If Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel had been singing in Hannibal on May 6, it would have been difficult to distinguish whether the audience was listening to them or to the Simon and Garfunkel tribute presented by Jeb and Jock Guthrie.

If Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel had been singing in Hannibal on May 6, it would have been difficult to distinguish whether the audience was listening to them or to the Simon and Garfunkel tribute presented by Jeb and Jock Guthrie.

The Guthrie Brothers' “Scarborough Fair” concert was the season-ending Hannibal Concert Association program at Hannibal-LaGrange University, with many members of the audience singing along with the music.

Jeb Guthrie - as Simon - opened the concert by inviting the audience to “put yourselves in your 1966 skins” before the duo sang “The Sound of Silence.” He introduced “Homeward Bound” as the number one song on U.S. radio in Vietnam in 1966.

Before beginning “I Am a Rock,” Jeb said its lyrics show how Simon and Garfunkel “were word people.” Next were two songs from the '50s, “Hey Schoolgirl/Bye Bye Love” and “All I Have To Do Is Dream.”

At times Jeb had the audience participate in a song, including “Me and Julio Down By The Schoolyard,” when he requested people make animal noises. Earlier he had the two sides of the audience competing as they sang the chorus during “Feelin' Groovy.”

Jock Guthrie's guitar solos often had the audience applauding during various songs.

Jeb explained how Simon's “At The Zoo” was used in successful ads for the zoo in New York City's Central Park until someone objected to one word. When Simon refused to obit the word the ads were cancelled, but Simon later changed his mind. Jeb told the audience to try to discover the word.

(During intermission Sue Taylor explained the controversial word in “At The Zoo” was “rum.” She said “Homeward Bound” is her top Simon and Garfunkel song.)

“The Dangling Conversation,” “Hazy Shade of Winter” and “Cecilia” completed the first half of the concert.

Returning to the stage, Jeb announced they would do the “graduate portion of our program.” Beginning with “Mrs. Robinson” they continued with “Scarborough Fair,” “The Boxer” and “Bridge Over Troubled Water,” which Jeb described as their most famous song, which is “almost like a prayer.”

Jeb also introduced a song he and his brother wrote for their dad, explaining, “He is no longer with us, but it feels like he's right there. … He treated everybody the same,” and after his death, the Guthrie brothers and sisters “made a pact we were going to carry on that legacy.”

At the close of the concert, they returned for a two-song encore, singing “Kodachrome” and “El Condor Pasa” before going to the theater lobby for a “meet and greet” with their fans.

Later Jeb explained they do about 100 Simon and Garfunkel concerts each year and also schedule other performances.

After the concert, some of the youngest listeners, Reid and Shelby Echelmeier, commented on the performance. “It was a very entertaining, educational and beautifully-performed celebration of the folk duo's legacy,” Reid said. Shelby said, “They are very talented.” The couple decided “The Sound of Silence” was their top song by Simon and Garfunkel.

HCA season ticket holders George and Jodi Shumate agreed that “Bridge Over Trouble Water” was their favorite song. She said the musicians, “are really, really good and take us back in our memories.” Jodi also said, “We thoroughly enjoy all the concerts.”

During intermission, HCA officers listed the five members who have completed a three-year rotation on the Board of Directors: Dr. Phillip Foreman, Michael Gaines, Frank North, Sara Anton North and Mike Kettelkamp. For more about the HCA, contact board members Mike Marx at 217-242-2505 or Sara North at 573-221-0822. 

Reach reporter Bev Darr at bev.darr@courierpost.com.