Paul Williams‘70s pop singer/songwriter By Jim Allen
L.A. singer-songwriter who defined ‘70s pop
Whenever the great American pop songwriters of the late ‘60s/early ‘70s are tallied, Paul Williams isn't included alongside Jimmy Webb, Brian Wilson and Burt Bacharach as often as he should be. Williams started out in the great, ill-fated psych-pop outfit The Holy Mackerel with his brother Mentor Williams, who went on to pen Dobie Gray's smash "Drift Away." With occasional writing partner Roger Nichols, Paul mined a post-Association/Mamas & The Papas L.A. sunshine-pop vibe on his cult-classic solo debut Someday Man, whose title track had already been cut by The Monkees. Soon after, Williams began penning huge pop hits for The Carpenters ("We've Only Just Begun," "Rainy Days and Mondays") and Three Dog Night ("Just An Old Fashioned Love Song") among others, helping define the sound of the early ‘70s in the process. His solo albums reflected this development, taking a more mature, less chirpy route, but he never had a hit with his own versions of his songs. By the mid ‘70s, Williams had also established a sideline in TV and film acting, perhaps a natural outgrowth of his extensive soundtrack work, and he gained more visibility as a frequent guest star on TV shows than with his recording career.
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