Paul Anka Will Celebrate 70th Birthday in July

Paul Anka shown early in his career.
Paul Anka shown in a more recent photo.

Paul Albert Anka was born in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada on July 30, 1941. He will be 70 on his birthday which is hard to believe. It seems like only yesterday I was listening to him sing Diana, You Are My Destiny, Put Your Head on My Shoulder and Lonely Boy. Lonely Boy would be his last No.1 hit until he hit No.1 again in 1974 with You’re Having My Baby and his last No.1 in 1975 with Times of Your Life.

Paul Anka singing a medley of his hits including the title song for The Longest Day.

Paul Anka singing his classic composition My Way.

His best known song My Way a song he wrote for Frank Sinatra. He wrote English words for the song, which is one of the most sung songs today.

He was married to Anne Zogheb from 1963 to 2000 and one of his daughters from that marriage, Amanda, is married to actor Jason Bateman. He later married Swedish model Anna Yeager who thirty years younger than Anka, but the marriage only lasted from 2008 to 2010.


The Voice : Two Singers End “Battle” With a Kiss

The Voice has been featuring battles between singers the last four weeks, but the “battle” between Emily Valentine and Curtis Grimes ended in a passionate kiss. They were singing Lady Antebellum’s Need You Now and Emily mentioned before they entered the boxing ring that she had a crush on Curtis, so the kiss wasn’t a total surprise.

However,  the coaches were caught by surprise, particularly Adam Levine and Cee Lo Green. Green eventually chose Curtis to be his fourth and final singer on his team.

The following article tells more about the show and contains the video of  Emily and Curtis singing Need You Now and includes their passionate kiss at the end.

Next week the show will begin an hour earlier as the singers will be singing live from 9-11 ET on NBC next Tuesday


Johnny Ace: Singer Kills Himself Accidentally on Christmas, 1954

Johnny Ace 25, died on Christmas, 1954 when he shot himself during a break between sets in Houston, Texas.

Johnny Ace an up and coming rhythm and blues singer had it all going his way until he shot himself on Christmas of 1954. For some reason Russian roulette is identified ,as the cause of his death. However two eyewitnesses tell a different story.

Big Mama Thornton’s bass player Curtis Tillman,  who was in the room at the time said this in Wikipedia about his death:

It was widely reported that Ace killed himself playing Russian roulette.[4][5] Big Mama Thornton‘s bass player Curtis Tillman, however, who witnessed the event, said, “I will tell you exactly what happened! Johnny Ace had been drinking and he had this little pistol he was waving around the table and someone said ‘Be careful with that thing…’ and he said ‘It’s okay! Gun’s not loaded…see?’ and pointed it at himself with a smile on his face and ‘Bang!’ – sad, sad thing. Big Mama ran outta that dressing room yelling ‘Johnny Ace just killed himself!”[6]

However Big Mama Thornton, who also witnessed the shooting tells a slightly different story:

Thornton said in a written statement (included in the book The Late Great Johnny Ace) that Ace had been playing with the gun, but not playing Russian roulette. According to Thornton, Ace pointed the gun at his girlfriend and another woman who were sitting nearby, but did not fire. He then pointed the gun toward himself. The gun went off, shooting him in the side of the head.

There has been speculation that Ace was murdered, but after reading the two eyewitness accounts of Tillman and Thornton, that seems impossible since neither mentions anyone else having a gun.

What we do know for sure is that Johnny Ace was born June 29, 1929 in Memphis, Tennessee and that he was born John Marshall Alexander, Jr. He later changed his name to Johnny Ace and appeared to be on his way to a successful recording career, when fate intervened and ended his life before his career could take off.

Johnny Ace singing Pledging My Love which became a posthumous No.1 hit.

Ironically, his biggest hit Pledging My Love was released after his death and was at the top of the Billboard R&B charts for ten weeks beginning on February 12, 1955.

56 years later the song is still being recorded and is one of the most recognizable songs among rhythm and blues fans.

Singer David Allan Coe sang Pledging My Love in concerts relating how he heard the news of his death. Elvis Presley recorded it during his last recording session in 1976 on his Moody Blue album.

