Last Updated 21st Octoberr 2003

If you click on the song titles which are underlined you will be taken to a page containing the lyrics for that song. For those of you who have your Java enabled you can see the lyrics in the form of a Java 'PopUp' box. 

















"The Ultimate Evening of Romance Featuring the Legendary Paul Williams"

by Judy Reboy

Judy with Paul and her son Colin

Last Updated 4th February 2003

Billed as "The Ultimate Evening of Romance Featuring the Legendary Paul Williams," Paul's January 18th concert at Stratford, Ontario's Winterfest more than lived up to its lofty name. The venue, the sanctuary of the historic Knox Church, was certainly stunning, with only a small amount of lighting to augment a pair of candelabras. 

Unfortunately, due to a series of mishaps which turned what was supposed to be a 2-1/2 hour trip into four hours (I swear I saw a frog and a bear in a rainbow-colored Studebaker in downtown Kitchner...), I missed most of the performance of Canadian folk singer Ed Vanden Dool. I really regret this, because the little I saw of his act was wonderful, and in keeping with the spirit of the evening.

After he'd finished, the announcer came on stage and told us that they were going to rearrange a few things before Paul came out, and then asked if anyone out there saw Phantom of the Paradise. (Given the setting, this was sort of comical...) Our pew was cheering so loudly that I honestly can't tell how the rest of the room reacted. Before he had the chance to take that thought any further, Paul was ready to come out.

He bounced out to the tune An Old Fashioned Love Song (Java 'PopUp Lyrics' here) and gleefully mugged for the press reporter in the front row. After that, he sang Evergreen (Java 'PopUp Lyrics' here), ending with an extremely long, beautiful final note, which he credited to divine intervention, looking up heavenward and said, "I guess I should visit more often..." What followed was a mixture of hits, like I Won't Last A Day Without You (Java 'PopUp Lyrics' here), fan favorites like Ordinary Fool (Java 'PopUp Lyrics' here), and new material like "If We Could Remember" from The Sum of All Fears.

There were several very emotional moments. Paul seemed to be choking back tears when he sang, You're Gone (Java 'PopUp Lyrics' here) and You And Me Against The World (Java 'PopUp Lyrics' here), which he said he just realized was "a very depressing song." The entire audience was moved when he followed I’m Going to Go Back There Someday (Java 'PopUp Lyrics' here), from The Muppet Movie by raising his ever-present bottle of water to the late Jim Henson, and when he sang Rainy Days And Mondays (Java 'PopUp Lyrics' here), with a dedication to Karen Carpenter -"She sang it first, and it will forever be hers."

The evening had its lighter moments as well, like when Paul described celebrating his 60th birthday in Ireland, joking that people kept "grabbing me and saying, 'Where's that pot of gold, you little...' " He also talked fondly of a recent trip to Japan. "I'm a medium there," he quipped. He also affectionately told funny stories involving Hollywood luminaries ranging from Esther Williams to Raquel Welch.

The setting seemed to genuinely inspire him as he talked in frank but surprisingly upbeat terms about his personal struggles. At one point, looking around the magnificent surroundings, he announced, "I feel like I should be leading you!" After a moment, he decided that perhaps he wasn't cut out for that role, noting that "It's a short ride from Ghandi to Himmler. All someone has to do is cut you off and traffic and..."

After saying goodnight to the audience with a touching rendition of Rainbow Connection (Java 'PopUp Lyrics' here), Paul, facing a standing ovation, decided to continue on for a few more numbers before ending with the aforementioned We've Only Just Begun (Java 'PopUp Lyrics' here) -- and another standing ovation. Clearly, we'd have all listened gratefully for as long as he was willing to sing.

Afterwards, Paul mingled with fans at a "meet and greet" reception in the church's social room. I can't properly put into words how sweet and charming and humble Paul is in person. He has a way of making you feel that there really is nothing he'd rather do than talk with you. 


When he posed for a photo with my nine year old son, Colin, a major Phantom of the Paradise fan, he leaned over and whispered "Trust me..." in his ear. Colin was so thrilled I thought he'd burst!

All in all, this was a wonderful evening. I'd tried several times over the past eighteen years to see Paul in concert, and fate had intervened each time. But I have to admit, this was more than worth the wait, and I hope the opportunity presents itself again.

One more thing: I no longer have access to a scanner, so I will have to type this out for you, but I wanted to share the lovely note from the concert program:

"World renowned singer/songwriter Paul Williams is back and better than ever!

Known for his timeless classics such as "We've Only Just Begin", "Old Fashioned Love Song", "Rainy Days and Mondays", and "Evergreen", he also co-wrote some of our most recent hits including Diamond Rio's "You're Gone" and Neil McCoy's "Party On".

