SAN JOSE, CA — For nearly 60 years, Paul Anka has entertained audiences worldwide. On Saturday, August 27th, he will be entertaining fans at the City National Civic. (Click here for event & ticket information.)
With well over 500 songs to his credit, among the most memorable are “Put Your Head On My Shoulder,” “Having My Baby,” “My Way,” and the famous theme from The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson.
Born July 30, 1941 in Ottawa, Canada into a close-knit family, Paul Anka didn’t waste time getting his life in music started. From an early age he sang in a choir, studied piano and honed his writing skills with journalism courses, even working as a cub reporter at the Ottawa Citizen. By 13, he had his own vocal group, the Bobbysoxers. Blinded by determination, he would steal his mother’s car and drive to perform at every amateur night he could.
In 1956, he convinced his parents to let him travel to Los Angeles, where a meeting with Modern Records led to the release of Anka’s first single, “Blau-Wile Deverest Fontaine.” Although it was not a hit, Anka kept plugging away. He went so far as to sneak into Fats Domino’s dressing room in Ottawa to meet him and his manager.
When Anka returned to New York in 1957, he scored a meeting with Don Costa, the A&R representative for ABC-Paramount Records, playing him a batch of songs that included “Diana”. Costa was duly enthusiastic about the potential of the young singer and songwriter. The rapid and enormous success of “Diana,” his first number one hit, made him a star at the young age of 15.
After a few hit songs, Anka confident in his talent as a writer. He went on to write for Buddy Holly and Connie Francis. Songwriting and performing “are what gave me the confidence to keep going,” he says.
In more recent years, Anka released his New York Times-bestselling autobiography, published by St. Martin’s Press, entitled My Way. This autobiography is a remarkable story of a decades-long career as an entertainer, actor and songwriter.
During the same time, his new 14-song album entitled Duets was released by Sony Music Entertainment and featured artists such as Frank Sinatra, Michael Jackson, Tom Jones, Celine Dion and Michael Bublé. Duets provides a musical journey through the life and times of Paul Anka and includes heartfelt liner notes written by Anka himself as an introduction to the classic songs he and his collaborators have chosen.
“He is a polished performer, confident but not brash. There is charm and a voice that easily handles sentimental and swing songs. Mr. Anka could give lessons on showmanship.” – Milton Esterow, New York Times
“Anka is still a powerful performer who does what he does with consummate skill.” – Don Heckman, Los Angeles Times