The memory of Johnny Ace will live on as Pledging My Love will continue to be sung for years to come in concerts and on albums that have yet to be released.

Little Couple Returned to TLC Last Night: Sadness and Happiness

Bill Klein and Jen Arnold returned last night for another season of the Little Couple on the TLC television network.


It seems like it had been forever since the last new episode of the Little Couple had aired, before the first episode of Season 4 was shown last night on the TLC network.

Matter of fact, two new episodes were shown last night. One episode dealt with the struggles the couple Bill Klein and Jen Arnold have experienced trying to give birth to a child.

The Houston couple has been trying to give birth to a child through a surrogate mother, but the doctor last night couldn’t retrieve a fertile egg in time, before it was ovulated. One problem they have is that their doctor practices in Los Angeles while they live in Houston.

When the doctor told them the egg had already been ovulated, the sadness in their faces was overwhelming and Jen shed some tears after being told the news. But Bill and Jen don’t give up easily and will try again.

Their resiliency was amazing since while being greatly disappointed, they still were able to regroup and not give up on their hope for a baby. If all else fails, they will adopt a baby, but they haven’t reached that point yet.

The second episode last night was more on a happy note with the couple checking out the progress on their new house under construction. There is still a lot of work left to be done before it will be finished, but it looks much better than it did at the end of Season 3.

Another reason for happiness is that Bill was able to buy a new sports car without busting their budget or as Bill put it  “It will cost only a sandwich a month more than their previous car.”

The most admirable trait of the couple is that they never let their handicap of being little in a big people’s world, deter them from achieving their goals and dreams.

Unlike most reality shows these days, there is not a lot of dissension on this program. They may have some petty disagreements, but their love is bigger than any disagreements, so they work out any problems together as a team.

I am sure that they are being paid well for allowing TLC to film their daily lives, but it doesn’t matter to me since I enjoy the shows immensely, knowing these are two of the nicest people who have overcome their height obstacle to reach all the goals they have set for their lives.

American Idol: Scotty and Lauren Alaina Sign Record Contracts

It is now official: Scotty McCreery and Lauren Alaina have both signed with the Mercury Nashville record label. The recording company’s ad announcing the signings is included in the link at the end of this article.

With the Lauren Alaina signing, it should signal that she will be recording almost exclusively country music. To me, her voice is better suited for country music. However, time will tell if she will crossover into pop music from time to time.

One thing that can be said for American Idol is that it is great training for new artists, since they have to keep an exhausting schedule during the season.

It is a shame that Scotty and Lauren Alaina can’t hit the road now with their own tour, instead of being tied down to the American Idol tour most of the summer. When they do tour, it wouldn’t surprise me to see them both appearing together in concerts as a package deal.

I want to be one of the first to wish them successful recording careers and that they will be singing country music for many years to come.





American Idol producer Nigel Lythgoe and Season 9 winner Lee DeWyze continue to conduct their “tweeting” war, over when DeWyze was told he would be presenting the American Idol trophy to the Season 10 winner.

Lythgoe contends it was a week before the finale night, while DeWyze said he wasn’t told till the last few moments of the show. I tend to believe Lythgoe since it is a more believable scenario that DeWyze was told a week before. It is unlike American Idol to have asked DeWyze the last-minute to present the trophy. I am not saying it didn’t happen that way, just not the way the well orchestrated finale would likely to have been handled by the producers. If DeWyze was lying as Lythgoe charged, it will only hurt his career. I realize he was upset at not being asked to sing on the finale, but it still doesn’t excuse his behavior if he had agreed a week before to present the trophy, then back out the last-minute.

James Durbin has tweeted that he is close to signing a record deal….Haley Reinhart has told that she was very comfortable singing with Tony Bennett, because of his demeanor and that she felt at home singing with the jazz quartet backing them….Casey James a contestant on Season 9 opened for Sugarland earlier this year and has been signed by Sony Records and is in the process of putting a band together.

Aaron Kelly also from Season 9 is working on an album and will be opening this summer for Rodney Akins and Little Big Town….Another Season 9 contestant Siobhan Magnus will be singing in concerts this summer singing songs from her alternative-grunge debut album.

The following USA Today article gives more updates on all 12 of the Season 9 contestants: