A new 14-song collection by pop music legend Paul Anka, DUETS, is set for release April 9th through Legacy Recordings, a division of SONY MUSIC ENTERTAINMENT. The release coincides with the in-store date for Anka's long-awaited life story, MY WAY: An Autobiography, co-written with David Dalton and published by St. Martins Press.
In his 55th year as a performer, Paul Anka is a national treasure (notwithstanding he was born in Ottawa) who quickly separated himself from the pack of teen idols that surfaced in the mid-to-late 1950s. He did this mainly by virtue of writing all his own hits (“Diana,” “You Are My Destiny,” “Lonely Boy,” “Put Your Head On My Shoulder,” “Puppy Love"), and taking control of his business career (producing, buying and owning his master recordings, a practice he still employs today). He further separated himself from the pack during the pre-Beatles era by moving into posh big city night clubs like New York’s Copacabana, that were long the province of Frank Sinatra and his generation. Anka also graduated from early rock exploitation films (like Let’s Rock and Girls Town) into mature film roles like The Longest Day, (for which he wrote the Oscar-nominated title song).
Anka wrote the all-time classic “My Way” (recorded by everyone from Sinatra to Sid Vicious), and co-wrote Michael Jackson’s posthumous single, “This Is It.” Anka also penned "She's A Lady" for Tom Jones and the instrumental theme song for The Tonight Show starring Johnny Carson. Anka charted singles throughout the 1960s, 1970s (the #1 “You’re Having My Baby” and the Kodak theme song, “Times Of Your Life”) and 1980s, and overall has maintained a distinct presence throughout the past half-century of pop culture. He is amongBillboard magazine's Top 25 most successful recording artists, putting him alongside Elvis Presley and the Beatles.
DUETS includes heartfelt liner notes written by Anka, as an introduction to the classic songs he has chosen and his collaborators. “Throughout the history of music,” writes Anka, “there have been all kinds of songs; to me, the classics still reign supreme. This endeavor, these songs, will be easy on your ears; they are the stuff that love and life is all about.”
DUETS presents collaborations with a 'Who’s Who' of entertainment royalty, including brand-new vocal recordings with Michael Bublé ("Pennies From Heaven") and Leon Russell ("I Really Miss You").
Other duet partners include "Do I Love You (Yes, In Every Way)" with Dolly Parton, "This Is It" with Michael Jackson, "Think I'm In Love Again" with Gloria Estefan, "Crazy" with Willie Nelson, "You Are My Destiny" with Patti LaBelle, "Les Filles de Paris" with jazz trumpeter Chris Botti, "It's Hard To Say Goodbye" with Celine Dion, "She's A Lady" with Tom Jones, "Hold Me 'Til The Morning Comes" with Peter Cetera, and "My Way" with Frank Sinatra.
One track actually features a trio vocal performance, Anka singing "Walk A Fine Line" with George Benson and Michael McDonald.
Finally, there is "Find My Way Back To Your Heart," a new composition sung by Anka with background vocals contributed by singer and vocal coach Tita Hutchison, and produced by Michael Thompson and Paul Anka.
DUETS provides a musical journey through the life and times of Paul Anka. Anka (born July 30, 1941) was studying piano and was a local Canadian performer (mainly an impressionist) by age 12 in 1953, which would make 2013 his 60th year as a performer. He led his first vocal group at 13 (the Bobby Soxers), wrote his first songs at 14, and recorded his first commercial single in Los Angeles at 15 (the summer after 9th grade!). He signed with ABC-Paramount at age 16 in 1957, igniting the pop firmament with “Diana,” “You Are My Destiny,” and all the hits that followed.
As Anka addresses the listener in his liner notes: “I am proud of what you are about to hear, and I am grateful to those of you out there who continue to show an interest in every body of work that I create. I have always said that success has many fathers and I thank everyone who has made this venture possible; it is always a team effort.”
DUETS by PAUL ANKA
(Legacy Recordings 54848 98676 2)
1. Walk A Fine Line – with George Benson and Michael McDonald (B)
2. Find My Way Back To Your Heart
– sung by Paul Anka, background vocal by Tita Hutchison (A)
3. Do I Love You (Yes, In Every Way) – with Dolly Parton (B)
4. This Is It – with Michael Jackson (B)
5. I Really Miss You – with Leon Russell (A)
6. Think I'm In Love Again – with Gloria Estefan (B)
7. Pennies From Heaven – with Michael Bublé (A)
8. Crazy – with Willie Nelson (B)
9. You Are My Destiny – with Patti LaBelle (C)
10. Les Filles de Paris – with Chris Botti (B)
11. It’s Hard To Say Goodbye – with Celine Dion (C)
12. She’s A Lady – with Tom Jones (C)
13. Hold Me ‘Til the Morning Comes – with Peter Cetera (C)
14. My Way – with Frank Sinatra (B)
(A) Brand new recording.
(B) New version. Features either new vocals or new musical instrumentation.
(C) Previously appeared on the 1998 album A Body Of Work.