Paul Hampton, a lifetime of art
songs, lyrics, acting and living

Paul Hampton finds musical inspiration everywhere he goes.

In fact, the Grammy nominated and award-winning composer and songwriter's latest song, "Hope," was written after an empowering encounter with an injured bird while aboard a cruise ship. "I noticed there was a bird following the ship, and this bird looked like it had no wings," says Hampton, whose song was recorded by Tony Award-winning singer and actress Idina Menzel for MLB.com to benefit the Stand Up To Cancer initiative. "It was just sailing along, hitchhiking on the ship. And I feel so many times like I'm a bird with no wings, (so) when I saw this bird ... I went down to the third floor, where there's the piano bar, and I sat down at the piano and immediately and started playing this piano feel of a bird flying. And all of a sudden, I was there. I was the bird." The result is a plaintive, soaring anthem to what Hampton considers our most important human possession. "I'm looking at the world today and I'm saying to myself, 'What is the one thing that people are losing the most?' If they've lost their wealth, that's one thing. If they're losing their health, it's even worse. But to lose hope (means) you've lost everything. So I thought, 'That's what I need to do.'"


Hampton says the melody came quickly and that while writing it, he could feel the spirit of his late mother looking down on him with heartfelt approval. And then, when he returned to his New York home after the cruise, the lyrics came easily as well. "Only hope can really change your life," Hampton says. "Without it you're nothing. ... Only hope can light the way. No money. No platinum card laid out there. No gift. No Rolls-Royce. "Nothing material. Only hope can heal the heart."

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Paul Hampton, born August 20, 1937, is an American actor, singer, lyricist and writer.

He is listed as one of one hundred major architects of American rock and roll in the British rock journal "Footsoldiers and Kings." 

While he was a sophomore at Dartmouth College, he was signed to Columbia Records and Columbia Pictures at the same time to write music with Hal David and Burt Bacharach. In 1960, with Bacharach he co-composed and performed the strange death disc "Two Hour Honeymoon" (Dot Records). After this initial outing he co-wrote hits for Don Gibson ("Sea of Heartbreak"), Gene Pitney ("Donna Means Heartbreak"), Johnny Tillotson ("I Rise, I Fall") and hits for overseas artists ("Angry at the Old Oak Tree.") Also he wrote the theme for "My Mother the Car" and sang it under the group name Albuquerque. He made two albums, "Beautiful Beginnings" and "Rest Home For Children."
Some of his songs have been recorded by Sammy Davis Jr., Bette Midler, Eddy Arnold, Tom Jones, Merle Haggard, Ricky Nelson, Elvis Presley, Gene Pitney and Johnny Cash.

His film career began in 1958 starring in Senior Prom. Many television appearances ensued such as The Doris Day Show, The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour, McCloud, Ironside, Combat!, Benson and others. Some notable movie appearances were in Lady Sings the Blues, Shivers, Hit!, More Dead Than Alive, as a trigger-happy punk,[2]" and the award-winning television show Never Forget. Hampton continues to act and compose today (2010).

In 2008 Tony Award-winning actress and singer Idina Menzel recorded Hampton's song "Hope" for the Major League Baseball Stand Up To Cancer charitable program.

He is the ASCAP award-winning songwriter for "Sea of Heartbreak", used in the soundtrack for the films The Butcher Boy, A Perfect World, Heartbreak Ridge and Clay Pigeons. In 2010 singer Rosanne Cash covered the song in a duo with Bruce Springsteen which received a Grammy nomination and was promoted as the single from her album The List.