” is a song written and made famous by
in 1957, recorded in May 1957 at Don Costa studio in New York. Reportedly inspired by a high school friend of Anka’s named Diana Ayoub, 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. Backup singers included Artie Ripp (who later in his career as a music industry executive was the first to sign and produce Billy Joel as a solo artist after Michael Lang, who had given Joel a monetary advance, passed Joel along to Ripp–while retaining rights to a cut of profits from Joel’s output–to focus his attentions elsewhere instead.)
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. “Diana” also hit number one on the R&B Best Sellers list chart. It also reached number 1 in the UK Singles Chart and sold 1.25 million copies in the UK.