Early Rock and Roller Paul Anka Turns 80 Years Old Today

Today is the 80th birthday of a rock and roll pioneer, singer, and composer: Paul Anka. In addition to his more well-known songs, he also composed the theme for Johnny Carson’s “Tonight Show” and Frank Sinatra (and many others) hit “My Way.”

Here is the information posted today on one of my rock music Groups on FaceBook, “Rock the Oldies with me Lisa Marie:”

One of the biggest classic pop performers, Canadian singer-songwriter Paul Anka moved from teen heartthrob to adult artist with a slew of hits.

Born in Canada in 1941, teen singer Paul Anka’s hit “Diana” sold millions of copies and set him up as a top teen idol with prolific songwriting abilities. He then appeared in several films, headlined a Vegas act, hosted TV variety shows and wrote hits for the likes of Frank Sinatra and Tom Jones. He rose to the top of the charts again with the 1974 duet “You’re Having My Baby.”

Early Life

Famed singer-songwriter Paul Anka was born on July 30, 1941, in Ottawa, Canada. Anka was the eldest of three children born to his Lebanese-Canadian parents, Andy and Camelia Anka. Anka spent his childhood helping out in the kitchen and schmoozing with patrons of his father’s restaurant, the Locanda, a popular hangout for Ottawa journalists, politicians and businessmen. From an early age, it was clear that Anka had an abundance of confidence and big dreams of life on stage. “I was pretty precocious, a pretty aggressive kid,” Anka said. “I think my parents knew they had an unusual child.

“Shortly after his 15th birthday, Anka bought himself a ticket to Los Angeles, staying with an uncle there while he tried to make his name as a singer. At the year’s end, he convinced his father to let him go to New York City in search of his big break. His father agreed, on one condition: If Paul couldn’t make it big in the Big Apple, he would have to come back home to Ottawa.

Anka hit the Manhattan pavement running. Soon after his arrival, he landed a meeting with Don Costa, an executive at ABC/Paramount Records, who agreed to listen to a few minutes of Anka’s music. After hearing the teenager play some of his songs on the piano, Costa called in his colleagues. Within days, Anka’s father was in New York signing a contract on behalf of his son, who was still a minor and thus couldn’t sign on his own.

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