Mr. Williams has also penned the musical scores for numerous classic films including "The Muppet Movie", "Bugsy Malone", "A Star Is Born" and "Phantom of the Paradise." His most recent work includes the title song from "The Sum of All Fears" entitled "If We Could Remember", which he co-wrote with Jerry Goldsmith. The song is featured in the beginning of the film with a Latin translation and again as the end title in English. This may very well be the first film which features a song delivered in two languages.

He is also one of the most celebrated songwriters of our time, having won Academy, Grammy and Golden Globe Awards. His more recent accomplishments include his induction into the Songwriters Hall of Fame.

Mr. Williams has the ability to leap into the hearts of any audience, intermingling his classic love songs and new releases with his quick wit, whimsical stories and personal experiences.

'Hearing him perform makes you wonder whatever happened to the love song that used to be the backbone of popular music.' -- The New York Times

'Paul Williams, singing Paul Williams -- It doesn't get any better. Fabulous!' -- Hal David"

Thanks Judy and Joe for a lovely report and pictures

Read the interview Judy did with Paul back in 1998, here.




Last Updated 4th February 2003

As promised here is a little note on Paul's performance in Stratford
Ont. Canada. The venue was the sanctuary of Knox Church, cozy and
intimate wonderful for real fans. He sang his timeless classics such as
"We've only just begun", "Rainy days and Mondays" which he dedicated to
his mother,he also sang the title song from Sum of all Fears a possible
Oscar winner. A 75 minute performance of sheer magic. My daughter who
has been a fan since her teen-age years (much passed ) was the
hospitality agent for Mainstage Events and so spent most of the week-end
entertaining Paul, Mike, Chris and John., thus fulfilling a lifelong dream.
We were fortunate enough to be introduced to him. A very warm and
charming man. Stratford's weekly paper The Gazette carried fabulous
reviews invoking the possibility of a return engagement to Ontario in

Arlene Harvieux

Thanks Arlene. I'm glad you and your daughter had such a great time



Last Updated 4th February 2003

Saturday, January 25, 8 pm, Palmdale Playhouse CA

"The Playhouse is a little jewel in the desert. A perfect intimate 
setting for my songs and a great showcase for the talents of Chris Caswell 
and John Lee Sanders. Melissa Manchester was in the audience and with a 
little prompting she honored the audience with a song. It was an unexpected 
This April Melissa and I will be performing at `Feinsteins at the 
Regency' for two weeks. She's a great writer, singer and friend and I'm 
looking forward to our shows there."

My best .. Paul

Read all about Paul's and Melissa Manchester's New York Shows here


Saturday, Feb. 1, 8:00 p.m., Curtis Theatre, Brea, CA

"It was a wonderful evening in a really sweet little theatre. The 
audience was so close I had to use a breath mint. The show was almost 2 
hours long and it really felt like a living room gathering. Once again John 
Lee Sanders and Chris Caswell gave magnificent performances. We seem to 
triangulate emotionally and connect in a way beyond anything I've felt before 
on stage. I think I'm learning to listen."

Thanks for your endless support  and kindness ...Paul





15th - 26th APRIL 2003

Last Updated 26th May 2003


Theatre Mania Information

WPLJ Radio Interview



Corisa's Report

Cathy's Report

Paul Williams' Reflections










Theatre Mania Information


Melissa Manchester and Paul Williams perform at Feinstein's at the Regency.

Melissa Manchester has a recording career that has established her as one of the most compelling singer/songwriters in contemporary music. She was the first artist in history of the Academy Awards to have two nominated movie themes in a given year, Ice Castles and The Promise. Melissa was nominated for Grammy Awards in 1978 and 1979, and she received one in 1982 for "Best Female Vocalist" for "You Should Hear How She Talks About You" from Hey Ricky, produced by Arif Mardin. Her acting roles have included Stephen Sondheim's Sweeney Todd and Andrew Lloyd Weber's Song & Dance on stage, "Blossom" on television, and For The Boys on the silver screen. She recently wrote a new musical I Sent A Letter To My Love, based on the acclaimed Bernice Rubens novel of the same name and performed the leading role in a National Public Radio broadcast premiere. She also scored Lady And The Tramp II, the sequel to the beloved Walt Disney classic film. Melissa began her career while singing back-up for Bette Midler and shortly thereafter she was headlining Carnegie Hall.

Paul Williams has been lauded not only as a gifted and prolific songwriter, but also as a singer and actor, with a shelf full of Grammy Awards, Golden Globes and an Academy Award. His hits include "The Rainbow Connection," "Evergreen," "We've Only Just Begun," "Rainy Days & Mondays," "You And Me Against the World" and "I Won't Last A Day Without You." His songs have been recorded by Frank Sinatra, Barbra Streisand, David Bowie, Diana Ross, Elvis Presley, Gladys Knight, Ella Fitzgerald, Johnny Mathis, Bing Crobsy, The Carpenters and more. He appeared in The Muppet Movie, The Doors and three Smokey and the Bandits films. On TV, he has been seen on the shows. "Star Trek," "Texas Ranger," "Picket Fences," "Boston Common" and a regular role on the CBS daytime drama "The Bold And The Beautiful." He wrote music for the films Rocky IV, The Secret of Nimh and The Muppet Christmas Carol. Paul was honored to be inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2001.

