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Sat, Dec. 14

Marvin's Window: Paul Anka recaptures "Puppy Love" of youth

I looked out my rear view window over the weekend as Paul Anka, musical star of the '50s, took me on a trip down memory lane.

One of the benefits of living in Kingman is the easy access to the entertainment brought to the area by the casinos in Laughlin.

Paul Anka stopped Friday as he continues on a series of one-nighters across the country.

I was too busy completing college, starting a family and beginning a career in the '50s to take advantage of the musical opportunities the first time around.

My first new car had no radio because it cost extra and seemed to be a luxury I could do without.

I did pay extra for a heater because the kids needed some warmth when we traveled during the winter.

Air conditioning in a car was never an option.

So, it was re-education time this weekend when we enjoyed the trip back to the '50s with Anka.

It was fun to hear all about "Puppy Love" and remember what it was like.

We waste so many good experiences on youth when we are not mature enough to know what great memories we are making.

He referred often to the American Bandstand alumni in the audience.

I have to confess that I seldom listened to that show the first time around.

Now, I am getting a second chance.

I had no idea that Paul Anka was such a prolific and successful songwriter.

My greatest musical achievement has been learning to dial a radio and put records, tapes and CDs on the correct machine.

That Paul Anka wrote musical scores for movies, the theme for the Johnny Carson Show and Frank Sinatra's signature song, "My Way," was a shock.

By the time the evening was over, I was convinced that Paul Anka had written a hit song for every major singer who performed from the '50s to the '80s!

But, the highlight of the evening came as Anka walked through the audience and worked the crowd.

The ladies in the crowd, now a little past their youth like Anka, were not going to miss any opportunity to get close to the star crooner of their youth.

They came from all over the stands to follow him, touch him and get a hug or kiss.

I know some of them had been in those crowds of bobby-soxers from the '50s who swooned over Anka, Pat Boone, Elvis and Sinatra.

They were running down memory lane faster than I was!

The sign at the entrance said "No flash photography."

Anka said, "Use your cameras.

I made commercials for Kodak." And he had.

Of course, he played and sang songs from the '50s to the '90s and exhibited a wide variety of musical talent.

Anka could continue his musical career as a piano player.

He is as talented there as he is as a singer and music writer.

He writes and plays music of today with as much talent as he did in the '50s.

Anka spent a good part of his career playing in Las Vegas with all the great stars of the past 50 years.

His tributes to Sinatra, Dean Martin and Sammy Davis, Jr.

included excellent video back-up and songs written for each star by Anka.

The bobby-soxers went crazy when he did a rendition of a song that he had written for Tom Jones that became one of Jones' hits.

Some of you know that I became a late-blooming Elvis fan after attending an impersonators' contest in Laughlin in January.

It amazed me to see 40 to 50 males from 10 to 70 singing the wide variety of music Elvis sang.

I had no idea he went beyond "Hound Dog."

In October we saw Freddy Fender for the third time, all in Laughlin.

I discovered that he did not invent the Fender guitar, that he speaks Spanish rather well, sings a lot of romantic songs and does great country music.

We have also saw the ageless Debbie Reynolds singing and talking about her poor judgment in choices of husbands.

She married several millionaires who spent all their money plus all of hers.

I wondered if other women talk about their exes like she says she and Liz Taylor talk about Eddie Fisher.

I don't know when my next lesson in music and singers will come to Laughlin, but you can be sure we will be there in January when the next Elvis contest finals is scheduled.

Some things just seem to be better the second or third time around.

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