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Steve Martin welcomes a legendary surprise guest at Houston concert: Me and Paul down by the schoolyard

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Paul Simon, Edie Brickell, Steve Martin at Houston Symphony concert July 2014
Steve Martin, center, welcomed surprise guest Paul Simon, in hat, as Simon's wife, Edie Brickell, right, looked on. Photo courtesy of Houston Symphony

Concerts around Texas featuring Steve Martin and the Steep Canyon Rangers, along with folk-rock soloist Edie Brickell, have been marked by a surprise A-list musical guest.

At stops in Austin and Midland this week, the legendary Paul Simon has popped up on stage for a little banter and song. It happened again at Jones Hall Thursday night at the Houston Symphony Specials series as a sellout crowd roared when Martin introduced the diminutive singer in his trademark fedora.

The connection: Simon is married to Brickell, so he apparently came along for the Texas portion of the tour, which ends in Dallas Friday night.

Simon and Brickell launched into an unconventional duet of the Conway Twitty/Loretta Lynn duet “You’re the Reason Our Kids Are Ugly” and Ernest Tubb’s “Waltz Across Texas.” And the whole gang closed with the famous Simon hit, "Me and Julio Down By The Schoolyard." Martin jokingly told Simon he wasn't familiar with the song, so Simon handed him a tambourine to play along.

No surprise that they earned a standing ovation.

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