Although he had his first hit record, "Diana," in 1957 when he was only fifteen years old, his was no one-shot teen novelty recording, either--Anka followed "Diana" with a string of hits that lasted into the early 1960s. When his popularity on the United States rock and roll scene faded, he began to aim his music at older, non-rock audiences and at his European and Asian fans, by whom he was greatly celebrated. A prolific writer, Anka also penned many hits for other recording artists.
He began to concentrate on adult nightclub audiences, such as those who frequented New York City's Copacabana, Los Angeles, California's, Coconut Grove, and Las Vegas, Nevada's, Sahara. He toured Europe with great success, and focused more on his songwriting abilities. "I like to have four or five songs going at once," Anka explained to a writer for Time magazine. Among the hits he has composed for other artists, in addition to the stunning "My Way," is "She's a Lady," recorded by Welsh singer Tom Jones. Anka also wrote the theme for Johnny Carson's "Tonight Show."
In 1974 Anka scored a triumphant pop comeback with "You're Having My Baby" and has since pursued fame with other hits, including "I Don't Like to Sleep Alone," "There's Nothing Stronger Than Our Love," and "The Times of Your Life."
Extending his talents into the realm of TV and film, Paul Anka's contribution to television is 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 the debut, the 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 honors 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.
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 three-year deal with The MGM in Las Vegas, as well as 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 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 honored by the French government, who awarded him the title Chevalier 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.
And so, Mr. Paul Anka now joins over 30 others who have become part of the SINGING LEGENDS PAGES on songsandmemories.com., an ongoing feature that is updated monthly on the website. Visit the website and see the special tribute to Paul Anka, far from a "Lonely Boy".