Paul Williams today (courtesy photo).

Paul Williams today (courtesy photo).

Later tonight, Monday, March 30th, at 7pm, the performer, musician, and author Paul Williams will make his penultimate appearance as the guest curator of at the Granada Theatre’s inaugural “Elmer Bernstein Memorial Film Series,” where he will introduce a screening of John Sturges’ 1960 classic western The Magnificent Seven, featuring the music of the late Elmer Bernstein.

On Monday, January 12th, producer/host Ted Coe devoted his music-and-cultural-arts program to a Paul Williams interview, and to an overview of his creative work.

An edited podcast of that special is included here, below.

Authorized limited use.

PHANTOM OF THE PARADISE “fan art” by cartoonist Derek Charm. Reproduced with permission – CLICK TO ENLARGE.

Although he released several albums of his own, Williams is most recognizable musically for his award-winning collaboration with Barbara Streisand on the #1 smash love-theme “Evergreen” from her film-remake A Star Is Born (1976), and for Oscar-nominated music from The Muppets Movie in 1979 — especially the Top 40-hit “Rainbow Connection.”

President of the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP) since 2009, Williams has experienced something of a career revival. Last year, Williams claimed a Grammy for songs on the Daft Punk album Random Access Memories, and had songwriting credit for the animated musical The Book of Life, produced by filmmaker Guillermo del Toro, with whom he is currently reimagining Pan’s Labyrinth for the stage.

The hourlong broadcast explored:

  • Williams’ work as a pioneering composer of Sunshine Pop during the swinging 1960s;
  • his relationship with such performers as Art GarfunkelDavid Bowie, and The Carpenters;
  • his role in Brian DePalma’s 1974 cult masterpiece Phantom of the Paradise;
  • his association with quirky genre works like Alan Parker’s all-kids gangster spoof Bugsy Malone and J. Lee Thompson’s Battle for the Planet of the Apes;
  • the public support of fans such as filmmakers Edgar Wright and Quentin Tarantino, musicians Stew (of The Negro Problem) and The Wondermints, etc.;
  • and his recently published book with Tracey JacksonGratitude and Trust: Six Affirmations That Will Change Your Life.

“The Freak Power Ticket” airs on Mondays from 11am-12noon PST.