paul williams Archive

Paul Williams: “Someday” and Today (Part 4)

Continued from Part Three… Another characteristic of Paul Williams’ lyrics is their universal quality. Listening to or reading his words, the thoughts and emotions expressed could as easily be coming from a female as from a male. Williams doesn’t dispute that characterization, saying that his lyrics often display “an androgynous, one-size-fits-all heartache. I will always

Paul Williams: “Someday” and Today (Part 3)

Continued from Part Two… Once Williams had moved on to A&M, he and Nichols began work on a proper solo album, this time featuring only songs by Nichols (music) and Williams (lyrics). The process of writing songs had already been established through the pair’s earlier collaborative efforts. “We’d write from ten o’clock in the morning

Paul Williams: “Someday” and Today (Part 2)

Continued from Part One… He quotes some of his best-known lyrical phrases to illustrate his point (seemingly, Paul Williams has a preternatural ability to remember the words to the countless tunes he’s penned). “For a guy to be singing about ‘That’s enough for me,’ or, ‘Pleasure makes me cry,’ or, ‘I won’t last a day

Paul Williams: “Someday” and Today (Part 1)

Boutique record label Ship to Shore is releasing a vinyl reissue of Someday Man, the 1970 album by Paul Williams. A singer, songwriter, actor and all-around celebrity, Paul Williams was an ubiquitous fixture of pop culture – especially in the United States – throughout the 1970s. The blond, bespectacled Williams had a hand in the

He’d Only Just Begun: Paul Williams and The Holy Mackerel (Part 2)

Continued from Part One … From a very early age, Williams had been greatly influenced by the Great American Songbook. He recalls that even as a child in Omaha, Nebraska, “I was this little 11- and 12-year old kid singing Gershwin, Cole Porter and the like.” Gordon Jenkins’ 1946 album Manhattan Tower was Williams’ favorite

He’d Only Just Begun: Paul Williams and The Holy Mackerel (Part 1)

(Note: an edited version of this feature appeared previously in print in Goldmine Magazine.) In 1970, songwriter Paul Williams was catapulted to the top of the pop music world. Two of his songs – co-written with Roger Nichols – became major hit singles: the Carpenters scored with “We’ve Only Just Begun” (a #2 hit), and

Best of 2013: DVDs

Yesterday I did a quick round-up of notable album reissues from 2013. Today it’s DVDs. Click on the titles for a full review (except as noted). Brian Wilson, Songwriter 1969-1982 Those British folks at Sexy Intellectual have only improved since they began their worth series of in-depth critical looks at the bodies of work of

DVD Review: Paul Williams Still Alive

It would seem that filmmaker Stephen Kessler (Vegas Vacation) and I have a lot in common. We both look back fondly upon a fixture of our childhood years: Paul Williams. The quirky and diminutive songwriter / actor / personality was absolutely everywhere in the 1970s. In addition to penning some of the era’s most durable