This week, I continue my love of strange men with the one and only, Mr. Paul Anka.
Reasons you should know and respect Paul Anka:
- He recorded his first single at age 14.
- He wrote the lyrics for Frank Sinatra’s “signature” song, “My Way.”
- He wrote Tom Jones’ biggest hit, “She’s a Lady.”
- He wrote for one of my personal favorites, Buddy Holly (and was on tour with Holly when he tragically lost his life.)
- He wrote the theme for the Tonight Show with Johnny Carson (rewritten from a song he wrote and recorded with Annette Funicello in 1959.)
- At the time of his performance, he was the youngest entertainer to ever play the Copa Cabana.
- His 1998 album “Body of Works” included duets with Frank Sinatra, Celine Dion, Patti Labelle and Tom Jones.
- In 2004 he released “Rock Swings,” an album that re-imagined rock songs like Nirvana’s “Smells Like Teen Spirit” and Soundgarden’s “Black Hole Sun” as swing songs.
- He has been named to the Songwriter’s Hall of Fame, received the Johnny Mercer Award and is the only artist to have a record on the Billboard charts for six consecutive decades.
- And finally…the “new” music that was discovered after Michael Jackson’s death? Co-written with Paul Anka. “This is It” went on to become a posthumous no. 1 hit for MJ.
The source of my odd affection for Paul Anka? A TV show, of course.
Anyone who knows me, knows I am a die-hard Gilmore Girls fan. I can rattle off a “Gilmorism” for nearly any circumstance and know an embarrassing number of episodes by heart. The thing I loved from the beginning was all the pop culture references. [Read more…]