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Paul Anka

Paul Anka

Paul Anka has written and recorded some monster songs. A total of 52 of his songs have been covered. He wrote the theme song for Johnny Carson’s “The Tonight Show”, there is a link at the end to the story about it. He wrote the English words to “Comme d'habitude” (written by Claude François, Jacques Revaux, Gilles Thibault) sung by Claude François (1967), titled “My Way” for Frank Sinatra, recorded in 1968. This song of course you may know went on to be his (Sinatra’s) signature song. Paul himself would record “My Way” in 1969 one of 75 versions of the song.

Here is Claude François
Paul and Frank together

Paul Anka wrote and recorded the chauvinistic yet catchy tune “She's a Lady” in 1969, Tom Jones would have a smash #1 hit with this song in 1971. This song has been covered 30 times, including a re-written version by Anka cutting out some of the more chauvinistic lyrics.
Paul Anka, the original version
Tom Jones

Paul’s first big hit that reached number one or two on charts around the world was “Diana” written and recorded by Anka in 1957. Covered 70 times.
Conway Twitty, who could sing just about anything in 1961

Recorded by Bobby Vee, Bobby Rydel , Frankie Avalon and The Pete Best Band. If you’re Australian and likely from New Zealand as well you will remember the version by Ol' 55 (1975)
Also recorded in German, Finnish, Spanish, Italian, Dutch and French.  Here is a Portuguese version by Carlos Gonzaga

He would follow that up with another number one hit “Lonely Boy” in 1958, covered (18 times) most notably in 1964 by Freddie and the Dreamers (I’m Telling You Now).

Put Your Head on My Shoulder” released in 1959 a number two hit on the Hot 100 , reaching near the top of the Charts in many countries. The Beach Boys' "Don't Talk (Put Your Head on My Shoulders) clearly took inspiration from this song in my opinion.  BTW how does one put their head on both someone’s shoulders? Covered 49 times.

Paul Anka from the Ed Sullivan show in 1959.
Fellow Canadian Michael Bublé in 2003
Rex Gildo in German (1959)

Some Kind of Friend”, recorded in 1972 written by Paul Anka
Recorded by the Gospel Group the Edwin Hawkins Singers (1973) of “Oh Happy Day” fame (1967) they would also record “Jubilation” written by Anka. I include these to show the breadth of Paul Anka’s talent.

“(You're) Having My Baby” (1973) by Paul Anka was another smash number one hit and that is all I have to say apart from it being covered mercifully only 6 times. He is an amazing talent, composer, writer, bona fide Teen idol, vocalist and another living musical legend. 

Johnny's Theme


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