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June 08, 2005

NYT: Paul Anka-- Still On an Integrity Kick!


Why would a teen idol turned Las Vegas crooner like him, who wrote early rock 'n' roll hits like "Diana" and "Put Your Head on My Shoulder," who gave Johnny Carson his theme song and Frank Sinatra "My Way," release an album stuffed with 14 swinging renditions of rock songs from stylistic opposites like Van Halen and Billy Idol?


"I ain't going to be just a face in the crowd," he sang. "You're going to hear my voice, I'll shout it out loud." He was greeted with the loudest ovation of the night.

The day before, in his Four Seasons suite, casually dressed in jeans and a light blue shirt unbuttoned enough to reveal more of a deep tan, Mr. Anka discussed why he took on "Rock Swings," his 120th album. "There will be an initial knee-jerk reaction to Anka doing Nirvana, and people will say nail him," he said. "But I want them to at least listen to it. And anyone astute enough and that has any integrity musically will look at it and go, you know what, goddamn it. I didn't want to like it, but it's there, the quality is there."

There will be no loose shit on this album. And you will appreciate it, so long as you have integrity musically. And heart musically. And conscious (sic) musically.

PS, the article mentions an appearance on the David Letterman show "later." I assume that means tonight, as he just did the Stern show and must be doing NY publicity.

So, set those TiVo's.

PS, the Times has links to audio of his "rock swing" songs.

Update: Mr. Paul Anka swung it with Smells Like Teen Spirit on Letterman.

Asked if anyone had attempted to do big-band covers of rock hits before (of course they have-- anyone remember Sinatra's Something?), Mr. Paul Anka responded, "Not like this. Not in the totality."

Integrity. Totality. These are definitely words in the man's active vocabulary.

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posted by Ace at 04:48 PM

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