Reprinted from yesterday's late editions

As it got closer to the second show at the Cellar Door Monday, the half illed house half-heartedly tried to guess where the headliner was.

He had made his sound check in the evening but now he was an hour and a half late. As the audience began to [WORD ILLEGIBLE] of fidgeting Billy Paul walked in. He should have stayed away.

Bill Paul earned his empty seats Monday, though things may get better for his last two nights. Despite 27 years in the music business, Paul took to the stage like a novice, misusing mikes, and thinking highly of himself all the while.

Except for two uptempo numbers at the end (including his recent hit, "Let 'Em In") almost all the songs were of the same maddingly monotonous tempo that allows Paul to shout, posture and whine - frequently off-key - simplistic lyrics to melodies that sounded like "Me and Mrs. Jones."

The evening would have been a total loss without his backup band, the Philadelphia Story, a jazz-funk octet that held the stage strongly for over an hour until their leader came. A half-hour later, the show had become a slow fizzle.