The above is from Theatre Mania


WPLJ Radio Interview

Scott & Todd Show

April 2003

Shortly before the Feinstein's shows Paul was the guest on the Scott and Todd Show on Radio WPLJ in New York.

Below are extracts from that show. Both Scott and Todd took turns chatting with Paul. Since it was not obvious from the taped copy I had who was interviewing Paul when, I have grouped Scott and Todd together as 'Interviewer'. Although any transcript loses the laughter that occurred during the interview, I hope the below proves of interest. 

Interviewer : Paul Williams is here this morning.

PW :  We're at the dent of dawn.

Interviewer: Boy you look good, you look like you did before you stopped drinking.

PW :  This is my edge of geezer look. Hey Scotty congratulations on winning the Crystal Award from the National Association of Broadcasters.

Interviewer: Thank you very much. Paul happened to be there that day. Great speech. I was on the stage behind Paul and I could see the tele-prompter, and the speech was rollin', and the only things that people laughed about were not on the tele-prompter. He would stop and ad lib and would have them going.

PW: I'm at my best when I lose my place. I had to get on a plane to go to...Smashville, but I missed your remarks, but I heard they were great, Scott. It's a very cool award and it's also given for a life-time of community services.

Interviewer: Did you know that Paul played an evil character in a movie take-off of Phantom of the Opera? It was a good movie. His character represented the devil I think.

PW: I did...Swan in Phantom of the Paradise. Actually Spin magazine listed the 9 best performances by....and they said...Rock Stars...from movies...and I was No. 8 last month.

Interviewer: One of our Big Show spies said you were out checking the Broadway Matinees yesterday. 

PW: I was. Carole King and I are writing the musical version of Happy Days for Gary Marshell. So we checked Les Mis. We got a lot of great ideas. We're going to have a big barricade scene for Fonz and Arnold. 

Interviewer: You're going to rip off Les Mis...uh

PW: Actually they're writing a sequel to Les Mis. It's called (said with a French accent) We're Feeling a Little Better Thanks

Interviewer: Are you talking about the famous Carole King, the singer?

PW: Absolutely. Oh yea. Exactly. She's brilliant. Her voice is like a's like a hug. You know. She's a great lady. She was born without the Diva gene. I mean, she's a part of everybody's soundtrack of their lives. She's sweet, people. I can't work with her!

Interviewer: Too damn nice 

PW: Yea exactly

Interviewer: For the people who don't know of your body of work, let us just show them a small taste.

Playing snippets from We've Only Just Begun (The Carpenters), Just An Old Fashioned Love Song (Three Dog Night), Rainbow Connection (Kermit), Rainy Days & Mondays (The Carpenters), That's What Friends Are For (Dionne Warwick), You & Me Against The World (Helen Reddy), Evergreen (Barbra Streisand) & The Love Boat Theme (Jack Jones)

PW: That's art baby! 

Interview: In addition to having Grammy Awards, Golden Globes and an Academy Award, he's also been a movie star. In the Muppet Movie, in the movie about The Doors.

PW: My ex-wife said that if you cured the common cold you'd still be known for the Love Boat Theme and playing Little Enos in Smokey & The Bandit.

Interview: We were talking this morning about how songwriters get paid kind of strange. They don't really get a salary. They don't know how much they're going to make each month, 'cause the cheques come from the publishing companies. The licensing company. They just send it to your mail box.

PW: There are 2 ways you make money. From the sale of the disc, and then you make this wonderful performance money which is collected, in my case, by ASCAP. So if you play enough of one of these songs...I noticed how short those snippets were...I get paid money. It's only pennies, but it adds up thank you Lord.

Break for a caller phoning to thank Paul for You & Me Against The World, which had meant a lot to her and her mum.

PW: I wrote that song with Kenny Ascher, who I also wrote the Rainbow Connection with. You know, you ask about what we get paid for doing this stuff....that's what we get paid for doing this. There's nothing more magnificent. Thank you. It's the best part of what I do.

Interviewer: You got to remember, we're sitting here talking to a guy who has written songs for Frank Sinatra, Barbra Streisand, David Bowie, Diana Ross, Elvis Presley, Ella Fitzgerald, Johnny Mathis, Bing Crosby and the Carpenters. He's also in the Songwriter's Hall of Fame.

PW: That's right, and he's still introduced as Little Enos.

Interviewer: It's not a secret that you had some pretty rough years as far as your personal life.

PW: I misplaced a decade. You know you're an alcoholic when you misplace a decade.

Interviewer: What was the craziest thing you ever did when you were loaded?

