“Put Your Head on My Shoulder” is one of the most cherished love songs of all time. Paul Anka wrote and recorded it in 1959, at the height of his fame – being the most successful teenage-singer of the ’50s who wrote his own song. He had been a star for two years, having a No. 1 hit with “Diana” in 1957.
Like his previous hits, “Put Your Head on My Shoulder” captured the coy tenderness of the 1950’s teenage popular culture. Anka’s inspiration came from his fans, whom he would notice in the audience during his performances.
“I was very much aware of the ambiance of these record hops…that was a room full of kids, and a lot of ballads and everyone was holding each other, and I am up there singing along to all of these teenagers, and everybody’s head was on each other’s shoulders,” Anka said. “It was kind of important back in the ’50s, a time of innocence and romance…”
However, he never heard a song that expressed such feeling, “so one night I went back to my hotel room and wrote ‘Put Your Head on My Shoulder.'”
“Put your head on my shoulder. Hold me in your arms, baby. Squeeze me oh-so-tight. Show me that you love me too. Put your lips next to mine, dear. Won’t you kiss me once, baby? Just a kiss goodnight, maybe you and I will fall in love,” the song goes.
The Song Was Well-Received By Its Listeners
“Put Your Head on My Shoulder” reached No. 2 on Billboard’s Hot 100 chart. Nine years later, the song was again popular at No. 44 on the charts with The Lettermen’s 1968 rendition. Canadian singer Michael Bublé – who started as Anka’s protégé – also covered “Put Your Head on My Shoulder” on his widely successful self-titled debut album in 2003.
But nobody does it better than Paul Anka. The music legend started being one of the biggest teen idols of the late ’50s. By 1961, when the teen idol craze began to cool off, Anka could boast of the over 125 compositions under his belt, as well as his own record label called Spanka, and the recognition of being behind the second-best-selling single of all time. But instead of resting on his laurels, Anka moved to the adult sphere and became a successful performer, songwriter, recording artist, and music businessman staying so well into the new millennium.
Tune in below for his breathtaking performance of “Put Your Head on My Shoulder.”