This legendary guest is an acclaimed songwriter, entertainer, and actor. Born and raised in Ottawa, Canada, the enormous success of his first number one hit, “Diana” made him a star at the age of 15. Soon after he found himself traveling by bus with the ‘Cavalcade of Stars’ which featured the top names of the day. He honed his craft surrounded by the likes of Jerry Lee Lewis, Buddy Holly, Frankie Lymon, and Chuck Berry. And he is the youngest entertainer to ever perform at the Copacabana in New York, as well as the Sahara and Sands Hotels in Las Vegas. The best-known titles of his early career included hits like “Put Your Head On My Shoulder,” “You Are My Destiny," "Lonely Boy," and "Puppy Love," (which also was recorded by Donny Osmond). By age 18, he had five Top 5 hits to his credit. After a few hit songs, he gained confidence in his talent as a writer and wisely knew that being a songwriter meant the power was in the pen. As a result, he went on to write for Connie Francis, Leslie Gore, and Buddy Holly (including the last song Holly ever recorded, “It Doesn’t Matter Anymore”). Other hit songs include the Academy Award-nominated theme for the 1962 film in which he starred, ‘The Longest Day.’ And he notably penned the longest-running theme in television history for The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson (“Johnny’s Theme”). In the early ’60s, he became a junior associate of Sinatra and the Rat Pack. Even with the British invasion, he still had chart records. He moved to Italy and outsold the Italians, selling an astonishing 4 million records there. In the late ’60s, he wrote “My Way” for Frank Sinatra and by the ’70s, he had another string of hits like “(You’re) Having My Baby”, “Don’t Like To Sleep Alone”, and “Times Of Your Life” which confirmed his status as an icon of popular music. Additionally, he’s written with Michael Jackson (“This Is It” and “Love Never Felt So Good”) and Drake (“Don’t Matter To Me”). He’s been named the 21st most successful artist in Billboard’s history, putting him alongside music greats Elvis Presley and the Beatles. And he is the only artist in history to have a song in the Billboard Top 100 over 7 consecutive decades. And The Writer Is…Paul Anka!This episode is sponsored by BMI and ABKCO.
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