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A 1960s Hit Love Song: “Puppy Love” by Paul Anka


Puppy Love is an intense feeling of desire, passion, and excitement towards someone without giving you an idea of having a long term commitment to him/her. It is the first stage of romantic love felt during your teenage years. No one is exempted from having a puppy love. Have you heard the story behind Paul Anka’s song “Puppy Love”?  If not, let me tell you instead.

Anka’s Version

Puppy Love, Paul
Photo Credit: Paul Anka/ youtube.com by Screengrab

Paul Anka wrote the song “Puppy Love” and first recorded it. The song was then released in February 1960 as a single from his album, Paul Anka Sings His Big 15. American conductor and arranger, Sid Feller, produced this classic love song. Many have recorded their own version of the song, including Donny Osmond.

Osmond’s Version

Puppy Love, Donny
Via Donny’s Official Facebook Page

Donny Osmond recorded the song twelve years after Anka released his version of the song. His version was released in February 1972 as a single from his third album, Portrait of Donny. Upon its release, the song reached number 3 on the Billboard Hot 100 music hits. Billboard ranked his version as the number 67 on the best hit songs in 1972. The song became a certified Gold awarded by the Recording Industry Association of America.


“Puppy Love”

Paul wrote this song inspired by his Puppy Love, Annette Funicello. Paul and Annette were having an affair during a tour and when Anka’s manager noticed it, he suggested to keep their affair in private to protect their careers too.

Annette was a very popular actress and a member of Disney’s Mickey Mouse Club. She was not allowed to hang out with guys until she turned 16. Anka and Annette were 17 when they got together.

According to some adults who knew about their love story, the affair was labeled as “Puppy Love,” but the couple insisted that the feeling is so strong that it made Anka put his feelings into the song. In Annette’s autobiography, she wrote:

“Just because we were 17 didn’t mean that, for us, our love wasn’t real.”

Though the puppy love did not last, Annette considers Paul as one of the persons who made her life meaningful.

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