Pictured in Ocean Way’s Studio A are recording engineer Al Schmitt (seated) and legendary crooner Paul Anka. Photo by David Goggin.
Hollywood, CA (December 6, 2011)—Paul Anka recently recorded Songs of December, his first Christmas record in decades, with engineer Al Schmitt at the helm in Ocean Way Studios.
Produced by Anka, the album includes a 50-piece orchestra and vocals recorded at Ocean Way. The result is a collection of lush romantic versions of popular Christmas songs sung by a master croonsmith.
“This is a really nice album you can put on when the family is opening the gifts,” commented Al Schmitt. “It’s just got a real warm Christmas feeling. He even sings “Santa Claus Is Coming To Town” as a ballad and its just fantastic—almost sounds like Sinatra’s ‘It’s quarter to three, there’s no one in the place except you and me.’ I’m really really, happy with this album—the way it sounds, and Paul sang his butt off. Its great.”
Additional sessions took place at Capitol Recording Studios. Seasoned arrangers were Chris Walden and Pat Williams, with engineer Steve Genewick assisting Schmitt. Anka is touring Europe in November and then returning to the US and Canada to finish off the tour.
Songs of December includes “Let It Snow,” “Christmas Song,” “I’ll Be Home For Christmas,” “Winter Wonderland”, “It’s The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year,” “White Christmas,” “Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas,” “Santa Claus Is Coming To Town,” “Blue Christmas,” “Silver Bells,” and “Silent Night/A Cradle In Bethlehem.”
Anka first became famous as a teen idol in the late 1950s and 1960s with hit songs like “Diana’,” “Lonely Boy,” and “Put Your Head on My Shoulder.” He went on to write such well-known music as the theme for The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson; one of Tom Jones’s biggest hits, “She’s a Lady;” and the English lyrics for Frank Sinatra’s signature song, “My Way” (originally a French song “Comme d’habitude”). In 1983, he co-wrote with Michael Jackson the song “I Never Heard,” which was retitled and released in 2009 under the name “This Is It.”
Ocean Way & Record One