The teen idols dominated the scene for decades - 40s, 50s, 60s. Many of today's performers experience passing through the teen idol phase of success. These are the heartthrobs that mesmerize swooning crowds of young people. To this day, "They are dream mates who fuel romantic daydreams, and provide a safe release for hormonally-charged emotions. (Source: Teen Idols)." In the 60s, during a time when 'screen images' were just as important as musical talent, marketing focused generally on the image. The teen idol was structured to appeal to the pre-teen and young teen female pop audience member and children in general. Their sheer magnetism was a box office draw.
|Anka in 1961. (Image source: en.wikipedia.org)|
Paul Anka Today's spotlight is on one of the biggest classic pop performers, Canadian singer, songwriter and actor. Paul Anka recorded his first song at the age of 14. At the young age of 16, Anka had the #1 hit in the world, 'Diana' (No.1 hit on August 25, 1957), which went on to sell 20 million copies. Before his 20th birthday, he was already a world traveler attracting swooning crowds with every performance, that is except one: his own hometown, Ottawa, Canada. Sadly the folks of Ottawa largely refused to embrace him. Local kids booed him at his hometown show in 1956, and he refused to play there again for decades. That, however, did not slow him down!
Paul Anka's talent included the theme for The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson (reworked in 1962 from a song Anka wrote earlier called "Toot Sweet"; it had been rewritten with lyrics and recorded by Annette Funicello in 1959 as "It's Really Love"). Anka composed Tom Jones's biggest hit record, "She's a Lady", and wrote the English lyrics to "My Way", Frank Sinatra's signature song. In the 1960s Anka began acting in motion pictures as well as writing songs for them, most notably the theme for the hit film The Longest Day, in which he made a cameo appearance as a US Army Ranger. For his film work he wrote and recorded one of his greatest hits, "Lonely Boy". He also wrote and recorded "My Home Town", which was a #8 pop hit for him the same year. He then went on to become one of the first pop singers to perform at the Las Vegas casinos. In 1960 he appeared twice as himself in NBC's short-lived crime drama Dan Raven. (Source: en.wikipedia.org)
1974 Paul Anka with Odia Coates started a three week run at No.1 on the US singles chart with '(You're) Having My Baby', Anka's 24th US top 40 hit. It made No.6 in the UK. There was a lot on controversy over the lyrics to the song but solely depended on a person's perspective.
Anka, for his part, intended "(You're) Having My Baby" as a straightforward, apolitical tribute to the wife who had given him four healthy children. And political backlash aside, it struck enough of a chord in American record-buyers to give him one of the biggest hits of his extraordinary career. (Source: History.com)
Paul Anka is still performing and touring to this day! Some of his greatest hits include...
And the music goes on beating to the rhythm of the changing times...