Paul Anka started acting in films in 1958 with the teen movie, Let’s Rock. The description of this movie says it is about a singer’s girlfriend who helps him adjust to the new rock ‘n’ roll music. It seems a dozen movies were made with that theme in the Fifties. The singer was Julius LaRosa, who was pretty popular at the time. This kind of teenage movie came out quite frequently and Paul played himself and sang his song “I’ll Be Waiting For You”, a song that did not chart for him.
The next year, in 1959 he appeared in the low budget Girl’s Town (also known as The Innocent and the Damned) which starred Mamie Van Doren and Mel Tormé. He wrote “Lonely Boy” just for this movie and this time he did not play himself, but a character named Jimmy Parlow. He also did “Ave Maria”, “It’s Time to Cry” and the title song “Girl’s Town”.
“Lonely Boy” was his biggest hit since “Diana” in 1957. This was his second number one and it would be fifteen years before he had another one. “It’s Time to Cry” was also a nice hit, peaking at number 4 on the Billboard Hot 100.
Paul Anka was, of course, just getting started in 1959. He would go on to have a great career, having another number one in 1974, “She’s Having My Baby.” He was just as famous as a songwriter, writing Tom Jones’ biggest hit “She’s a Lady.” He also wrote Frank Sinatra’s signature song “My Way.” And, for those of you who remember Johnny Carson and his version of The Tonight Show, Paul Anka wrote the theme song for The Tonight Show. Paul received a royalty every time they played the song. It is estimated that he earned $800,000 and $900,000 a year just from that one song.
“Lonely Boy” entered the pop charts on June8, 1959 and stayed at number one for four weeks.