PW: Which of this stuff do I remember? It was nuts. I fell off stage, I fell off a stage at, where was it, Detroit. I fell thirteen feet into an orchestra pit. At my height that's freefall. You know the great gift is I'm thirteen years sober. The world's a safer place. And I do talk about my recovery a lot. Alcoholism is a disease. There's a genetic propensity for it. I come from a long line of drunks. You know. The fact is, the more we talk about it the more we cut away at the stigma, a little bit. You know, I'm 62 years old, and to be 49 years old (when Paul entered recovery) and be a beginner in life again, was the greatest gift I could have been given....and my breath is so much better.

Interviewer: And you don't have to worry about when a police car comes up behind you, you don't start to sweat.

PW: Well they usually come up behind me because they think the car's empty.

Interviewer: They think it's Little Enos getting away with something?

Interviewer: Paul Williams is here with his merry band of musicians. John Lee Sanders is a sax player. Hell of a musician he is.

PW: I am blessed to have had a long relationship with both these gentlemen. John plays with everyone. Who are you with these days John when you're not hanging around with me?

John Lee: Long John Baldrey and I did some things with John Lee Hooker.

PW: Icons are us. 

Interviewer: And your keyboard player?

PW: Chris Caswell. Musical Director and from Rochester.

Chris: I'm from Rochester in upstate New York

PW: We've been together so long that I've taught him to tie his shoes...and eat with a fork.

PW: You know you're living your life right when something you wrote 30 years ago you get a chance to sing...

Paul sings part of Rainy Days & Mondays live with Chris Caswell on keyboards and John Lee Sanders on sax.

Interviewer: Paul, what's always been a mystery to me is that someone can write like 30 hits in 2 or 3 years and then all of a sudden their ability, their luck goes away. They try so hard to write another hit.

PW: In my case it was drink. I quit writing for a long time. The first song I wrote was a song called You're Gone. This was the number 3 record for Diamond Rio. So in my case I blame it totally on...I got better at showing off than showing up. So John Vezner and I sat down on my first day back and wrote You're Gone.

PW: I think what happens is that you are culturally in tune with the generation that buys records. It's a great gift. If you get lucky enough to catch them. But culture reinvents itself. It's the nature of the beast. When one of them does survive, it's magnificent, but it's all a gift. Right now there are some great young writers out there....and I resent everyone of them!!

PW: My life has been an amazing ride...and the fact there have been a few songs that have hung in there, and are so a part of what gets played, is amazing. But you have to realize that if you hang onto all the great songs....let them be in the spot light...there's no more room. So it's all a gift...God bless the kids.

PW: This was written for my favorite singer in the business...Kermit De Frog...and it was just recorded by Willie Nelson...thank you...and Sarah McLaughlin...

Paul sings part of Rainbow Connection and An Old Fashioned Love Song.

Interviewer: Ladies and gentlemen...Mr. Paul Williams along with Chris and John Lee.

PW: And I'm at Feinstein's along with the incredible Melissa Manchester at the Regency Hotel for the next 2 weeks.

Paul and the interviewer then mention 2 Paul Williams web sites: and these Paul Williams Music and Acting Pages 

PW: They're both wonderful. Check them all out.

Thanks Paul


Corisa's Report

Hi David,

Well, Luke and I made it into NYC to see Paul & Melissa Manchester.  We were trying to figure out how they were going to split up the performing times (was Melissa going to go on first?  How long would she be on?, etc..).  It turns out that they came out and started performing together.  The show started around 8:30 (we got there a little after 6pm and hung out in the hotel lobby because no one was in the restaurant yet).  The host seated us in the far corner up against the wall (the dressing room was directly on the other side of the wall - I could hear Paul & the musicians talking).
It was a very small room, we were no more than 25 or 30 feet from the stage.  Paul sang some of his hits: You and me against the world, Ordinary Fool, Rainy Days & Mondays and another song I never heard before.  Melissa sang Evergreen  They sang 2 songs together, I think one was called A Mother & Father's Prayer and they sang another one that is going to be on Melissa's new CD, I think it was called Look At Me or Look At You or something along those lines.
They took turns disappearing off the stage to give the other performer some spotlight time and then finished up together with Rainbow Connection.  The show ran about 1 1/2 hours.  Paul looked great and sounded better than I thought he would.  I am used to listening to recorded CDs and then you go and see that person live and realize how much work the studio had to do to make that person sound good.  Paul's voice sounds just as good live as it does on a recording. 
There were a couple of surprise guests in the room that night.  Paul announced that Gary Marshall and his wife were there on his day off from shooting a movie (he created shows in the late 70s early 80s like Happy Days, & Laverne & Shirley  Paul also took the opportunity to announce that he was asked by Gary to be involved with the stage production of Happy Days. 
Another surprise guest was announced after Paul sang Rainy Days & Mondays.  His co-writer, Roger Nichols, was introduced to the audience.  What a nice night it must have been for Paul to have some of his colleagues show up to support him.  Paul seems like a really cool, laid-back guy.  Very professional but not pretentious.
I would like to go and see him again if I get the chance.  Maybe he'll come to Jersey sometime. 
Take care.
Corisa M. Colonnello

