The Show of Stars for 1957 featured the changing appearance of rock’n’roll: the line-up for this October event at Vancouver’s Georgia Auditorium included Buddy Holly and the Crickets, Frankie Lymon and the Teenagers, Frankie Avalon, George Hamilton IV, Buddy Knox, The Everly Brothers, Eddie Cochran… and Canada’s Paul Anka. Paul’s first hit “Diana” had been released a couple of months earlier and it launched his career.
I was most anxious to meet Buddy Holly. Buddy and the Crickets had their first hit ride up the charts just two months earlier. The song was “That’ll Be The Day”. Buddy told me that it was my listing of the song that brought it to the attention of other radio stations in North America. Buddy’s record label made a special presentation thanking me for playing it.
Flash forward to February 1959… I was on the air at KGW/Portland when the news of Buddy Holly’s tragic death in an Iowa plane crash came across the news wire. It hit me pretty hard as I had felt involved with Buddy’s career due to my part in launching “That’ll Be The Day”. It was a sad day.
I reached for a current Holly hit from the KGW hit rack and put my hands on his latest song, “It Doesn’t Matter Anymore”. The significance of that title was almost a sign-off for Buddy’s career. When the record finished I switched quickly to a commercial, grabbed the disc in my hand and looked at the label to see who wrote it. The name Paul Anka stared back at me. Paul had been on the show that night back in 1957 at the Georgia Auditorium.
Paul Anka‘s lasting power is proven with his contributions to the world of music. I have talked with Paul many times over the years and he has never forgotten our first meeting in Vancouver in those early days. He is an incredible person and a talent Canada can shout about.
Paul has just released his latest album, “Sessions”, and one of my favourite tracks is here: his beautifully arranged and heartfelt version of his classic song from long ago: “It Doesn’t Matter Anymore”.