Ottawa, Ontario – Diana, Lonely Boy, Your Having My Baby, Put your Head on My Shoulder, Puppy Love, Paul Anka has written an astounding 900+ songs, which have been performed over 150 million times, by everyone from Elvis Presley to Frank Sinatra.
Paul Anka was born in Ottawa to parents who had immigrated from Lebanon and owned a local restaurant called the Locanda. He developed a talent for songwriting through school courses in English and Journalism. He wrote the hit ‘Diana‘ for a woman three years older than himself who he was infatuated with. He didn’t get the girl, but the song launched his career at the age of 16.
I’ve only seen Paul Anka perform once, but I crossed paths with his Dad a number of times. He father, Andy Anka, represented entertainers in Toronto when I worked on a TV show for the launch of Global TV. Andy was memorable. When one of his clients was on our show, he would show up for rehearsal with a huge tin of cookies for the crew. Nobody else ever thought about the crew. He was special, because he made us feel special.
Paul Anka returns to Canada for performances and I caught his show at Casino Rama in 2013 – a show packed with personal stories of other well-known performers, family album-style photos, and anecdotes. It was at that show I learned that the song You are my Destiny was written in the basement of the family home in Ottawa. In 1972, a street in Ottawa was named Paul Anka Drive.
Do you know more about Paul’s history in Ottawa. Please share…
Paul Anka Dr, Old City Ottawa, Ontario