CBC Digital Archives

1957: Paul Anka hits the top of the charts

Gordon Lightfoot, Celine Dion, Oscar Peterson, Sam Roberts, Anne Murray, The Barenaked Ladies. What do these artists all have in common? They've all won Juno Awards. Since 1970, the Junos have been held each year to celebrate excellence in Canadian music. In honour of the annual ceremony, the CBC Digital Archives has pulled together a diverse collection of radio and TV clips that shine the spotlight on some notable past Juno winners.

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She was so old. And he was so young! Paul Anka, an unassuming 16-year-old singer from Ottawa, reaches the top of the UK charts with his hit single Diana. The song about a May-December romance has catapulted both Anka and his former babysitter and inspiration, Diana Ayoub, to fame. Ayoub talks to CBC Radio about what it's like to be a muse, their friendship and the whirlwind attention she's received since the song hit the airwaves.

Diana went on to sell more than 20 million copies worldwide and has since been recorded over 300 times in 16 different countries.
• Diana Ayoub served as president of the Paul Anka Fan Club of Ottawa, Chapter 26, which maintained a membership of 293 in 1958.
• Over his career, Anka has sold over 51 million records around the globe. He has penned more than 900 songs, notably I'm Sorry, and the theme for Johnny Carson's Tonight Show. He also translated My Way from French to English for Frank Sinatra.

Also on August 30:
1987: Canadian Ben Johnson becomes the fastest man in the world when he breaks the world record for the 100-metre dash at the world track and field championships in Rome. Johnson's time of 9.83 seconds cut one tenth of a second from the previous record. Johnson would later admit to using steroids to enhance his performance and be disqualified.
1971: The Progressive Conservative Party under Peter Lougheed end 36 years of Social Credit rule in Alberta, defeating Harry Strom's government in a provincial election.

1976: The birthplace of Dr. Norman Bethune is made an official historical site in Gravenhurst, Ont. Over 400 people attend the ceremony, including 15 diplomats from China. Bethune is considered a hero in China for his medical work during the "Long March" of Mao Zedong.
Medium: Radio
Program: Assignment
Broadcast Date: Aug. 28, 1957
Guest(s): Diana Ayoub
Host: Maria Barrett, Bill McNeil
Interviewer: Norm Perry
Duration: 4:39
Photo: CBC Still Photo collection

Last updated: February 3, 2014

Page consulted on December 11, 2014

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