Paul Williams Debuts a Love Song He Wrote for Elaine Stritch (Exclusive Audio)

Elaine Stritch Dead Hollywood Reaction
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The ode was written about Stritch's love for her late husband John Bay

Last year, legendary songwriter Paul Williams wrote a ballad for Elaine Stritch after he saw an early cut of the documentary, “Elaine Stritch: Shoot Me.” The ode, “Looking for Love in the Dark,” was inspired by a scene in her film, where Stritch talks about her late husband, the actor John Bay. Williams decided to explore that relationship in his melody. “I had a real connection when she talked about her husband, that she was made for this man,” recalls Williams, whose credits include “Evergreen” (from “A Star is Born”), “We’ve Only Just Begun” and the Muppets classic “Rainbow Connection.” “There was such an acceptance of him being gone, and the love that survived the ages.”

Stritch was supposed to belt the song at the end of the film, but after her health deteriorated, she was never able to get back into the studio. Williams attended Stritch’s last show in April 2013 at the Carlyle Hotel, where he waited anxiously to gauge her reaction. A mutual friend, Sting, introduced them backstage. “She looked at me and said, ‘Oh my god! The f–king song!'” Williams says. “It was a great Elaine moment.”

Stritch, who died at 89 last week, was buried today in Skokie, Illinois, next to her husband at a small service. Williams agreed to let Variety release the song in his friend’s memory. The version below is performed by John Lee Sanders.

“Elaine Stritch: Shoot Me” will be re-released in select theaters this week. Williams is now working on the “Pan’s Labyrinth” musical, and he’s the co-writer (with Tracey Jackson) of the upcoming book “Gratitude & Trust: Recovery is Not Just for Addicts.”

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  1. Kati Blair says:

    Such a warm heartfelt song, even though Elaine didn’t get to sing it, it would have been a wonderful addition to the end of the movie, with Paul singing it! I had to search around for this, I bet many who would have enjoyed it, never got to hear it. .

  2. John R Nelson says:

    Beautiful song! Congratulations to Paul for this wonderful gift for the great Elaine…

  3. Tim says:

    I can totally hear Karen Carpenter singing this gem that Paul Williams penned. If Karen was still around, I’m sure it would be another huge hit with her voice and the way she would put all the emotion and feeling Elaine had for her husband into the song.

  4. Bob Conrad says:

    Beautiful song for a great lady of the theater and screen. Paul Willaims has written some of the best songs to come out in the last 50 years, and this is right up there with “Rainy Dates and Mondays, Evergreen and Rainbow Connection.

  5. What an absolutely BEAUTIFUL song! And the lyrics are so true! This is full of human compassion and a fantastic tribute to the love, admiration, and respect that Elaine Stritch and her husband shared for one another! :-) “Decades of elegance, gift-wrapped in tough” totally describes this amazing, talented, and funny lady!

  6. Finally… A story that I’m proud to share. This is what SHOWBUSINESS is supposed to be about… Heart, soul, craft, love of humanity, passion.

    Thank you writer for giving me a wonderous day of great song writing. It is a rare day.

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