Paul Williams, who has had a successful career as a songwriter which has been overshadowed by a sort of campy reputation, is the subject of a new documentary, aptly entitled Paul Williams: Still Alive, which is currently running in New York City and was released in Los Angeles this past Friday with a national release to follow shortly.
Williams, with his bespectacled golden-tressed look and diminutive size, was almost like a regular schlocky renaissance man of the 1970s. He won multiple Grammy awards and even an Academy Award for his songwriting. He’s responsible for The Carpenters “We’ve Only Just Begun,” the sappy yet irresistible ode which almost singlehandedly and arguably ushered in the mellow vibes of the 1970s. He co-wrote Barbara Streisand’s “Evergreen” and “The Rainbow Connection,” the guiltily pleasurable anthem of the original Muppet Movie from 1979. Williams was the star of the early Brian De Palma 1974 cult classic film The Phantom of the Paradise. He appeared on the Johnny Carson incarnation of The Tonight Show countless times during the 1970s, almost to the point of being a fixture of that program. And he also made appearances on TV shows as diverse as The Odd Couple and The Muppet Show respectively. Currently, he’s the President of ASCAP. Not bad for a guy who gets easily dismissed so often as a default product of the cheesy variety.
...continue reading »