Is beautiful when you are able to spent the day with an iconic crooner like Paul Anka a man whose powerful and romantic voice traveled from our livingroom, across the halls and bounce off the walls and into the rooms as, a boy back in Santo Domingo, my parents played his records along Frank Sinatra, Nat King Cole, Elvis and the Beatles.
At that young age I didn't know what any of them were singing but I love their sound and their music for it lifted my spirit and turned me while I took my showers, and to the annoyance of the rest of my family, into a "singer." Then many years later when I came to school in North America, in fact Chattanooga Tennessee, and English became my language all those old songs and lyrics were now more meaningful to me.
The same way I felt for this man as a boy I also felt as I walked into his large home and he said hello to my crew and me. When I mentioned to him how special this photo shoot was for me and how my parents played his records he approached me and put his hand on my shoulders then we followed him into his home studio where he sat behind his piano and started singing for us. By then I was filled with deep emotions and so much raw energy that could had been use to light up my home for a whole month. At that moment I was wishing my own parents had been present but I knew that far above they were hearing the same melodically voice from my youth. For me was a very emotional occasion to the highest octane.
The time photographing Mr. Anka was also very special to the rest of my crew and one of them, while changing sets and relocating from one part of the house into another, mentioned how the visit there felt so priceless that she felt like crying.
Prior to this shoot I also learned many things about this remarkable man who as a 14 yrs old left his home in Canada and traveled to NYC so he could make it in the music world. Ironically for me too, without never making it as a singer and to the benefit of humankind, at the same age I left my own home and was sent to school overseas.
He also wrote a song which Buddy Holly recorded few weeks before his tragic accident. After his death, Mr. Anka donated all his royalties earning from that song to help Buddy's young wife and child.
I also discovered that he penned the theme song of Johnny Carson's Tonight Show and many other top signature songs for other singers such as: Tom Jones "She is a Lady" and "My Way" for Frank Sinatra.
Just like Sinatra, Paul Anka has done it His Way.
Mr Anka I can't say THANK YOU enough for the wonderful time and for treating us as family. And thanks for all the gifts presented to us before we left your home and for inviting me to your next show. All the best and keep on making the world happy.
Manuello Paganelli ©