Paul Williams has been lauded and awarded over the years by audiences and his peers alike, not only as one of the most gifted and prolific lyricists and composers, but also as a singer, an actor and a humanitarian.
Paul's diverse career took an exciting turn this past summer. In the same week that a song he had co-written blasted onto the country music charts, Paul joined the cast of the CBS daytime drama, "The Bold and the Beautiful." He portrayed Bailey, the executive assistant to a wealthy and influential motivational speaker. His four-month stint on this show brought him many new fans and put him back in touch with a number of long time fans as well. Stay tuned…the future of Bailey is uncertain, he may just return to cause more mischief.
As most people know, Paul has written some to the classic songs of our time. "We've Only Just Begun," "Rainy Days and Mondays," "Evergreen," "Just An Old Fashioned Love Song," and "The Rainbow Connection" are just a handful of the songs that have become part of our musical landscape. His songs, including the standards "You and Me Against the World" and Three Dog Night's recordings of "Family of Man" and "Out in the Country," have sold hundreds of millions of records worldwide and have won numerous awards in the music arena. He has been honored by nominations for the Grammy, Golden Globe and Academy Awards and has, in fact won all three.
Songs written by Paul Williams have been recorded by the biggest names in the music business; Frank Sinatra, Barbra Streisand, and Luther Vandross, as well as current acts like Cracker, Grant Lee Buffalo, and Mathew Sweet. Paul's company, Hillabeans music (ASCAP), has signed a co-publishing deal with Warner/Chapell Music, Inc. He has been spending a lot of time on Music Row writing with some of Country Music's greatest creative talent. Once again Paul's songs can be found climbing the charts as with Neil McCoy's latest single, "Party On." Billboard Magazine kicked off the release with a review calling the song "a powerful and poignant ballad brilliantly written." Several weeks later, Diamond Rio's recording of a Paul Williams/Jon Vezner song, "You're Gone," hit the chart running. The video was "Pick of the Week" on Country Music Television. Radio has readily embraced the song with John Boyle of KGRT proclaiming, "It's the best song of the year." The song reached the #4 spot on the Country Charts and has just been released to adult contemporary Radio.
In the summer of 1996, Paul recorded a brand new album for Pioneer Records in Japan entitled "Back to Love Again." He was thrilled with the result. Reteaming with producer Michael James Jackson, Paul recorded a wonderful mix of new songs and classic hits. The project attracted such guest artists as Graham Nash who sang and played harmonica on the newly penned "The Prize," and Richard Carpenter who joined Paul in a moving rendition of "I Won't Last A Day Without You." The reaction from both the critics and the fans was genuinely positive.
Paul's "Back to Love Again" CD is being released in the United States on March 27, 2001...from Pioneer Entertainment.
Having begun his career as an actor, Paul has rarely missed an opportunity to return to those early roots. He recently starred as a wheelchair bound hostage in the hard-hitting black comedy, "Headless Body in a Topless Bar" for which he received stellar reviews. His performances called "standout" and "sterling" by Variety. Bill Hoffman wrote, "The most intriguing performance comes from pop songwriter Paul Williams who eerily convincing as a depressed MS victim who ends up a hero." On the small screen, he has been noted for his recent performances in "Honey, I shrunk the Kids," "Picket Fences," "Dream On," "Boston Common," "Walker, Texas Ranger," and HBO's new series, "Perversions of Science." He will soon be seen in Jeffrey Jackson's independent film, "The Postal Worker".
Williams became well known to film audiences for his hilarious portrayal of Little Enos in "Smokey and the Bandit" Parts one, Two and Three. He is also remembered for his roles in Oliver Stone's "The Doors," "People Like Us," The NBC mini-series based on the Dominick Dunne bestseller, and the acclaimed PBS productions "Frog" and "Frog 2." Few people know that Paul is the voice of the Penguin on the animated "Batman" television series, and is also a regular on the animated series "Phantom 2040" and "Hey, Arnold."
Paul's reputation as a motion picture composer took hold in 1973 with his firs venture in that arena, "Nice to be Around" (co-written with John Williams) from "Cinderella Liberty," which brought him his first Academy Award nomination.
His second nomination came for the soundtrack of "Phantom of the Paradise" the Brian De Palma cult classic. He not only wrote the words and the music and produced the album for the rock cantata, but also starred as the diabolical Swan. Due to the continuing popularity of the film, a special edition laser disc, including interviews with De Palma and Williams, will be released later this year. Music supervisor for "A Star is Born," Paul Williams supplied the lyrics to melodies by three composers. Williams and Kenny Ascher won a Golden Globe Award for "Best Original Motion Picture Score." The bittersweet love song "Evergreen," co-written with Barbra Streisand, garnered the 1976 Oscar for "Best Song of the Year."
In 1980, the Academy again nominated Williams and "The Rainbow Connection," for "Best Song" and for "Best Original Score" from the box office smash "The Muppet Movie." In addition, "The Muppet Movie" soundtrack won one of the two Grammy Awards for which it was nominated and went on to become the biggest soundtrack album of the year, exceeding sales of one million units.
Paul co-wrote the title song for "The Secret of Nimh," which he also performed. Musically among his other film credits are "The End," "Rocky IV," and "Ishtar" which Paul laughingly expresses as "my hardest job ever…to write the good "bad songs required of this movie. Paul also wrote the songs and score for the film "Bugsy Malone" which starred Jodie Foster and Scott Baio and was directed by Alan Parker. In the last several years, The National Youth Musical Theatre in London has produced several successful stage productions of "Bugsy Malone." The show received a wonderful reception at the Edinburgh Festival last year, was part of the Hammersmith Festival in May, and recently played at the Queens Theatre on London's West End pleasing audiences and critics alike. A new cast album was recorded and released on That's Entertainment Records. The show is also produced at stock and amateur theatres around the world and a deal has just bee struck with Musical Theatre International to represent "Bugsy Malone" here in the United States.
Paul re-united with Henson Productions in 1992 for the Disney feature film "The Muppet Christmas Carol." He wrote and produced the songs for the soundtrack on Henson Records, distributed by BMG, which garnered him yet another Grammy nomination for Best Musical Album for Children.
On February 1, 2001 the National Academy of Popular Music announced that Paul will be one of the five inductees into the Songwriters Hall of Fame on June 1, 2001.
Paul is very active on the speakers circuit across the country. He shares stories from his life and career interspersed with some of the classic songs he has written. Actively involved in the Musicians' Assistance Program and other non-profit rehabilitation organizations, he also lectures frequently for such prestigious groups as Los Angeles Juvenile Court Judges, SOAR (Society of Americans for Recovery), the National Corporation for Substance Abuse Recovery, local chapters of the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependency and others from coast to coast. He has appeared on TNN's "Primetime Country," "Geraldo Rivera" and "Primetime Live" talking about the devastating affects of drugs and alcohol and the rising use of drugs among the nations young. He has been presented with the Global Arts Award by the Friendly House for his extensive efforts on their behalf, and the Spirit of Youth Award for the Pacific Boys' Lodge for this humanitarian efforts and contributions. This past fall, Paul was truly honored to have been asked to join the board of the highly regarded and enormously influential National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence. He not only speaks from and of his own experiences, but from the education and knowledge he gained through his studies and certification from UCLA as a licensed drug rehabilitation counselor, a field he is not only active in, but passionate about.
Paul is married to Hilda Wynn, and he is the proud father of a son and a daughter from a previous marriage.… Expand