Facts about Paul Anka

Paul Anka is 77 years old
Born: July 30, 1941
Birthplace: Ottawa,
Best known as: The singer/songwriter who did "Diana" and "My Way"

     
Buy from Amazon.com: Music by Paul Anka

     

Paul Anka Biography

Canadian songwriter and singer Paul Anka has been making records and touring the world since his first hit song, “Diana” (1957).

He is most famous as a songwriter of hits for others, including translating a minor French pop tune into “My Way” for Frank Sinatra and composing the theme song for The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson.

Anka was an ambitious teenager who wrote his own songs and began performing at the age of 14. During a trip to Hollywood from Ottawa, he recorded a song that spurred interest with a local band, but his first success came on a short trip to New York. There he told anyone who would listen about his song, “Diana,” about a crush on an older girl.

A year later the song was a number one hit record and popular beyond the United States.

Though criticized as a lite version of Elvis Presley or Buddy Holly, Anka had a string of teen-idol hits, including “Puppy Love,” later given new life by Donny Osmond.

Anka also earned a reputation as a savvy businessman when he bought the master copies of his work from ABC upon leaving the label in 1962. He also stood apart from his fellow teen idols because he wrote so many songs.

On the outer orbit of the Rat Pack (Sinatra, Dean Martin, Sammy Davis, Jr., et al), Anka became a Las Vegas regular. Anka also wrote the song “She’s a Lady” for Tom Jones.

In 1974 Anka had his first number one hit in fifteen years with “(You’re) Having My Baby,” and during that decade his song “Times of Your Life” became a signature song for Kodak film advertisements.

He has since continued to tour and perform, and has worked with many other artists, including Michael Jackson (he wrote Jackson’s “This Is It”), Ricky Martin and even Drake, a fellow Canadian.

Extra credit

The songs “Put Your Head on My Shoulder” and “Puppy Love” (1959 and 1960) were written by Paul Anka for his then-girlfriend, Annette Funicello…He played a soldier in the 1962 film The Longest Day (and he wrote the theme song).


     

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