“Diana” by Paul Anka: A Timeless Classic of Teenage Heartache

“Diana” is a song that truly defined an era and captured the youthful yearning of the late 1950s. Written and performed by a young Paul Anka, the song was recorded in May 1957 at Don Costa’s studio in New York City. Anka, then just 15 years old, poured his teenage heart into this track, inspired by a girl named Diana Ayoub, whom he met at church and community events. This crush on Diana Ayoub, who was six years older than Anka, sparked the creation of a song that would resonate with countless young hearts around the world.

The recording session for “Diana” was a remarkable convergence of talent. The lineup included notable session musicians such as George Barnes on lead guitar, Bucky Pizzarelli, who played the catchy “Calypso” riff on guitar, Irving Wexler on piano, Jerry Bruno on bass, and Panama Francis on drums. The backing vocals were provided by Artie Ripp, adding depth and harmony to Anka’s heartfelt lead vocals. The recording took place at the iconic RCA Victor Studios in New York, a fitting venue for what would become a monumental hit.

Upon its release, “Diana” soared to the top of the charts, a testament to its universal appeal. It reached number 1 on the Billboard “R&B Best Sellers In Stores” chart, where it held the top spot for two weeks. However, it climbed no higher than number 2 on Billboard’s composite “Top 100” chart. Despite this, the song’s popularity was undeniable, reportedly selling over nine million copies. The UK was not immune to its charm either; “Diana” dominated the New Musical Express chart, holding the number 1 position for an impressive nine weeks and selling 1.25 million copies in the region.

You might like:  Paul Anka - Puppy Love

The success of “Diana” solidified Paul Anka’s place in the music industry and marked the beginning of a prolific career. In 1963, after signing with RCA Records, Anka revisited this classic along with many other hits for his album “Paul Anka’s 21 Golden Hits,” ensuring that “Diana” would continue to be celebrated by new generations of fans.

The enduring appeal of “Diana” lies in its simplicity and emotional honesty. The song captures the essence of young love—intense, unrequited, and deeply felt. Anka’s smooth vocals, combined with the song’s memorable melody and relatable lyrics, create an experience that transports listeners back to their own teenage years, when every emotion felt larger than life.

“Diana” is more than just a song; it is a piece of musical history that continues to touch hearts more than six decades after its release. Paul Anka’s ode to his teenage crush remains a testament to the timeless nature of love and the enduring power of music.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *