Paul Anka

 

Portrait of Paul Anka.

Title/Description: Portrait of Paul Anka. Anka was born in Ottawa and became rose to become one of the greatest selling musicians in North America. His first song "Diana," written about his Ottawa baby-sitter, reached the top of the charts in only a few weeks. He went on to write hit after hit throughout the 1950's and 1960's. Anka is also famous for compositions written for other singers, such as Frank Sinatra and Tom Jones.
Photographer
: Doug Bartlett.
Date
: December 1956.
Credit
: Andrews-Newton Photographers Fonds / City of Ottawa Archives / MG393-AN-P-003195-014.
Copyright
: City of Ottawa Archives.

Singer Paul Anka was born in Ottawa on July 30, 1941. Anka showed a remarkable talent for music at an early age, often favouring his music over his studies at Fisher Park High School.

His father wanted him to focus on his studies, and sent him to live with his uncle in Hollywood. In 1957, Anka managed to travel to New York, and pitched his music to record companies there. By the age of 16, Paul Anka became one of the first Canadian rock n’ roll stars with the release of the self-composed single ‘ Diana ’.

Anka was no ‘one-hit-wonder’. The list of songs composed by Anka is surprising and extensive. He successfully followed up on “ Diana ” with a number of hits including, “ Put Your Head on my Shoulder, ” “ You are my Destiny ,” “ Puppy Love ,” and “ Lonely Boy .” He also wrote “ My Way ” for Frank Sinatra and “ She’s a Lady ” for Tom Jones. He composed the theme song for The Tonight Show. He once said about his writing:

I can feel something making me write! It scares me sometimes, because I have a feeling it’s something outside of me coming in and taking over. I have to sit down and write, and everything falls into place. Sometimes I change a note or syllable later, but not much (Gardener 283).

By 1957, Anka had earned over $100,000; in 1958 this amount increased to $400,000. He became involved in Hollywood films, contributing as an actor, singer, and composer. Anka received a number of awards and recognitions, including 15 gold records and the 1961 Young Canadian Award. 1972, Mayor Pierre Benoit awarded him the key to the city, and declared August 27 “ Paul Anka Day ”.

Portrait of Paul Anka.

Title/Description: Portrait of Paul Anka.
Photographer
: Unknown.
Date
: October 30, 1956.
Credit
: Andrews-Newton Photographers Fonds / City of Ottawa Archives / MG393-AN-NP-P-003195-005.
Copyright
: City of Ottawa Archives.