What does the name Paul Anka mean to you? If you were running around in the 50’s and early 60’s he was a teen idol. Songs he wrote and popularized include “Puppy Love,” and “Lay your head on my shoulder.”
You also might know him as a popular songwriter. He wrote for various artists including Tom Jones, ” She’s a Lady.” He wrote “My Way” for Frank Sinatra in about 5 hours. It was so successful that it brought Sinatra out of retirement.
Anka appeared at The Palace on October 13, and gave a memorable show.
He surprised the audience by making his entrance from the back of the theater. By the time he got on the stage, it was crystal clear that he still had the voice, energy, and charm. His full piece orchestra situated on the stage was first class.
He kept saying he did the gig because he had a passion for entertaining Luckily, the audience benefited from his spirited performance. He also told funny jokes throughout the show. He danced with a woman in the first row. He shook hands with the audience.
It just wasn’t a former teen idol singing his hits like “Puppy Love” and “Put your head on my shoulder.” Anka is the real deal, an accomplished musician, and songwriter. He did let the audience reminisce with him by singing along at the beginning and end of the show.
There was a movie screen that came down and showed excerpts of Anka with a lot of famous people including members of the “Rat Pack:, Dean Martin, Frank Sinatra. Dick Clark, the perennial teenager from American Bandstand, momentarily appeared in the montage.
There was acknowledgement of the great Sammy Davis Jr. In a filmed segment, Sammy was singing one of Anka’s songs and smoking a cigarette for artistic effect. (Prophetic, considering Davis died from throat cancer at 64.)
Midway through the show Anka, sat on the stage and played the guitar in tribute to Buddy Holly.
Near the end of the show, he energetically performed,” My Way.” The orchestra also did a tribute to Prince by weaving in “Purple Rain.” I’m not sure the audience got the connection.
There was a group of ladies waiting for him at the stage door. They had that look of idol worship on their faces.
If you get a chance to catch Anka on his upcoming tour, go. He’s one of the best.