Saturday, October 6, 2012

Art Garfunkel Cancels Tour, Citing Lingering Vocal Problems

Marc Schneider/Billboard

Art Garfunkel has scrapped remaining tour dates in support of his new album, "The Singer," because of persistent vocal cord problems, a spokesperson confirmed on Friday.

Garfunkel had been scheduled to perform six dates in October throughout the Northeast and Midwest, two more shows in November, and one in December. The announcement does not come as much of a surprise, as the singer cancelled seven of his last eight performances, including two of three dates in Sweden last week.

"I had such hopes of being finally ready to perform," Garfunkel, 70, said in a statement. "How painful to try and not be quite yet there."

His manager, John Scher, vowed Garfunkel will come back "stronger than ever."

The Rock Hall of Famer was sidelined with vocal paresis in 2010, leading Simon & Garfunkel to scratch a planned tour. In August, while promoting "The Singer," Garfunkel sounded hopeful about the progress his voice had made.

"I could fall to my knees with gratefulness to God for allowing the verb 'mending' to be part of the picture," he told Billboard. "I didn't count on anything like the voice coming back. I counted on nothing. I was just kind of depressed over, 'How come I can't sing, man?' The doctors would say '...the direction is towards mending,' but, gee, the slowness was hard."

Garfunkel told us he felt the routine of singing for an audience would help him in his recovery.

"I need to get back on the stage now," he said. "There's enough recovery to go for it. I told the manager I want to create the groove of working again. If I can get back into that routine, maybe routine helps singing."

Released on Aug. 28, "The Singer" is a two-disc, 34-track compilation spanning Garfunkel's career and includes two new songs. The set debuted at No. 7 on the Folk Albums chart -- his first solo top 10 on a Billboard chart since 1981, when the song "A Heart in New York" reached No. 10 on Adult Contemporary.

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