Thanks Corisa 

Cathy's Report


I found out about the concert from David’s website.  My sister and I were lucky enough to get tickets for the first show on closing night.  For a while it looked like we weren’t going to get to the show at all.  We live in New Jersey, about an hour from the city.  It’s usually about an hour to 90 minutes to drive to the city on a weekend, so we gave ourselves 2 hours traveling time.  Because of a bad accident on the road, it took us 3 hours to get to the city – the longest it’s ever taken us.  Luckily we were able to get to the club in time – about an hour before the show. 

As we were waiting to walk in, we heard the maitre’d say that Melissa was very ill and wouldn’t be able to do the show, and that Paul would be doing the show on his own that night.  I’m sorry that Melissa was ill (she had a severe inner ear infection), but it meant I would see twice of much of Paul.

            Paul came out about an hour later.  He wore a dark suit and tie, and he looked wonderful.   I wish I could have taken pictures, but the club was small and photographs were prohibited.  Paul began by thanking the audience for staying just to see him, and apologizing for Melissa. “She’s in bed with a very bad inner ear infection, and has to keep one foot on the floor to keep the world from spinning.  I spent the 80’s that way,” he said.  The audience was immediately eating out of his hand.

            He began with ‘I Won’t Last A Day Without You’.  His voice sounded strong but slightly husky, which suited him well.  There were only three musicians with him – Chris Caswell on keyboards, John Lee Sanders on sax, and Peter, whose last name I didn’t catch, but who is Melissa’s music director, on guitar.  The volume of the music was perfect for the size of the room and blended perfectly with Paul’s voice.  It was a pleasure to listen to such talented musicians play such beautiful music.  At various times in the show, Paul highlighted each of the musicians for a time.

            Because Paul was only supposed to do half of the show, he referred to a paper on the piano from time to time.  “Look how organized and professional we are!” he joked.  Truth be told, the performance was smooth and entertaining from beginning to end.

            Each song had a story to go with it.  Paul talked about how “We’ve Only Just Begun” started as a Crocker Bank commercial, and about getting a call from the Carpenters, asking if there was more to the song.  “I told them, ‘Sure’”, Paul said.  “And if there wasn’t more then, there was going to be!”  As always, he acknowledged Karen Carpenter and her beautiful rendition of the song.   He spoke about the thrill of hearing ‘great voices’ record his songs, particularly Ella Fitzgerald recording “Ordinary Fool”, and how “An Old Fashioned Love Song” is now being used on car commercials here in the states (“Thank you, Saturn!). 

The stories were not only about the music.  Paul reminisced about his mother before singing “Rainy Days and Mondays”.  Paul talked about his early days as an actor in the 60’s, and about the first film he ever made, ‘The Loved One’, back in 1964.  “And in only two years, I got another film!” he joked.  Paul said during this time, his mother came from the Midwest to live with him, and that during this time she was working and he wasn’t.  “’The Lord has a plan for you, Paul, ‘ she would say before she left for work.  Then she would turn away and mumble to herself.  Talking to herself was something she did all her life,” Paul said.  “She used to say she was feeling old.”  This became the opening line of “Rainy Days and Mondays”.

Paul’s love for what he does is evident in every moment of the show.  He speaks quite frankly about his past troubles with alcohol and drugs and the difficulties they caused.  He talked about the time he fell off the stage in Detroit into the orchestra pit. “What was it, 13 feet?” he asked.  “No, it was 15 feet,” Chris Caswell said.  “See!”  Paul said.  “Recovery doesn’t exaggerate!”  He is totally open and honest not only about his own recovery, but about some of the work he has done since he became sober.  Whether the stories were funny (he gave a hysterical account of working with Raquel Welch) or serious, Paul told them with an openness and wit that was thoroughly engaging.  It was almost as if he were talking to old friends.  In a way, he was.  Every member of the audience would have sat there as long as Paul was willing to sing. 

            In the 90 minute show, Paul sang 15 songs:

I Won't Last A Day Without You (Java 'PopUp Lyrics' here)

Let Me Be The One (Java 'PopUp Lyrics' here)

We've Only Just Begun (Java 'PopUp Lyrics' here)

Sad Song (Java 'PopUp Lyrics' here)

Rainy Days And Mondays (Java 'PopUp Lyrics' here)

You And Me Against The World (Java 'PopUp Lyrics' here)

You're Gone (Java 'PopUp Lyrics' here)

She Reminds Me Of A Friend 

Love Dance (Java 'PopUp Lyrics' here)

Evergreen (Java 'PopUp Lyrics' here)

Ordinary Fool (Java 'PopUp Lyrics' here)

Nice To Be Around (Java 'PopUp Lyrics' here)

