Entertainment behind the scenes
Ever wanted to know what happened to diminutive singer/actor Paul Williams, the Oscar-winning writer of such tunes as “We’ve Only Just Begun,” “Evergreen” and “The Rainbow Connection”?
Williams, 68, was on Thursday elected as one of the music industry’s top lobbyists in his new role as president and chairman of performing rights society ASCAP, the group said.
ASCAP — the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers — collects royalties from public performances on behalf of songwriters and copyright holders, and also lobbies lawmakers on intellectual-property issues.
Williams replaces Marilyn Bergman, another Oscar-winning songwriter, who stepped down after 15 years in the posts.
“Recent advances in areas like technology have opened many new doors for music creators,” Williams said in a statement. “But we also face a host of daunting challenges relative to how the act of creating music is both fairly valued and compensated.”
Williams and Barbra Streisand won an Oscar for “Evergreen,” the theme from Streisand’s 1976 remake of “A Star Is Born.” Williams appeared in front of the camera, playing Little Enos in the “Smokey and the Bandit” trilogy, and those are his welcoming lyrics sung by Jack Jones on the opening theme of “The Love Boat.”