Patt Morrison for June 22, 2012

Paul Williams on staying alive in Hollywood

Paul Williams is seen here in a screenshot from "Paul Williams Still Alive"

You may or may not know Paul Williams by name, but you definitely know his music.

Williams wrote some of the larger hits of the late ‘70s, including “We’ve Only Just Begun” and “Rainy Days and Mondays” for the Carpenters, “Evergreen” for Barbra Streisand and Kris Kristofferson (which won an Oscar), and “An Old Fashioned Love Song” for Three Dog Night. Along with Kenny Ascher, Williams also composed the soundtrack for the Muppet Movie, including one of the most famous banjo ballads of all time, “The Rainbow Connection.” Over the course of a few short years, Williams racked up enough appearances on “The Tonight Show,” “The Muppets,” “The Love Boat,” “Hollywood Squares,” and even “Smokey and the Bandit” to be considered “a professional celebrity,” but – after coming to terms with substance abuse issues – retreated from the limelight.

A new documentary, “Paul Williams: Still Alive” brings Williams to the fore once more. Director Stephen Kessler and Paul Williams join Patt to talk about music, the culture of Hollywood and celebrity, and how one man made it through.

Guest:

Stephen Kessler, director of “Paul Williams: Still Alive”

Paul Williams, Grammy and Academy-Award winning singer and songwriter


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