Take a walk down memory lane with me. Paul Anka hit it big when I was in junior high and continued wowing us with his hits through my high school years. Follow me back to the late 50’s and 60’s as we reminiscence our way through one of the great singer/songwriters in pop music history. Some of my favorite songs were written and record by this Canadian who lives in the US and had his car towed away while in the US Immigration and Naturalization Service becoming a citizen in August of 1990.
Record Sales of Over 100 Million Copies
He made his first public appearance at the age of 10 and, in 1953, earned $35 at an amateur talent contest impersonating Johnny Ray. In September of the same year he proves his songwriting ability – I Confesss old 3,000 copies. Early 1957 found Anka in New York City who became very impressed with the city. He borrows $100 from his father and returns from Ottawa to New York City with four songs he is going to tape. During this visit ABC Records signs this rare breed of singer/songwriter to Paramount.
Diana becomes #1 in the UK a month after its release and sells over nine million copies worldwide, landing it in the top five best-selling singles of all time. Diana is followed by You Are My Destiny (#7, 1958), Crazy Love ( #15, 1958), Lonely Boy (#1, 1959), Hello Young Lovers (#23, 1960), Put Your Head On My Shoulder (#2, 1959) and Puppy Love (#2, 1960).
In 1969 Frank Sinatra adopted My Way as his signature song. Interestingly enough, David Bowie recorded the first version of the French Comme D’Habitude transposed to English by Anka. It went to #5 in the UK while Sintra’s version hit #27 in the US.
His first hit since 1959 was in 1974 almost four years after he signed with Buddah. The very controversial (You’re) Having My Baby was a duet sung with Odia Coates, his protegee. They went on to record a total of four hits together. In 1976 Kodak used his song Solo Times Of Your Life in a television commercial sparking Paul Anka’s final Top Ten hit.
Although Paul Anka does not make the charts anymore, he continues to tour worldwide. Please visit his official site: PaulAnka.com
My eBay store currently has three Paul Anka record albums for sale: