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Paul Williams 1974 – A&M Recs – eBay item
Public Domain License via Wikimedia Commons


On “The Freak Power Ticket” tomorrow, Monday, January 12th, producer/host Ted Coe will devote the music-and-cultural-arts program to an interview with the performer, musician, and author Paul Williams, and to an overview of his creative work.

Although he has released several albums of his own, Paul 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 will explore:

  • Williams’ work as a pioneering composer of Sunshine Pop during the swinging 1960s;
  • his relationship with such performers as Art Garfunkel, David 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 Jackson, Gratitude and Trust: Six Affirmations That Will Change Your Life.
Paul Williams today (courtesy photo).

Paul Williams today (courtesy photo).

The broadcast is timed to announce Williams’ next scheduled appearance in Santa Barbara on Monday, January 26th, at the Granada Theatre, where the “Elmer Bernstein Memorial Film Series”’s guest curator will introduce a screening of John Sturges’ 1963 war film The Great Escape.

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