Celebrate the Heart of Country, Americana, and Roots Music!

Drop Us A Line, Y'all

Y'all interested in advertising, partnering up, contributing stories, joining our team, or just got a question? Well, don't be shy, drop us a line!

Follow Us

From A Simple Teenage Crush to a Hit Song “Diana” That Launched Paul Anka’s Career

by

Isn’t it amazing how Paul Anka once turned a crush on an older girl into a breakthrough hit, “Diana”?

Recorded in 1957 at Don Costa studio in New York City, the song reached No. 1 on the Billboard Best Sellers In Stores chart and climbed no higher than No. 2 on Billboard′s composite Top 100 chart. “Diana” also hit No. 1 on the R&B Best Sellers chart. 

But in the United Kingdom, the song soared well as it topped the UK’s New Musical Express chart for an impressive nine weeks. After it was first released in America, a European record distributor heard the song in a New York record store and arranged for the song to be issued in that region, and proved to be immensely popular. 

“My record has a Semitic sound to it, like a chant. It gives my records a European feel,” Anka said. He was the first teenager to have a million-seller in the United Kingdom; he was only sixteen when it was charted.

After signing with RCA Records, Anka recorded “Diana” once again, along with several other hits in 1963, off his album Paul Anka’s 21 Golden Hits.

How Anka Turned A Crush Into A Hit Song 

Paul Anka was only fifteen years old when he wrote, “Diana.” As stated in his autobiography, the song was inspired by a girl named Diana Ayoub, whom he had met at his church, and had developed a crush on. 

“She was a little out of my league,” Anka said. “She really didn’t want anything to do with me, which made it even worse.” She was also five years older than him.

Anka and Ayoub did not cross paths all that often. He would only see her at church and some other community events, babysitting his younger brother and sister every so often. That crush did not go anywhere, just merely an unrequited love, but the song did as it topped several charts and launched Anka’s career.

Anka and his family then moved from Ottawa, Canada, to New Jersey, where they set up a publishing and management operation to support Anka’s career. Anka quickly became one of his generation’s biggest hitmakers, being one of the few teenagers who wrote and recorded songs about teenage love as early as the ’50s. Several hits of the era were written by experienced and skilled songwriters who were much older.

As for the muse of Anka’s song, it is said that the crooner has never reconnected with her. In 2002, it was reported by the Ottawa Globe And Mail that Diana Ayoub had two children, got divorced, and managed a dress shop in the city.

“I’m so young, and you’re so old. This, my darling, I’ve been told. I don’t care just what they say, ’cause forever I will pray. You and I will be as free as the birds up in the trees. Oh, please stay by me, Diana,” the song goes. 

Check out Paul Anka’s powerful performance of “Diana” below.

Latest Stories

Sonny James Death

A Moment To Remember: Country Singer Sonny James’ Death At 87

Country singer Sonny James, known for his 1957 track “Young Love,” which topped both country and pop charts, passed away on February 22, 2016, at Nashville’s Alive Hospice. According to ...

Wynonna Sings Coal Miner's Daughter with Loretta Lynn's Granddaughter Emmy Russell - Idol

Wynonna Judd Joins Emmy Russell On Idol To Sing “Coal Miner’s Daughter”

Emmy Russell started her American Idol journey with an original song. She fittingly ended it with a tribute cover of “Coal Miner’s Daughter” for her late grandmother and country legend ...

Johnny Cash + Forty Shades of Green

“Forty Shades of Green”: Johnny Cash’s Ode to Ireland

Country legend Johnny Cash released an ode to Ireland appreciating its beauty with “Forty Shades of Green” as part of his album Ring of Fire: The Best of Johnny Cash ...

Randy Travis A Country Legend's Fight for His Voice and His Legacy

What Happened to Randy Travis After Massive Stroke and Dire Financial Situation?

What happened to Randy Travis? That has been the question of many of his fans after his massive stroke in 2013.  Randy Travis is a legend and an icon in ...

5 Must-Hear Lainey Wilson Collaborations

Here Are 5 Lainey Wilson Collaborations You Shouldn’t Miss Out On

Country singer Lainey Wilson’s discography isn’t just a string of solo hits. Over the years, she has also steadily stacked up her collaboration resume — earning several number ones from ...

Lukas Nelson And Sierra Ferrell + Crying Time

Lukas Nelson & Sierra Ferrell Harmonize on Buck Owens’ “Crying Time”

Buck Owen’s 1964 track “Crying Time,” popularized by Ray Charles, is making waves again after Lukas Nelson and Sierra Ferrell shared a casual snippet of their take on the song.  ...

Ashley Cooke on making country music history with her debut album

Ashley Cooke Reaches a Milestone with Debut Album “Shot in the Dark”

With her single ”Your Place” from the album Shot in the Dark, Ashley Cooke jumps into a huge leap in her career and turns into a Billboard Hot-100 artist at ...

Carly Pearce Reveals Heart Condition

Carly Pearce Reveals Heart Condition, What’s Next?

Country singer Carly Pearce candidly took to social media to share a very important health update.  In the video uploaded on her Instagram, captioned, “health update. love y’all 💛,” Pearce ...

Top 30 Country Songs This Week

Top 30 Country Songs This Week

Check out this week’s most popular hit country music with our top 30 country songs of 2024. Stay up-to-date with the latest hits that everyone is talking about. Here Are ...

Home Free Member, Adam Rupp, Stuns in His Vocalized Drum Solo

Adam Rupp of Home Free Showcases His Vocalized Drum Solo

During Home Free’s Spring Tour in 2015, vocal percussionist Adam Rupp beatboxed his way onto the stage of South Portland and performed a vocalized drum solo to silence the skeptics. ...

Leave a Comment

For security, use of Google's reCAPTCHA service is required which is subject to the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Use.