Songwriter Paul Williams to helm ASCAP


NEW YORK -- ASCAP on Thursday tapped Oscar-winning songwriter Paul Williams to helm the performing rights organization as president and chairman of the board, replacing Marilyn Bergman, who stepped down last week after 15 years in the posts.

Williams' best-known songs include "We've Only Just Begun," "Rainy Days and Mondays," "You and Me Against the World," "An Old Fashioned Love Song," "I Won't Last a Day Without You" and "Let Me Be the One." His tunes have been recorded by such acts as Elvis Presley, Frank Sinatra, Ella Fitzgerald, Ray Charles, Tony Bennett, Sarah Vaughan, Willie Nelson, David Bowie, R.E.M., Johnny Mathis, Luther Vandross, the Carpenters, Three Dog Night and Kermit the Frog, who sang Williams' "The Rainbow Connection" in the "the Muppet Movie." That song and "Evergreen," from "A Star Is Born" -- which was named best song at the 1977 Academy Awards -- are on the American Film Institute's list of the top 100 movie songs of all time.

A member of the Songwriters Hall of Fame, Williams scored more than a dozen movies and also has appeared in dozens of films and TV shows.

At its meeting in Nashville, the ASCAP board of directors also elected songwriter Jimmy Webb to replace Williams as vice chairman. On the publishers side, Irwin Robinson of Paramount Allegra Music was re-elected as vice chairman, Kathy Spanberger of peermusic as secretary and James Kendrick of Schott Music Corp./European American Music Corp. as treasurer.
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