Paul Anka was one of the biggest teen idols of the late '50s, and a successful songwriter, music businessman and recording artist well into the 1990s. In 1956, Paul Anka recorded his first single, "I Confess," financed by his father and released with little promotion on RPM Records. He moved to New York the following year and began singing with a Canadian group, the Rover Boys, who were contracted to ABC-Paramount. Paul Anka gained an audition with ABC producer Don Costa, and sang his ode to a former babysitter, "Diana." Costa liked what he heard, recorded the 16-year-old, and saw the single hit number one on both sides of the Atlantic later in 1957, eventually selling a reported ten million copies worldwide.
Paul Anka placed four songs in the Top 20 a year later, including "You Are My Destiny" and "Crazy Love," tempering the all-out rebellion of rock & roll with songs that questioned parental authority instead of outright disobeying it. He wrote one of Buddy Holly's last hits, "It Doesn't Matter Anymore," and moved into movies with Let's Rock and Girls Town. The latter film spawned his biggest American hit, "Lonely Boy," just the first in a string of 1959 chart successes including "Put Your Head on My Shoulder," "It's Time to Cry" and "Puppy Love" (written for old flame Annette Funicello, and later a hit for Donny Osmond as well). As the teen idol craze began to cool off in the early '60s, Paul Anka was dropped by ABC (which was looking for younger stars) and picked up by RCA. Although he had hit the Top 40 only once since 1963, Paul Anka stormed the number one slot in 1974 with "(You're) Having My Baby," a duet recorded in Muscle Shoals, Alabama with his singing protégé, Odia Coates. The duo's next two singles, "One Man Woman/One Woman Man" and "I Don't Like to Sleep Alone," both hit the Top Ten (his 1974 LP Paul Anka reached gold), and his 1975 solo single "Times of Your Life" reached number seven.
Paul Anka continued to chart into the early '80s, continuing his many casino and international appearances while recording sparingly but continually. His 112th album overall, 1996's Paul Anka Y Amigos, featured Spanish and English duets with friends old and new. A Body of Work followed in 1998.
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