There were many elements of the 60s musical ferment well-underway by the time Paul Simon began to establish himself. At 21 years old, Bob Dylan was a huge influence. And in 1964, the folk-pop sounds of Simon & Garfunkel was barely a whisper against the backdrop of the Beatles. Their first album (Wednesday Morning, 3 a.m.) sold about 2,000 copies.
But this song that appeared on that album found an audience and eventually became a song that had "legs" and shaped the next wave of pop music that would blossom just as the Class of 1971 was graduating. More can be found at this informative website: