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Music / Paul Anka

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"Put your head on my shoulder..."

One of the most influential Teen Idols of The '50s and '60s, Paul Anka (born July 30, 1941 in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada) is a Canadian-American singer-songwriter and actor, who found success as early as the age of 14. His early songs crooned about topics such as young love, heartbreak, and longing, but starting in The '70s he began writing about more mature themes to stay with his maturing audience. Much of his success also came from writing hits for other artists such as Frank Sinatra (notably his Signature Song, "My Way") and Connie Francis, and TV theme music (such as the opening theme for The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson.)


  • Paul Anka (1958)
  • My Heart Sings (1959)
  • Swings For Young Lovers (1960)
  • It's Christmas Everywhere (1961)
  • Young, Alive and In Love!
  • Let's Sit This One Out
  • 3 Great Guys (with Sam Cooke and Neil Sedaka)
  • Our Man Around the World
  • Italiano
  • Goodnight My Love
  • Life Goes On
  • Paul Anka (1972)
  • Jubilation
  • Anka
  • Feelings
  • The Painter
  • The Music Man
  • Listen to Your Heart
  • Headlines
  • Both Sides of Love
  • Walk a Fine Line
  • Freedom for the World
  • Somebody Loves You
  • Amigos (Duets in Spanish)
  • Rock Swings
  • Classic Songs, My Way
  • Songs of December
  • Duets

These tropes have got Paul Anka's guarantee!note 

  • Age-Gap Romance: "Diana" tells of Paul's longing for an older girl (later revealed to be inspired by a girl from his church he barely knew.)
  • Babies Ever After: "(You're) Having My Baby", a duet with Odia Coates.
  • Genre Shift: Although most of his music could at least loosely be described as pop rock, he started out as a Doo-Wop-influenced Rock & Roll Teen Idol. In the '70s, his music shifted towards an adult contemporary and Soft Rock sound ranging from Barry Manilow-esque (right down to both having similar crooning singing styles) middle-of-the-road influenced songs (such as "Yesterday My Life"), to a Yacht Rock style similar to musicians and bands like Hall & Oates and the Michael McDonald-era Doobie Brothers, such as "(You're) Having My Baby", "Do I Love You?" (both the original version, and his later recordings of the song), and "Times of Your Life". A few of his songs from the '70s also have Disco elements, such as "Love Is", and "One Man Woman/One Woman Man" (also a duet with Odia Coates). Coincidentally, he would collaborate with Michael McDonald and The Doobie Brothers, co-writing with McDonald "Dedicate This Heart" from their 1980 album One Step Closer.
  • Good Girls Avoid Abortion: Downplayed in "(You're) Having My Baby", where the singer is less adamant that abortion is bad, and just more appreciative that his love decided against it:
    "Didn't have to keep it
    Wouldn't put ya through it
    You could have swept it from your life
    But you wouldn't do it
    No, you wouldn't do it"
  • Lonely at the Top: "Lonely Boy," about a protagonist who's rich and famous, but completely lonely.
  • Parental Love Song: "Papa" is about his relationship with his father through the years and his appreciation of his sacrifices.
  • Puppy Love: His song of the same name is about the singer finding love at the age of seventeen, and becoming desperate when adults dismiss it as "just puppy love."
  • Rock & Roll: He started out in this genre.
  • Shout-Out: He changed one to also become a self-reference: when covering Bon Jovi's "It's My Life", the line "like Frankie said, I did it my way" became "he did it My Way"
  • Silly Love Songs: His most well-known music consists of sweet youth-focused love ballads.