An Old Fashioned Love Song (Java 'PopUp Lyrics' here)

I’m Going to Go Back There Someday (Java 'PopUp Lyrics' here)

Rainbow Connection (Java 'PopUp Lyrics' here)

            The finale of the all too brief evening was “I’m Going To Go Back There Someday”.  Paul talked a little about the Muppet Movie, and the set up of this beautiful song in the film.  This is a song that has always touched me, ever since the first time I heard it.  Paul left the stage to a standing ovation, and came out again to do a lovely version of “Rainbow Connection”.  It’s no exaggeration to say that most of the audience was singing along by the end of the number.  Before he left the stage for the last time Paul again thanked the audience, and said he was blessed with so much in his life.  “I have my beautiful children, who I have a great relationship with, and I have all of you.” He then said goodnight to another standing ovation.

            Because there was another show in an hour, there wasn’t an opportunity to speak with Paul after the concert.  While my sister and I went to freshen up after the show, we talked briefly with some other people who had seen the show, and had also seen Paul in the past.  One lady has been attending Paul’s concerts since the 70’s, and has worked with him on some charity events.  She actually was going back to see the second show!  I wish I could have.

            There was one more wonderful part to the evening.  As my sister and I were in the lobby of the hotel, getting ready to leave, Paul came walking through the lobby to go to the next show.  As I’ve always heard, he paused to talk to some people there.  I was able to talk to Paul for a minute, and thank him in person for a wonderful show.  The warmth that makes his music so beautiful is also in his eyes.  It was a lovely final touch to a wonderful evening. 

            Thank you Paul (and Chris, John Lee and Peter) for a great evening of great music.

 Thanks Cathy, who also supplied me with the great radio interview.

Paul Williams' Reflections

Hi David ...
       A quick note to say hello and report that the shows are going well ..    Nice size crowds that seem to love Melissa and I ..

Feinsteins is a wonderfully intimate experience for both the performer and audience.  It's a living room ambiance ...   {We rehearsed in Melissa's living room and the leap from rehearsal hall to show room wasn't that big }...   The musicianship ..  Kaz at the baby grand, John Lee Sanders on keyboard and saxaphone and Peter Hume on guitar..    {Melissa's music director for 20 years} is superb and singing duets with Madam has been fabulous.
        We've included a song from her upcoming CD that I wrote lyrics to ..  "Crazy Loving You"  ...    and she delivers a beautiful reading of Evergreen  ...     
       This fall we're taking it on the road for 4 weeks ...   then again in the spring for 5  ..  Watch for us at a performing arts center near you . 


 Thanks Paul


Carol King, Paul & Melissa Manchester from ©Rex Features

As you will have noticed I am very short of photos of the event. If you have any that you would be willing for me to post I would be delighted to receive them by email at:

In the mean time, Rex Features has a number of photos of Paul at Feinstein's, with his celebratory guests, for view in miniature and for sale here.


April 21, 2003, Monday - New York Times

CABARET REVIEW; Two Mellowed 70's Singers With Enduring Emotions


Melissa Manchester and Paul Williams, songwriters who between them amassed well over a dozen 1970's hits, are prototypical exponents of what used to be called M.O.R. (for middle of the road) back in the days of Watergate and high-flying novelties exalting disco ducks and kung-fu fighting.

Mr. Williams, with his musical collaborators Roger Nichols and Kenny Ascher, churned out hits for the Carpenters that have lasted longer than most hard rock of the same era. He also recorded many of them in the craggy, forlorn voice of a sad munchkin.

During the same period Ms. Manchester, working with Carole Bayer Sager and other lyricists, turned out intimate ballads like ''Come In From the Rain'' and ''Midnight Blue'' in a soft-rock style that Rolling Stone labeled ''the new pop.'' In those days Ms. Manchester was a belter who turned a number like ''Don't Cry Out Loud'' into a stentorian showpiece.

Ms. Manchester and Mr. Williams have mellowed since then, and are appearing together through April 26 at Feinstein's at the Regency (Park Avenue at 61st Street in Manhattan). Mr. Williams, in recovery from alcoholism, is an affable, self-deprecating wit whose confessional anecdotes revealingly flesh out his lyrics. Who knew that ''Rainy Days and Mondays'' was a forlorn autobiographical reflection on being a 27-year-old aspiring Hollywood actor living with his mother?

Ms. Manchester has done away with the kind of histrionic flourishes that used to echo Judy Garland and Ethel Merman. Her revised interpretations of ''Don't Cry Out Loud'' and ''Evergreen'' (which Mr. Williams wrote with Barbra Streisand) are smoky and pensive, more approachable when stripped of grandiosity.

These songs may ultimately not stack up beside the best of Harold Arlen, Richard Rodgers or Burt Bacharach, but they are good enough to have earned their endurance. Far from mechanically reprising their hits, Ms. Manchester and Mr. Williams seem even more sensitive to the songs' emotional currents today than they were three decades ago.



