Anka was far and away the most successful teenage singer of the '50s who wrote his own songs. By the time he wrote "Put Your Head On My Shoulder," he had been a star for two years, having hit #1 with "Diana" in 1957. He had been to plenty of dance parties, just more often as a performer than a participant. Said Anka: "When I was playing record hops, I noticed that everybody's head was on somebody else's shoulder. I had never heard a song that expressed that feeling, so one night I went back to my hotel room and wrote 'Put Your Head On My Shoulder.'"
Anka told the Ottawa Globe And Mail: "Put your head on my shoulder - that was your objective that weekend. To get her to get the head on the shoulder, maybe get a kiss and get your hand in her blouse. All that I understood."
The Beach Boys released a song called "Don't Talk (Put Your Head On My Shoulder)" on their Pet Sounds album in 1966. Lush with strings, it's musically distinct from Anka's song, but the lyrical theme is similar.
Doja Cat sampled the song during her 2020 promotional single "Freak."
A mash-up of the first 12 seconds of this song and part of Doja Cat's "Streets" became a TikTok challenge called the "Silhouette Challenge."