The Craft of Songwriting, Creators Rights and the Future Development of the Music Industry
A Conversation on the Craft of Songwriting, Creators Rights and the Future Development of the Music Industry with Paul Williams & Eleanor McEvoy
Hosted by Niall Stokes, Editor of Hot Press Magazine
Paul Williams is an Oscar, Grammy and Golden Globe winning Hall of Fame songwriter. He is a recipient of The National Music Publishers President’s Award and is President and Chairman of the Board of ASCAP (the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers). Recognised as one of America’s most prolific and gifted lyricists and composers, Paul’s standards have been recorded by such diverse musical icons as Elvis Presley, Frank Sinatra, Barbra Streisand, Ella Fitzgerald, Ray Charles, David Bowie, Daft Punk, Tony Bennett, Sarah Vaughn, Johnny Mathis, The Carpenters, Luther Vandross, REM, Mel Torme, Anne Murray, Diana Krall, Gladys Knight and Diana Ross. His songs have also found favour with Country legends including Chet Atkins, Kris Kristofferson, Charlie Pride, Crystal Gayle, Lynn Anderson, The Oak Ridge Boys, Diamond Rio and Neil McCoy. When asked which song is his favorite, Paul is quick to respond, “That’s easy! It’s “The Rainbow Connection”. It’s a thrill to hear my words interpreted by such inimitable talents as Willie Nelson, the Dixie Chicks, Sarah McLachlan, Judy Collins, Jason Mraz and Kermit the Frog!” “The Rainbow Connection”, from the children’s classic The “Muppet Movie”, is one of two Paul Williams’ songs that grace the American Film Institute’s list of the top movie songs of all time; the second, “Evergreen” is from the award winning Streisand/Kristofferson remake of A Star Is Born. Additional song scores include the cult favourites Phantom of the Paradise and Ishtar, as well as “The Muppet Christmas Carol”, “Bugsy Malone.”, and Emmet Otter’s Jugband Christmas, the latter of which has now been adapted for the stage. His recent work has remained wonderfully diverse, from creating and writing the songs and story for Disney’s A Muppets Christmas: Letters To Santa, to writing with the Scissor Sisters, to penning the music and lyrics for Garry Marshall’s theatrical sensation Happy Days. Although most people came to know the witty Mr. Williams as one of Johnny Carson’s recurring favorites on The Tonight Show, or as an actor in dozens of films, television comedies and dramas, it is his musical legacy that continues to inspire. “We’ve Only Just Begun”, “Rainy Days And Mondays”, “You and Me Against The World”, “Just An Old Fashioned Love Song”, ”Let Me Be The One” all remain pop classics and are performed by Paul in venues from New York to the Philippines. Publicly lauded for his work as a songwriter, performer, actor and humanitarian, Paul predicts he’ll be remembered for playing Little Enos in the Smokey and the Bandit trilogy and for his lyrics to “The Love Boat” theme, although it is the lyrics from Bugsy Malone, recast for a recent Coke commercial, that aptly sum up his philosophy: “You give a little love and it all comes back to you; You’re gonna’ be remembered for the things that you say and do”.
Eleanor McEvoy achieved star status in Ireland in 1992 when her song “A Woman’s Heart” was the title track for the A Woman’s Heart anthology album. A Woman’s Heart has since gone on to become the best-selling album in Irish history. She graduated from Trinity College Dublin with an honours degree in music and was accepted to the National Symphony Orchestra of Ireland as a violinist. She worked with the symphony for five years before she finally took the plunge and left the classical world behind to concentrate on her real passion—songwriting. She released her eponymous debut on Geffen records followed with tours in the USA, Europe and the Far East. She moved to Columbia Records in New York for her second album “What’s Following Me?” “Precious Little”, the first single, was a top ten radio hit in the US. Since then, Eleanor has gone on to become an artist and performer known throughout the world. Her critically acclaimed canon of work spans thirteen albums, fifty singles, and appearances on numerous compilation albums. She has also had numerous cover versions of her songs by performers such as Emmylou Harris, Mary Black, Phil Coulter, Mary Coughlan, Bella Hardy, (BBC folk singer of the year) Eliza Carthy, Derek Ryan and Jack L Her songs have been used in many TV and film soundtracks including “All I Have” which featured in the HBO cult series “Six Feet Under.”, “A Glass Unkissed” which was featured in ABC’s “Clueless” and “Whisper A Prayer to the Moon” which was featured in the Pearce Brosnan film “The Nephew”. Her 2016 album “NAKED MUSIC”, featured a collaboration with British painter Chris Gollon. It was launched in Gallery Different in London, where “Naked Music – The Exhibition” ran for three weeks, featuring twenty five Gollon paintings inspired by the songs on Naked Music. The exhibition began the “Naked Live…” tour which ran throughout 2016 and 2017 with shows in Ireland, England, Wales, Spain, Germany, Australia, USA and Scotland followed by the launch of “Naked Music – The Songbook” published by Hot Press. Her new album “The Thomas Moore Project” was launched in the National Concert Hall in 2017 and features 21st century adaptations of the songs of the 18th/19th century Irish poet. She has since toured the album throughout England, Ireland, Scotland, Wales, Spain, Holland, Germany and Australia and will soon be bringing it to the USA where the album has been receiving extensive airplay. As well as being the chair of IMRO, Eleanor is also a voting member of the Recording Academy of America (the GRAMMYs) and in 2016 was appointed by Minister Heather Humphries to the board of The National Concert Hall.
Published on 9 July 2018