Tuesday, July 30, 2013

July 30: Canadian-born singer, songwriter and actor Paul Anka – “Diana,” "Lonely Boy,” and "Put Your Head on My Shoulder"- is 72-years-old today.

Paul Albert Anka, OC was born July 30, 1941 in Ottawa, Ontario. Anka recorded his first single, "I Confess,” when he was 14.

In 1957 he went to New York City where he auditioned for Don Costa at ABC, singing what was widely believed to be a lovestruck verse he had written to a former babysitter. In an interview with NPR's Terry Gross in 2005, he stated that it was to a girl at his church who he hardly knew. The song, "Diana,” brought Anka stardom as it rocketed to number one on the Canadian and U.S. music charts.

Anka followed up with four songs that made it into the Top 20 in 1958, including "It's Time to Cry,” and "(All Of a Sudden) My Heart Sings,” making him, at 17-years-old, one a huge "teen idol."

Anka toured Britain, then Australia with Buddy Holly. Anka  wrote "It Doesn't Matter Anymore" for Buddy Holly which Holly recorded just before he died in 1959.

He went on to write such well-known music as the theme for The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson and one of Tom Jones' biggest hits, "She's a Lady,” and the English lyrics for Frank Sinatra's signature song, "My Way" (originally French song "Comme d'habitude").

In 1960 Anka signed with RCA Victor, but saw his career stalled by the British Invasion. By the late 1960s, Anka's career centred around performing in Las Vegas. After more than ten years without a top 25 hit record, Anka signed with United Artists and in 1974 teamed up with Odia Coates to record the number one hit, "(You're) Having My Baby.”

They would record two more duets that made it into the Top 10, "One Man Woman/One Woman Man" and "I Don't Like to Sleep Alone." In 1975 he recorded a jingle for Kodak called "Times of Your Life.”

In 1983, he co-wrote with Michael Jackson the song "I Never Heard,” which was retitled and released in 2009 under the name "This Is It.” An additional song that Jackson co-wrote with Anka from this 1983 session, "Love Never Felt So Good,” has since been discovered, and will be released in the future. The song was also released by Johnny Mathis in 1984.

Sometime in the mid-1980s, Anka was secretly recorded while launching a tirade against his crew and band members, berating them for unprofessional behavior in the show they had just played. (Asked about it on the interview program Fresh Air, he referred to the person who did the recording as a "snake we later fired.")

The recording became widely known after being uploaded to the Internet, and a number of quotes from it have since become famous, including "The guys get shirts," "Don't make a maniac out of me," and "Slice like a fucking hammer."

For more about Paul, visit his Website at –



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