Diana (Paul Anka song)

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This article is about the Paul Anka song. For the Bryan Adams song of the same name, see Diana (Bryan Adams song).
Single by Paul Anka
B-side "Don't Gamble With Love"
Released July 2, 1957 (July 2, 1957)
Recorded May 1957 (Don Costa, New York, U.S.)
Genre Pop
Length 2:28
Label ABC
Writer(s) Joe Sherman, Paul Anka
Certification Gold
Paul Anka chronology
"I Love You, Baby"

"Diana" is a song written and made famous by Paul Anka in 1957,[1] recorded in May 1957 at Don Costa studio in New York. Reportedly inspired by a high school friend of Anka's named Diana Ayoub,[2] in an interview with NPR's Terry Gross in 2005, Anka stated that it was inspired by a girl at his church whom he hardly knew. Session musicians on the record included Bucky Pizzarelli on Guitar, Irving Wexler on piano, Jerry Bruno on bass, and Panama Francis on drums. The song was recorded in May 1957 at RCA studios.[3] Backup singers included Artie Ripp (who later in his career as a music industry executive was the first to sign Billy Joel as a solo artist[4] after Michael Lang, who had given Joel a monetary advance, passed Joel along to Ripp to focus his attentions elsewhere instead.)[5]

The original Paul Anka 1957 recording reached number one on the Billboard "Best Sellers In Stores" chart (although it climbed no higher than number 2 on Billboard′s composite "Top 100" chart) and has reportedly sold over nine million copies.[6] "Diana" also hit number one on the R&B Best Sellers list chart.[7] It also reached number 1 in the UK Singles Chart and sold 1.25 million copies in the UK.[8][9]

After signing with RCA Records, Anka re-recorded "Diana", along with many other hits in 1963. All these versions were also published in Italian for a special LP.


The song has been covered many times. Ricky Martin sang a duet with Anka on the album Amigos. The horror punk band Misfits recorded a version on their album Project 1950. Another duet was in 2006 with Anka and the famous Italian singer and entertainer Adriano Celentano, with new Italian words by Giulio Rapetti (also known as Mogol) and by the same Celentano; the Italian title was "Oh Diana". In 1958 Paul Anka sang an Italian version of the song, also called "Diana"; the Italian lyrics were written by Mario Panzeri. Bobby Rydell covered this song as a single in 1968 and peaked 98 at US Hot 100. The Bulgarian band Wickeda also covered the song in a style that includes balcanic folk elements.


Chart (1957) Peak
Australian Singles Chart 1
Canadian Singles Chart 1
UK Singles Chart 1
US Billboard Hot 100 2
US Billboard Best Sellers in Stores 1
US Billboard R&B Singles Chart 1
Preceded by
"All Shook Up" by Elvis Presley
UK number one single
August 30, 1957 for 9 weeks
Succeeded by
"That'll Be the Day" by Buddy Holly and The Crickets
Preceded by
"Whole Lotta Shakin' Goin On" by Jerry Lee Lewis
Billboard R&B Best Sellers in Stores number-one single
September 23, 1957 - September 30, 1957 (two weeks)
Succeeded by
"Honeycomb" by Jimmie Rodgers


  1. ^ Gilliland, John (1969). "Show 12 - Big Rock Candy Mountain: Rock 'n' roll in the late fifties. [Part 2]" (audio). Pop Chronicles. Digital.library.unt.edu. 
  2. ^ Paul Anka doesn't live here anymore: Part 1 paulanka.com
  3. ^ Anka, Paul; Dalton, David (2013). My Way: An Autobiography. New York: St. Martin's Press. ISBN 9780312381042. 
  4. ^ "The Four Temptations (ABC Records)". Whitedoowopcollector.blogspot.com. Retrieved October 26, 2015. 
  5. ^ Schruers, Fred (2014). Billy Joel: The Definitive Biography. New York: Crown Publishing. ISBN 978-0-8041-4019-5. Retrieved January 14, 2016. 
  6. ^ Paul Anka, History of Rock and Roll. (URL accessed May 14, 2006)
  7. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2004). Top R&B/Hip-Hop Singles: 1942-2004. Record Research. p. 32. 
  8. ^ Ami Sedghi (4 November 2012). "UK's million-selling singles: the full list". The Guardian. Retrieved 4 November 2012. 
  9. ^ Rice, Jo (1982). The Guinness Book of 500 Number One Hits (1st ed.). Enfield, Middlesex: Guinness Superlatives Ltd. p. 33. ISBN 0-85112-250-7.