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Second Cup Cafe: Neil Sedaka

Neil Sedaka will always be a permanent fixture when it comes to the making of American rock 'n' roll.

He's had an over-50-year-long love affair with making music through performing and producing. Whether he was behind the mic or behind the scenes, he helped shape the music industry with his impressive contributions.

Known for his hits "The Diary," "Oh! Carol," "Calendar Girl," "Little Devil," "Happy Birthday Sweet Sixteen," "Next Door To An Angel," and "Breaking Up Is Hard To Do," Sedaka knows what it takes to make music truly timeless.

Sedaka is still doing what he loves, but this time he is taking his music to another level - and you could say he is literally taking it down a notch.

He stopped by The Early Show Saturday Edition's "Second Cup Cafe" to perform songs from his new children's album, "Waking Up Is Hard to Do."

It's a collection of classic Sedaka hits that have been reinvented as children's songs (like "Where The Toys Are" and "Lunch Will Keep Us Together"). The inspiration for the album comes from the love of his grandchildren, and his five-year-old twin granddaughters even provide backing vocals on the album.

"I had to bribe them with cookies and candy, because the span of attention was two minutes long," he laughed.

Youthfulness is nothing new to the Sedaka sound.

Drawn to music as early as age four, Sedaka was destined to make music. He became classically trained on the piano when he was just eight years old at the Julliard School of Music. Gravitating to the piano proved fruitful at age 16, when he was considered one of the best New York high school pianists.

Although he enjoyed the structure of classical music, Sedaka made time for rock 'n' roll, of course. He formed the Doo-Wop group called The Tokens, which had two regional hit singles. Then he met Howard Greenfield and the songwriting began to flow. The dynamic duo went on to sell 40 million records between 1959 and 1963.

In the late '50s and '60s, Sedaka and Greenfield became one of the original creators of the "Brill Building" sound.

When Beatlemania came to town, Sedaka not only managed to stay afloat, but he went on to write for music legends, such as Frank Sinatra ("The Hungry Years"), Elvis Presley ("Solitaire"), Tom Jones ("Puppet Man"), The Monkees ("When Love Comes Knocking At Your Door"), and The Fifth Dimension ("Workin' on a Groovy Thing").

The Brits rubbed off on Sedaka, who then headed to the U.K. with the release of his album "Emergence" in 1972.

With backup from Elton John, Sedaka reintroduced himself as a solo artist with two successful international albums - "Sedaka's Back" in 1974 and "The Hungry Years" in 1975.

After his reemergence was embraced, he and fellow songwriter Phil Cody went on to make "Bad Blood" and "Laughter in the Rain," which both made it to No. 1 on the music charts.

Further proving his talents, in 1975, Sedaka re-released his hit "Breaking Up Is Hard To Do" with a new spin - he made it a ballad. His judgement was spot-on and he made music history. "Breaking Up Is Hard To Do" became the first song recorded in two different versions by the same artist to reach No. 1.