Following these successful concerts in New York, Paul Williams and Melissa Manchester will be touring the U.S. together during October & November of 2003 and again in March & April 2004 on the "Songs & Stories" tour.

Some dates have already been arranged whilst others are still to be confirmed.

See all the confirmed dates here

Concert reviews on the tour appear here 






21st JUNE 2003

Paul and Mariam

Last Updated 9th July 2003

I attended Paul’s show in Walnut, CA on June 21, 2003 with Brenda Brubaker and Ron Browning. Ron came all the way from Tennessee so we decided to make a little mini-vacation out of the trip to Southern California. Brenda did an amazing job as our tour coordinator and we pretty much packed about as much as you could possibly imagine into 4 days. Ron and I had seen all the major tourist attractions before and wanted to see some different things. We attended a taping of the Price Is Right game show with Bob Barker and saw the Tonight Show with Jay Leno. If any of you ever plan to go to Hollywood to see a live show, get there early and be prepared for a lot of waiting. Brenda also took us to some cool places like the House of Blues and some other very good and scenic restaurants. Sunday we went to a concert at the famous Hollywood Bowl featuring the Righteous Brothers that included a performance by Chuck Negron (formerly of Three Dog Night). Chuck performed “Old Fashioned Love Song” and Brenda (sitting several rows in front of Ron and me) and I simultaneously gave each other a thumbs up sign. 

OK, now on to Paul’s show. The show was at Mt. St. Antonio College in Walnut, CA. Ron, Brenda and I arrived about an hour early and waited outside the theater. Big busses were pulling up and tons of people were filing out. The average age of the people must have been at least 70. We saw people with canes and walkers just keep filing out of these busses. We thought we might have been at the wrong show! But they were certainly an energetic crowd.

Ron, Brenda, Diane, Paul and Mariam

We had a nice treat and ran into two other Rainbow Connection people Diane and another young lady (I’m sorry I can’t remember her name.) So there were 5 of us there. We each bought our ticket at different times and somehow miraculously managed to sit close to each other. We were all in the center… Brenda and I next to each other in row 2 with Ron right behind, us and Diane right behind Ron. 

Paul and Chris Caswell looked fabulous. Chris took his shoes off and was pedaling the piano in his socks. It was kind of funny to see. There was also a very talented fellow John Lee Sanders who had played with Paul before who was on keyboards and played sax and I think a few other instruments. He really complemented Paul and Chris very well. The three of them sounded amazing together. Especially, with Chris and John singing back up harmonies. The one I remember in particular with nice harmonies was “I Won’t Last a Day Without You”.

I can’t remember all the songs performed; Brenda diligently took notes and has the full list. Going from memory I remember the following: 

An Old Fashioned Love Song (Java 'PopUp Lyrics' here)
I Won't Last A Day Without You (Java 'PopUp Lyrics' here)
Rainy Days And Mondays (Java 'PopUp Lyrics' here)
You're Gone (Java 'PopUp Lyrics' here)
We've Only Just Begun (Java 'PopUp Lyrics' here) (Paul talked about his experience opening for Raquel Welch.. funny story but I don’t think I should it repeat here!)
This Time (Java 'PopUp Lyrics' here)
Someday Man (Java 'PopUp Lyrics' here)  (Paul talked about how this was a Monkeys song)
You And Me Against The World (Java 'PopUp Lyrics' here)
Old Souls (Java 'PopUp Lyrics' here)
Evergreen (Java 'PopUp Lyrics' here)
Loneliness (Java 'PopUp Lyrics' here)
Let Me Be The One (Java 'PopUp Lyrics' here)
Driftwood (Java 'PopUp Lyrics' here) (a request from the audience)
Ordinary Fool (Java 'PopUp Lyrics' here) (with an extraordinary sax solo by John)
Rainbow Connection (Java 'PopUp Lyrics' here)

Then a standing ovation followed by three songs.

I don’t remember the first one, maybe it was Driftwood (Java 'PopUp Lyrics' here).
Love Dance (Java 'PopUp Lyrics' here) (Wow! An absolutely gorgeous, song!!! I had never heard it before.)
I’m Going to Go Back There Someday (Java 'PopUp Lyrics' here) (Paul talked about how he wanted Gonzo in the Muppet Movie to sing a song about experiencing flight again. But Gonzo was a land locked bird. So Jim Henson added the whole state fair scene for Paul so Gonzo could fly with balloons.)

I think there were more songs but that’s all I recall. The show was about 1 hour and 45 minutes full of great songs and Paul’s humor. I love his quips “Pat McCormick (Smokey and the Bandit) used to say I looked like an aerial view of a human being.” “In Japan, I am a size medium.” The audience loved him.

When Paul came back for the encore, he said he’d do one more then the audience kept yelling out songs so he said “Ok two… Ok three more” 

After the show, Paul came out to see everyone. There were a few people that had come all the way from South America to see him and quite a few other people that were big fans and brought stuff for him to sign. 

