I spent some time talking about what I thought was the most successful Canadian Group, The Guess Who.
Tonight I will tackle, one of Canada’s most successful singer/songwriters, from my Generation. Born in Ottawa, Ontario, and considered a “Teen Idol” in the late 50’s…
… going strong even today, Canada’s–
He has so many songs, I know that I will leave some out, but here is my list.
1. Diana/ ABC-Para 9831/ July 1957/ #1
2. You Are My Destiny/ ABC-Para 9880/ February 1958/ # 7
3. Crazy Love/ ABC-Para 9907/ April 1958/ #15
4. Let the Bells Keep Ringing/ B side/ #16
5. (All of a Sudden) My Heart Sings/ ABC-Para 9987/ January 1959/ #15
6. I Miss You So/ ABC Para 10011/ April 1959/ #33
7. Lonely Boy/ ABC Para 10022/ June 1959/ #1 (4)
8. Put Your Head On My Shoulder/ ABC Para 10040/ September 1959/ #2 (3)
9. It’s Time to Cry/ ABC Para 10064/ November 1959/ #4
10. Puppy Love (written about Annette Funicello)/ABC Para 10082/ March 1960/ #2 (2)
11. My Home Town/ ABC Para 10106/ June 1960/ #8
12. Dance On Little Girl/ ABC Para 10220/ June 1961/ #10
13. Love Me Warm and Tender/ RCA 7977/ March 1962/ #12
14. * (You’re) Having my Baby / United Artists 454/ July 1974/ #1 (3)
15. * One Man Woman/ One woman Man/ United Artists 569/ November 1974/ #7
16. * I Don’t Like To Sleep Alone/ United Artists 615/ April 1975/ #8
* = With Odia Coates
Raised in Ottawa, Ontario,Canada Paul Anka developed a talent for songwriting through school courses in English and Journalism. However, his life would forever be altered by a trip to New York with a song he had written for a girl four years his senior. “Diana” launched Paul Anka’s career as an international teen idol at the age of sixteen, with sales totalling over 20 million copies worldwide.
By the late 50’s, Paul Anka had established himself as a prolific and successful singer/songwriter, with appearances on “American Bandstand” creating further fame.
In the wake of the British Invasion, the music of Paul Anka remained timely, ushering in such classics as “A Steel Guitar And A Glass Of Wine” and “Love Me Warm And Tender.” In the 70’s, Mr. Anka ushered in another wave of chart-topping hits: “(You’re) Having My Baby,” “I Don’t Like To Sleep Alone,” and “One-Man Woman” which he sang with Odia Coates.
His success continued into the 80’s with “Hold Me ‘Til The Morning Comes” with vocalist Peter Cetera, produced by David Foster.
With well over 900 songs to his credit, his songs have been performed by such greats as Elvis Presley (“My Way“), Barbra Streisand, Tom Jones, Buddy Holly, Linda Ronstadt, The Sex Pistols, Nina Simone, Gypsy Kings, and Robbie Williams – to name a few.
In addition, his compositions for others helped catapult their respective careers including, ‘It Doesn’t Matter Anymore‘ for Buddy Holly, ‘She’s a Lady‘ for Tom Jones, ‘Puppy Love‘ for Donny Osmond, and of course the unparalleled ‘My Way‘ which not only became a signature song for Frank Sinatra, but a song that is one of the most recognized and performed songs in the world.
Mr. Anka has successfully collaborated with songwriters David Foster, Carol Bayer Sager, Richard Marx, Michael McDonald, Michael Jackson, and many others.
Extending his talents into the realm of TV and film, Paul Anka’s contribution to television is one of the most recognized theme song in history: when Johnny Carson made his debut as host of “The Tonight Show” in 1962, the Anka-written theme was there, too. Since that debut, the Tonight Show theme song has been performed over 1,400,000 times.
