in 1963.
In 1963, Simon began her professional career at the age of 23 singing folk tunes with sister Carly as The Simon Sisters and later folk-rock. Simon's setting of Wynken, Blynken, and Nod has been recorded by many diverse artists, including The Doobie Brothers, Mitzie Collins, and The Big Three (Cass Elliot, Tim Rose, and James Hendricks). In the mid-70's, after a number of years away from recording, Lucy released two albums on the RCA label of mostly original compositions, along with a few collaborations and covers. Her self-titled debut album was more folk-rock in orientation while her second album, "Stolen Time," had a contemporary pop sound. Carly Simon and James Taylor provided backing vocals on half of the songs from "Stolen Time."
Simon made her Broadway debut as the composer of The Secret Garden, for which she was nominated for a 1991 Tony Award for Best Original Score and a 1991 Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Music. She also wrote songs for the Off-Broadway show A... My Name Is Alice.
She composed the music for a musical version of the Russian novel Doctor Zhivago, with lyricists Michael Korie and Amy Powers and book writer Michael Weller. The musical had its world premiere at the La Jolla Playhouse, San Diego, California, in May 2006. A new version of Doctor Zhivago ran in Sydney, Australia, Melbourne and Brisbane in 2011 under the title Doctor Zhivago - A New Musical, starring Anthony Warlow in the title role and Lucy Maunder as Lara, the sensitive doctor's secret muse. The musical was produced by John Frost with Des McAnuff directing. Anthony Warlow starred in the Australian production of The Secret Garden and at that time Simon said of him, "There is my Zhivago". The musical premiered on Broadway on March 27, 2015 (previews), with an official opening on April 21, 2015 at the Broadway Theatre, but was not successful, closing after 26 previews and 23 regular performances.
She won a Grammy award in 1981 with her husband, David Levine, in the Best Recording for Children category for In Harmony/A Sesame Street Record, and again in 1983 in the same category for In Harmony 2.
Albums [The Simon Sisters]
- Meet The Simon Sisters, 1964
- Cuddlebug, 1964
- The Simon Sisters Sing The Lobster Quadrille And Other Songs For Children, 1969
- Lucy & Carly - The Simon Sisters Sing For Children, 1973 [re-issue of "Lobster Quadrille" album]
- Winkin', Blinkin' and Nod: The Kapp Recordings, 2006 [re-issue of their first two albums from 1964]
- Carly & Lucy Simon Sing Songs For Children, 2008
- Lucy Simon, 1975 (RCA)
- Stolen Time, 1977 (RCA)
- The Rodgers and Hart Album, RCA, 1981 (Simon appears on two cuts of this Bolcom and Morris album)
- "Meet Lucy Simon", 1975 (RCA) [Promotional 45 RPM single]
- "Sally Go 'Round the Sun", 1975 (RCA)
- "If You Ever Believed", 1977 (RCA)
- "I Have a Song" by Lucy Simon - In Harmony: A Sesame Street Record, 1980
- "Maryanne" by Lucy & Carly Simon - In Harmony 2, 1981
- "Entertainment News Summaries - Entertainment News, Analysis and Opinion - Newser". www.newser.com.
- Boys in the Trees: A Memoir – Carly Simon (2015) (Page: 7)
- "Interview with Carly Simon". The Bill Miller Show. January 2007. Archived from the original on August 16, 2011. Retrieved September 4, 2011.
- "Rutgers Plays Host to TV's 'Hootenanny' Show Tonight". The News & Observer. May 4, 1963. p. 15.
Lucy, currently in the graduating class at Cornell University's New York Hospital School of Nursing, composed the music and did the arrangement for the rendition. Carly, a sophomore at Sarah Lawrence College, and her sister became professional folk singers only last winter. But they are veterans of a hootenanny-at-home with a musical family which includes their sister, Joanna, 26, a professional singer, and a younger brother Peter, 16.
- Jackson, Nancy Beth. "If You're Thinking of Living In/Fieldston; A Leafy Enclave in the Hills of the Bronx", The New York Times, February 17, 2002. Accessed May 3, 2008. "After World War II, Richard Simon, founder of Simon & Schuster, bought a Georgian red-brick Baum house where he brought up his three musical daughters: Joanna, Lucy and Carly."
- Biography and listing allmusic.com, accessed February 2, 2010
- Chute, James."A new rose blooms in Lucy Simon's secret garden"Union Tribune (San Diego), May 21, 2006
- Hernandez, Ernio. "Zhivago Musical — with Hernandez, Burrows, Strober and Hewitt — Opens in CA, May 24" Archived 2010-06-12 at the Wayback Machine playbill.com, May 24, 2006
- Blank, Matthew. "PHOTO EXCLUSIVE: Backstage at the Broadway-Aimed 'Dr. Zhivago', Starring Anthony Warlow, in Sydney" Archived 2011-12-24 at the Wayback Machine playbill.com, March 30, 2011
- Hetrick, Adam. " 'Doctor Zhivago Brings Russian Romance to Broadway Tonight" playbill.com, March 27, 2015
- Hetrick, Adam and Gioia, Michael. "With No Tony Nominations, 'Doctor Zhivago' Is Next To Post Closing Notice" playbill.com, May 4, 2015
- Mama and Her Boys ethanpaulini.com
- Gioia, Michael. " New York Run of 'Mama and Her Boys' Extends Through April:Performances Will Move to Wednesday Nights" playbill.com, February 28, 2014