Now, she's collaborating with some of the greatest songwriters of all time. Her new CD, called "Moonlight Serenade," is a collection of time-honored romantic standards written by, among others, Glenn Miller, Rodgers and Hart, Jerome Kern, Oscar Hammerstein II, and George and Ira Gershwin.
"Every time I sing them, I sing them with a reverence," Simon tells The Early Show co-anchor Rene Syler. "I put a lot of pressure on myself. I don't completely relax unless I am alone in my bedroom or in the bathroom at night and then I sing them best of all."
Jokingly, she adds, "Actually, as we speak, they are arranging a little device in my bathroom."
For the Summer Concert series, she sings Cole Porter's "I've Got You Under My Skin" and "Let The River Run," the winner of Grammy, Golden Globe and Academy awards from the movie, "Working Girl".
Recorded over a four-month period in late 2004 and early 2005, "Moonlight Serenade" is Simon's 26th album and fourth album of standards. But it is the first she has done for Columbia Records. And when it came to putting it together, she reached out to Richard Perry, who produced her chart-topping album, "No Secrets" in 1972.
Besides being devoted to her singing, a matter close to her heart is her campaign to free John Forte, a close friend of Ben Taylor, Simon's son with singer James Taylor. Forte, whom she says she now considers her godson, was arrested in the year 2000 and was tried and convicted of hiring drug couriers.
"He was a first-time nonviolent possible offender," Simon explains. "And under the mandatory minimums, he was put in prison for 15 years. Not only does the punishment not fit the crime, but the mandatory minimums don't give judges any discretion to look at the background of the case, to read into the specifics of the case. I don't know a judge who really is in favor of the mandatory minimums."
Her hope is that Forte will be released earlier. "I think it's crucial," she says. "There are a lot of other people like John whose sentences have to be overturned or looked at seriously. It's a very important issue to me."