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April 12th, 2013
08:27 PM ET

Paul Anka on the moment Frank Sinatra played his song for the first time: "I heard ‘My Way’ for the first time and I started crying"

Coming up this evening at nine, Piers Morgan invites Paul Anka to join him in studio for an endearing and insightful primetime, face to face interview.

A celebrated singer, songwriter, and actor, Anka penned the infamous Frank Sinatra song "My Way," an achievement he explains in fascinating detail as part of this evenings "Piers Morgan Live":

"I came back to New York where I was living at the time. I was sitting up in my apartment, one o’clock in the morning, and I still cannot get my arms around the fact that Sinatra is leaving. And I started typing," Anka tells the host. "I said, 'What would Frank do with this if he were writing it.' And metaphorically, I started creating this song as if Frank were writing it, 'And now the end is near. The final curtain.' Wrote it 'till five o’clock in the morning and at the end of it, I knew that I had something that I wouldn’t be afraid to give him."

Often intimidated by the legendary Sinatra, Anka also describes the very first moment he heard his words come to life, and the emotion that came with the experience:

"I flew out to Vegas where he was at Caesars. I played it to him. I knew that by the reaction he gave me he was going to do it," Anka recalls. "I’m in New York two months later. The phone rings, Mr. Sinatra on the phone. He says, 'Kid! Listen to this.' Took the phone, put it up to the speaker. I heard ‘My Way’ for the first time and I started crying."

Watch the clip, and listen to interview, then tune in at 9 as the man behind such classics as "Diana," "Lonely Boy," and "Put Your Head on My Shoulder" shares details of his relationship with Sinatra, and discusses his autobiography "My Way."
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soundoff (45 Responses)
  1. Lisa

    How nice that he is doing this, too bad his drunk bank didn't think enough of the troops overseas. When they played in Balad Iraq they trashed the trailers they stayed in and all the airman had to clean up the broken furniture, bottles and trash they left behind. Way to support the troops!

    April 12, 2013 at 9:21 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • lisa

      This was in reference to the Kid Rock article.

      April 12, 2013 at 9:22 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  2. brasstacs

    I watched the segment with Paul Anka,and I can say that this was very enjoyable,and interesting to hear Anka speak about Sinatra,and some of his past experiences. Because of Morgan's career history in tabloids this is the kind of interviews that Morgan should stick with and forget the liberal political propaganda and his over the top liberal opinions and half truths about gun control..I rarely Watch Morgan because of his anti gun BS,and liberal agenda,...but tonight I enjoyed the interview with Paul Anka.

    April 12, 2013 at 10:10 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  3. John Walker

    Paul Anka did NOT write My Way. It was a French hit many years before he had it translated from French. The writers were Jacques Reveaux and Claude Francois. If you look at the copyright credits on the sheet music, Paul Anka is only the 3rd person credited and only for having it translated. He's getting way too much credit for this song.

    Comme d'habitude, which would become My Way, was written by Francois and two other Frenchmen after a heartbroken Francois broke up with the pop singer France Gall. Officially, Gilles Thibault gets credit for the lyrics, and Jacques Revaux for the music.

    Comme d'habitude morphed into My Way after Paul Anka, the seasoned Canadian lounge act, heard it on a trip to Paris.

    April 13, 2013 at 12:55 am | Report abuse | Reply
    • Rob283838

      I googled it on youtube, the song is there by Claude Francois. Interesting how he left out that part......

      April 13, 2013 at 1:30 pm | Report abuse | Reply
      • Free

        Google " Real Rogue Nuclear State" on YouTube

        April 14, 2013 at 8:51 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Daniel Dans

    I fully agree with John Walker, the song "my way" was written by French singer Claude François and Paul Anka who I like by the way, ONLY translated it; it is not correct and right from him to take the benefit and credit for that beautiful song.
    I hope that in the future you will let the world know about the truth.
    I thank you for the nice program you have with CNN. A Belgian viewer, Daniel Dans

    April 13, 2013 at 11:18 am | Report abuse | Reply
  5. Elvis

    My Way is not a translation of Comme d'habitude. Comme d'habitude means 'as usual'. The french version was about a relationship that was breaking up: completely different lyrics and meaning. Paul who was living in France at the time liked the vibe and melody and got the rights from the publisher and created a much better classic and powerful song custom made for Sinatra. He always acknowledges the fact the he did not right the melody.

    April 13, 2013 at 4:05 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  6. Daniel Boone

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    April 14, 2013 at 8:05 am | Report abuse | Reply
  7. John

    Send this clown back across the pond and put an american in his place....It's getting very tiring to listen to him! I just turn the channel!

    April 14, 2013 at 8:16 am | Report abuse | Reply
  8. Free media

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    April 14, 2013 at 8:49 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  9. Danny Boned

    What is 'evil in itself (?$)' is the misrepresentation of the facts by the above commentors: besmirching Anka's role in creating 'My Way'.

    Futhermore, the original version of 'Comme D'habitude' by Jacques Revaux and Gilles Thibault was called 'For Me' with words in English again different meaning from Comme D. or My Way. And no one wanted to record it. Herve Vilard agreed to record it but Revaux was not happy with it. At that point, Claude Francois was brought in and contributed new lyrics and some musical changes. The French obviously know Francois' version but it wasn't a big hit even in France. Anka and Sinatra made it one of the most covered songs of all time. So even the late Francois' version is the 2nd version.

    April 15, 2013 at 2:32 am | Report abuse | Reply
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