Many memorable film, television programs, and ad campaigns bear the hallmark of Anka’s unmistakable musical signature. In addition to writing the theme music for “The Longest Day,” for which Mr. Anka was nominated for an Academy Award, Mr. Anka penned the theme music and title song for the motion picture “No Way Out” starring Kevin Costner.
His theme song for Louis Malle’s “Atlantic City” took top honours at the Venice Film Festival. In 2002 a new Japanese television series, titled “Golden Bowl“, was created around his music for the second largest TV market in the world, featuring eight Paul Anka songs in every episode, this being the first time this has ever been done on a TV show in Japan.
His songs have also been used in some of the biggest commercial campaigns for companies such as Ebay, AXA, Pet Smart, and Mercedes Benz.
But his talents haven’t been relegated solely to composing and performing; Paul Anka has done his fair share of acting in front of the camera, appearing in “3000 Miles to Graceland” starring Kevin Costner, Kurt Russell, and Christian Slater, “Mad Dog Time” with Richard Dreyfuss, and “Captain Ron” with Kurt Russell and Martin Short, to name a few.
In the last five years, Paul Anka has shown no sign of slowing down. He continues to tour ten months out of the year, proving still to be a veritable force of nature with a boundless commitment to satisfying his dedicated international following.
Solidifying his position as a top name in the U.S. gaming entertainment industry, Paul Anka recently signed an unprecedented multi-year deal with the Native American-owned Mohegan Sun in Connecticut, and a multi year deal with The Borgata in Atlantic City. In an industry where one-year contracts are the norm, these contracts acknowledge the drawing power of the Anka name on the marquee.
Mr. Anka’s latest biographical video projects will pick up where the award winning CBC documentary “Lonely Boy” left off. The U.S. project, “Paul Anka: Music Man” aired on A & E Biography worldwide in May 2002 featuring past and present career highlights, interviews with various personalities that have interacted with Mr. Anka throughout his longstanding career, and an insider’s view of Mr. Anka on the road during his 2000 world tour. Additionally, he just wrapped production on a new Canadian Documentary for a CBC TV series called “Life and Times“, which aired in January 2003.
His most recent musical releases include “Body of Work” (Sony), featuring duets with Celine Dion, Patti LaBelle, Tom Jones, Anthea Anka, and Frank Sinatra. Mr. Anka’s 124th album, “Anka Live 2000“, was recorded live during his 1999 worldwide tour and features contemporary standards such as “For Once in My Life,” “My Way,” “Autumn Leaves,” and many more Anka classic tunes.
Mr. Anka’s contributions to the entertainment industry have earned him numerous awards and special recognition. In addition to performing at the White House and for numerous heads of state, he has been honoured by the French government, who awarded him The Order of France with the title Chevalier (Knight) in The Order of Arts And Letters. He is among only a handful of Americans to receive this prestigious award.
Mr. Anka has been awarded a star on the Hollywood Walk of fame and most recently, was elected into The Songwriter’s Hall Of Fame by the National Academy of Popular Music.
2002 marked a milestone, when Mr. Anka performed in his native Ottawa, Ontario, Canada for the first time in more than 20 years. He was drawn back to his hometown by the opportunity to perform for the Canadian Liver Foundation, a charity, which is very close to his heart. Mr. Anka entertained an audience that included senators, ambassadors and Prime Minister and Mrs. Jean Chrétien, where he helped raise hundreds of thousands of dollars for the charity.
While in Ottawa, the Mayor declared April 27th as “Paul Anka Day”, Mr. Anka received Canada’s International Trade & Commerce Award, and he was named an honorary Tourism Ambassador for Canada.
Paul Anka is blessed with five daughters: Amelia, Anthea, Alicia, Amanda, and Alexandra. Alexandra gave birth to her first child, a daughter, in December, 1997 and gave Mr. Anka a grandson in February, 2001. The latest addition to the Anka family, another girl; Grandchild, Anessa, was born in October of 2004.