|Paul Anka album|
This kid with the funny name came along early in the rock and roll chronology. He was only 14 when he had his first hit. He was writing his own music and singing in the great studios of New York while still in high school.
Paul Anka, Lebanese/Canadian now a naturalized American citizen, was smart. He not only wrote for himself, he wrote songs for other singers and fit them perfectly. Examples are "My way" for Frank Sinatra, "She's A Lady" for Tom Jones as well as many other performers like Sammy Davis Jr.
Anka wrote with other writers and performers. He had a great work ethic and had an ear for what would sell. Paul Anka had one hit after another throughout my teenage years. He was always on the radio with a phenomenal voice and great lyrics. We identified with Paul.
wikipedia Videos web site
Late last night I spent some time watching old and some relatively new Paul Anka performance videos. I went through all the oldies that made him so wildly famous. It was a good time with memories flooding seemingly through the headphones. Then while searching for more of the OBG's I found some newer stuff I had never seen or heard.
Paul Anka grown up. Here he is at the Montreal Jazz Festival doing some later work that is amazing. His voice has deepened. His timing is impeccable. He has a huge band behind him and they sound like something between Goodman and Ellington. They are doing ballads, swing, jazz with his great vocals.
What I learned last night was this, Paul Anka like the rest of us has gotten older but by gosh, he really has gotten better. Or maybe, just maybe both of us have changed with age. Who cares, the guy is still good at what he does. If you get a chance listen to his 2005 album, "Rock Swings". I think it is one of the finest records I've heard in a decade. This speaks to my growth in music appreciation as well as his music evolvement as well.
I was starting to get down while writing all these reviews on folks that have died tragically or ended their careers in a bad way. Not my man Paul. This guy has improved with age and kept his life together in a great fashion. He may not be on top of the charts like he was as a kid but he is certainly on top of his game, charts be damned.
This is the kind of story I like to report. Way to go, Paul Anka. I'm proud of you. Sorry I've been away so long.
WAIT JUST A DAMNED MINUTE !!!!!
I just learned Paul Anka is not in the Rock and Roll Hall of Shame !
How can that be ???? Hell if they don't like his singing the writing alone should have had him in within the first five years. Fifty years in the business. A number one hit at age 14 in 1957. Three number one hits and 33 top 40's. He was touring with Buddy Holly, Chuck Berry and all those other teen idols so what's the problem HOF ????
And Abba is in the HOF...give me a break ! ABBA, I never thought of them as rock and roll and they're in the HOF ? Give me a break ! No credibility in Cleveland. I knew when they put the damned thing in Cleveland something was wrong. Memphis was the only place for a Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Hell, everybody knows that.
Hey Paul...you are now in this Hall of Fame...tell Cleveland to kiss it.