4 Songs You Didn’t Know Paul Williams Wrote For Other Artists

The 82-year-old Omaha, Nebraska-born actor and songwriter Paul Williams has led many creative lives.

Videos by American Songwriter

The artist started out as an actor, working on films like Smokey and the Bandit, but he’s much better known today as a musician and songwriter, having written tunes for artists like Frank Sinatra and Barbara Streisand.

Williams, who is the current president of ASCAP, has also worked extensively with Jim Henson and the Muppets.

While we’ve covered his time with the puppet community previously at American Songwriter, which includes Grammy and Oscar awards, we wanted to dive into four songs Williams wrote for human beings. So, here below are four songs you didn’t know Williams wrote for other artists, who would go on to make them famous.

1. “I Won’t Last A Day Without You,” The Carpenters

Written by Paul Williams and Roger Nichols

Legendary folk band The Carpenters took advantage of Williams’ songwriting prowess for their single, “I Won’t Last a Day Without You,” which was released in 1972. With lyrics by Williams and music by Roger Nichols, the song hit No. 9 in the U.K., and, No. 11 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100. The song also marked the Carpenter’s ninth No. 1 on the easy listening chart. The song was one of several Williams wrote for the sibling duo. Others include “Rainy Days and Mondays” and “I Kept on Loving You.”

2. “Evergreen,” Barbara Streisand

Written by Paul Williams and Barbara Streisand

Also known as “Love Theme from A Star Is Born,” “Evergreen” is the main track from the 1976 film, A Star Is Born, a movie that was remade in 2018, starring Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper. The track was written by Streisand, who starred in the 1976 film, with lyrics by Williams. The 1976 film also starred legendary songwriter Kris Kristofferson.

3. “An Old Fashioned Love Song,” Three Dog Night

Written by Paul Williams

The first single from Three Dog Night’s 1971 album, Harmony, “An Old Fashioned Love Song” hit No. 4 on the Billboard Hot 100, the band’s seventh Top 10 hit at the time. It also hit No. 1 on the U.S easy listening chart. According to singer Karen Carpenter, the song was originally written by Williams for the Carpenters but Richard Carpenter rejected it. Then it fell into the hands of Three Dog Night and the rest is history.

4. “Dream Away,” Frank Sinatra

Written by Paul Williams and John Williams

The sixth song on the Frank Sinatra album, Ol’ Blues Eyes is Back, “Dream Away” was written by a couple of legends, Paul Williams and iconic film scorer John Williams. The song was part of the MGM film, The Man Who Loved Cat Dancing, from 1973, starring Burt Reynolds. For Sinatra, the album was his first after a brief retirement. The LP earned gold certification and was on the charts in both the United Kingdom and the United States. And the acoustic-driven song features Paul’s signature heartfelt writing.

Photo by Ari Perilstein/Getty Images for ASCAP

Leave a Reply

Bad Bunny Sued by Ex-Girlfriend for $40 Million