It was fifty years ago today- Monday December 30, 1968- Frank Sinatra recorded what would become one of his ‘signature songs’- My Way.
The original song was written as a French pop song Comme d’habitude [ As Usual} by Claude Francois and Jacques Revaux and performed by Francois. Canadian singer Paul Anka heard the song in 1967 and went to France to negotiate the rights to the song. He thought it was a terrible record but had something in it. Anka acquired the rights. A while later he was dining in Florida with Sinatra and a couple Mob guys- when he heard Sinatra say “I’m quitting the business. I’m sick of it. I”m getting the hell out.” When Anka got back to New York City he took the original song and re-wrote it for Sinatra. Sinatra would record it on this date and release it as a single in early 1969- it would reach #27 on the Billboard Hot 100. In the UK it would peak at #5 but would spend an incredible 75 weeks in the Top 40- a record.
Years later Frank would tell his daughter Tina that he hated the song- he thought it was self-serving and self-indulgent.