Songwriter Paul Williams

Celebrities, Celebrity Q&A, People
on July 2, 2006

Whatever happened to Paul Williams?
—Hope F., Goldsboro, N.C.

One of contemporary music's most prolific and praised songwriters, Williams wrote "Evergreen" and other classics such as "Rainbow Connection," "Just An Old Fashion Love Song" and "We've Only Just Begun." Caught up in success and excess in the 1970s, he became an alcoholic, but later chose sobriety and spent three years helping others in recovery. After a lengthy period of creative inactivity, he returned with a flourish, releasing a new album, Back in Love Again, in 1997; writing a 1998 country hit, "You're Gone," for the band Diamond Rio; composing the songs to a new theatrical musical based on the TV show Happy Days; and adapting the book Chicken Soup for the Soul as a stage show. "It's Rip Van Williams," he says. "I went away and now I'm back."