Overall, Paul sounded great and looked wonderful and happy! It was a fabulous show!

Thanks Mariam, sounds like a great evening

Thanks to Ron for the pictures

Friday, September 12, 2003


By Deanna

Paul's new album "Love Wants To Dance - Paul Williams Live in Japan"

Last Updated 14th September 2003

About six months ago, my friends and I were talking about whom we loved in the 70's and what movies were our favorites growing up. Phantom of the Paradise came up in conversation and we agreed it was very cutting edge for the time, though when it came out we were all newly minted pre-teenagers, this realization of the avant gard came much later. I laugh now recalling how I was so captured by the music and lyrics of that movie that I begged my Mom to buy the album for me, which she refused thinking it was far too sophisticated for an eleven year old. So I retaliated by getting a huge poster of Paul Williams for my room…

Anyway, my friends and I at that dinner 6 months ago agreed that if Paul Williams ever came out on tour, we would see him. And their children ages 9 and 13, would join us because they had seen Phantom of the Paradise several times and were becoming Paul Williams fans to the extreme. How cool is that? The second generation! But to allay parental fears of young children being exposed to all of Phantom's more adult aspects, my friends exercise the fast forward option on the remote control when young persons are viewing.

Well, a few weeks ago, I get a phone call from the friends that Paul was going to be performing at Palos Verdes, CA and would I like to honor our pact… Would I?

The kids could barely contain themselves. The nine-year-old girl was bouncing in her seat all through dinner that she was going to see "Swan" and she hoped that we would get to meet him. And when we arrived at the theater about half an hour earlier the kids wanted to rush to their seats, bypassing the free cookies and drinks being served in the lobby in order to savor the moment.  This was true devotion.

My friends and I sipped the complimentary champagne in the lobby and perused the crowd. I was thunderstruck that aside from one younger lady in her mid forties, we were the youngest in a well-heeled crowd. People came wearing their best eveningwear and tuxes. Our group felt a bit underdressed (me in a retro renaissance shirt from the 70's). But no one batted and eye and at least I wouldn't have to fight restricting undergarments and tight shoes which could inhibit the enjoyment of listening to Paul's music and ultimately render one unconscious from that fashion-ate struggle.

We wrote out our requests to slip into a box in the lobby for Paul to sing and it didn't occur to me to ask for "I'm going to go back there someday."  I loved that song so much with it's simplistic but profound views of what happens after life. And having experienced Jim Henson, it had a doubly special meaning to me. But no, I forgot to write that and requested Paul to do Old Souls or Faust for the younger Phantom fans in our group.

Yes, and now after much verbosity, the show…

Sally Kellerman entertained us first, whose whisky but honey smoothed voice set the stage for a surprising and entertaining set. She has a voice that was meant for Jazz. It's that simple.

Then came Paul. Forgive me for not remembering the set list order or all that he said. What I can say is that I was struck dumb by him. I expected a simple evening of patter and songs done by rote as so many performers do. It's almost mechanized these days to the point where a singer just walks through a well-scripted performance with no variation.

Not so with Paul. He was so amazingly warm and real, telling tales of well earned sobriety and the many people who have come and gone in his life.  And of course we laughed over anecdotal tales of running with the rich and famous. But most of all what I was struck by was the intimacy that he created. He was able to pull the audience to his heart and vary rarely have I ever heard complete silence in a theater setting while someone held the stage… But more, Paul held our hearts too.

It was special.

After the many encores and the applause had died down, it was announced that Paul would be signing CD's in the Lobby. The kids were beside themselves. They were going to meet Paul Williams and get his autograph! I bought them a CD and a photo for him to sign as well as a CD for me (Paul's new live CD "Love Wants To Dance").

The 9 year old was very nervous. She approached Paul and could barely talk. Her dad had to start things off and explain that they were big fans of Phantom. Paul cocked a brow and said something like "You let them watch that?" and my friend told him about fast forwarding and making them cover their eyes over certain parts. Paul chatted with the kids for a few moments so charmingly. It was very sweet of him to take the time.

Then came my turn and I thanked him for a lovely show and for including my favorite song in the world on the CD, which he also loved. We talked briefly about it and then conscious of the line behind me I said "thank you for scoring my life so beautifully with your music." He stood up, took my hand and pulled me in for a kiss on the cheek!

My 9-year-old friend almost fainted when she heard that I received a kiss from "Swan." "You're so lucky!" she gasped. And the 11 year old that still lives inside of me had to agree.

Thanks Deanna. Sounds like a wonderful evening.

You can find out more about the album Deanna referred to, with "I'm Going To Get Back There, Someday" on it here. The CD sold at the concert for $20.00 with Paul and Chris generously donating a portion of the sales back to support the Norris Theater and in honor of it's 30th anniversary.



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