Paul Williams (PaulWilliamsConnection.com) is responsible for a number of enduring pop hits from the 1970s, including “(Just an) Old Fashioned Love Song”, a U.S. top-ten hit for the band Three Dog Night in late 1971, and a number of Carpenters hits, most notably “We’ve Only Just Begun”, which has since become a cover-band standard and de rigueur for weddings throughout North America. An early collaboration with Roger Nichols, “Someday Man”, was covered by The Monkees (a group for which he auditioned but was not cast) on a 1969 single, and was the first Monkees’ release not published by Screen Gems.
A frequent cowriter of Williams was musician Kenneth Ascher; their songs together included the popular children’s favorite “The Rainbow Connection”, sung by Kermit the Frog in The Muppet Movie. Williams has worked on the music of a number of films, including writing and singing on Bugsy Malone. He wrote the music for a musical production of Happy Days that debuted in 2007.
He is a member of the Songwriters Hall of Fame, and his songs have been performed by both pop and country music artists. He has won one Academy Award, two Grammy Awards and several Golden Globes.
Although predominantly known for his music, Paul Williams is also an actor, appearing in films and many television guest appearances, notably as the Faustian record producer Swan in the cult film Phantom of the Paradise, a rock and roll remake of Phantom of the Opera, and as Virgil, the genius orangutan in Battle for the Planet of the Apes. His most recognizable role is “Little Enos Burdette” in Smokey and the Bandit.