Paul Williams is recognized as one of America's most prolific and gifted lyricists and composers. A 'Hall of Fame' songwriter and recipient of the 2004 National Music Publishers President's Award, Paul's standards have been recorded by such diverse musical icons as Elvis Presley, Frank Sinatra, Barbra Streisand, Ella Fitzgerald, Tony Bennett and Luther Vandross.
His songs have also found favor with Country legends that include Chet Atkins, Garth Brooks, Kris Kristofferson, Anne Murray and The Oak Ridge Boys. When asked which song is his favorite, Paul is quick to respond, "That's easy! It is The Rainbow Connection. It's a thrill to hear my words interpreted by such inimitable talents such as Sarah McLachlan, Willie Nelson, Judy Collins, and Kermit the Frog!"
The Rainbow Connection, from the children's classic The Muppet Movie is one of two Paul Williams songs that grace the American Film Institute's list of top movie songs of all time. The second song entitled, Evergreen is from the award winning Streisand/Kristofferson remake of A Star is Born. Paul also penned the lyrics for the blockbuster hit The Sum of All Fears. He recently teamed up with Carole King to write the title song Stand Back, sung by Joan Osborne, for the theatrical film Raising Helen and he is currently writing music and lyrics for the Garry Marshall musical Happy Days.
Many people came to know the witty Paul Williams as one of Johnny Carson's recurring favorite guests on The Tonight Show, or as an actor in dozens of films such as Phantom of the Paradise, Phantom of the Opera, Battle for the Planet of the Apes. Possibly his most recognizable role is Little Enos Burdette in Smokey and the Bandit. He also provided the voice of the Penguin in Batman: The Animated Series.
It is Paul's musical legacy that continues to inspire. We've Only Just Begun, Rainy Days and Mondays, You and Me Against the World, Just An Old Fashioned Love Song and Let Me Be The One all remain pop classics. We've Only Just Begun has become a cover-band standard for weddings throughout North America.
Paul is a member of the Songwriters Hall of Fame. He has won one Academy Award, two Grammy Awards and several Golden Globe Awards.