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Pat Boone

In the years immediately prior to the British Invasion, only one performer rivaled the chart dominance of Elvis Presley, and that was Pat Boone. With his trademark white buck shoes, perfectly combed hair and gleaming smile, Boone was the very essence of wholesome American values, and at a time when the rise of rock & roll was viewed as a sign of the apocalypse, he made the music appear safe and non-threatening, earning some 38 Top 40 hits in the process. It's fitting that his achievements rank closest to those of Presley; after all, both claimed the sound of black R&B culture for their own, in the process straddling both sides of the color line and popularizing a form of music which otherwise might never have gained widespread acceptance. Of course, while Elvis -- with his flashy suits, swiveling hips, and suggestive leer -- remained persona non grata throughout many corners of mainstream America, Boone was embraced by teens and parents alike; his music polished rock's rough edges away, making songs like "Tutti Frutti" and "Ain't That a Shame" palatable to white audiences raised on the soothing pop traditions of a vanishing era.

Charles Eugene Patrick Boone was born June 1, 1934 in Jacksonville, Florida; a descendant of American frontier hero Daniel Boone; he attended high school in Nashville, and was voted student body president. After graduating, Boone married Shirley Foley, the daughter of country star Red Foley, and after a period at Nashville's David Lipscomb College, he transferred to North Texas State University. There, after taking top honors at a local talent show, he earned the right to appear on the The Ted Mack Amateur Hour, leading to a year-long tenure on The Arthur Godfrey Show. In 1954, Boone made his first recordings for the small Republic label, followed a year later by his Dot Records debut "Two Hearts, Two Kisses." As 1955 drew to a close, he notched his first number one hit, a sedate rendition of Fats Domino's aforementioned "Ain't That a Shame"; in the years to come he would record numerous cover versions of songs first credited to black performers, among them Little Richard, the El Dorados, the Flamingos, and Ivory Joe Hunter -- indeed, to the chagrin of purists, for many listeners Boone's records remain better-known than the original performances.

Between 1956 and 1963, Boone made some 54 chart appearances, many of them with two-sided hits; his biggest smashes included the number one records "Don't Forbid Me," "Love Letters in the Sand," and "April Love," all three issued in 1957. That year he also began hosting his own ABC television series, The Pat Boone-Chevy Showroom; he also conquered film, starring in 15 features including 1957's Bernadine and April Love. Although his TV program ceased production in 1960, Boone remained a major star as the new decade dawned, and in 1961 again topped the charts with "Moody River." He even became an author, writing a series of self-help books for adolescents including Twixt Twelve and Twenty, Between You, Me and the Gatepost, and The Care and Feeding of Parents. Although the rise of Beatlemania put the brakes on Boone's run as a teen idol -- after 1962, he failed to crack the Top 40 again -- he continued recording for Dot through the late '60s, and in his live performances he regularly appeared with his wife and their four daughters, further reinforcing his family-friendly image.

By the '70s, Boone had shifted almost exclusively to recording gospel material, although he later scored a handful of country hits (on, of all places, Motown); in 1977, his daughter Debby topped the charts with a smash of her own, the wedding perennial "You Light Up My Life." In 1981, Boone published Pray to Win, and in 1983 he began hosting a long-lived contemporary Christian syndicated radio show, all in addition to his extensive charity work. While his recording career continued to taper off, he did issue "Let Me Live," which became an anthem for the anti-choice movement. By and large, Boone spent much of the '80s and '90s out of the secular media spotlight, but in 1997 he made a splash with the LP No More Mr. Nice Guy, a tongue-in-cheek collection of covers of heavy metal tunes like "Smoke on the Water" and "Stairway to Heaven." Much of the singer's Christian contingent failed to get the joke, however, and after Boone appeared at the American Music Awards clad in black leather and sporting temporary tattoos, he was dismissed from his Trinity Broadcasting Network program Gospel America.

The new century brought a regular if not prolific release schedule from the vocalist. A diverse batch of albums that included Christmas songs, patriotic standards, a tribute to the Ink Spots, an album of classic R&B tunes, and 2015's Pat Boone's Favorite Bible Stories & Sing-Along Songs appeared amid his continued charitable endeavors and advocacy of conservative politics. ~ Jason Ankeny
full bio

Selected Discography

x

Track List: Near

1. The Nearness Of You

2. The Look Of Love

3. Willing And Eager

4. Body And Soul

5. I Need You

6. Dance With Me Slow

7. More Than You Know

8. What Are You Doing The Rest Of Your Life

9. The More I See You

10. Love Who Needs It

11. Always You And Me

12. Moonlight Becomes You

x

Track List: The Drugstore's Rockin'

1. Don't Forbid Me

2. I'll Be Home

3. Gee Whittakers

4. I Almost Lost My Mind

5. Love Letters In The Sand

6. Friendly Persuasion (Thee I Love)

8. Why Baby Why

9. Bernadine

12. A Wonderful Time Up There

13. Remember You're Mine

14. Beg Your Pardon

15. April Love

16. Johnny Will

19. When The Swallows Come Back To Capistrano

20. Moody River

23. Gee But It's Lonely

24. Speedy Gonzales

27. Rock Boll Weevil

28. For A Penny

29. Walking The Floor Over You

30. Twixt, Twelve And Twenty

32. A Thousand Years

x

Track List: Golden Treasury Of Hymns

Disc 1

1. Amazing Grace

2. I Believe

3. Nearer My God To Thee

4. In The Garden

5. The Old Rugged Cross

6. I Walked Today Where Jesus Walked

7. I Saw The Light

8. Sweet Hour Of Prayer

9. I Love To Tell The Story

10. The Lord's Prayer

11. I Need Thee Every Hour

12. He

13. Tramp On The Street

14. Rock Of Ages

15. Precious Lord, Take My Hand

16. What A Friend We Have In Jesus

17. Will The Circle Be Unbroken

18. Have Your Own Way, Lord

19. Family Bible

20. How Great Thou Art

Disc 2

1. Psalm 20

2. Fairest Lord Jesus

3. Dust On The Bible

4. Medley: Into My Heart/He's The Savior Of My Soul

5. I'll Meet You In The Morning

6. He Leadeth Me

7. Medley: Jesus, Savior Pilot Me, Sun Of My Soul, Jesus, The Very ...

8. Old Brush Arbors

9. Take The Name Of Jesus With You

10. Does Jesus Care?

11. Suppertime

12. A Sacrifice Of Praise

13. Savior Like A Shepherd Leadeth

14. Pass Me Not

15. God Will Take Care Of You

16. Wait For The Light To Shine

17. But For The Grace Of God

18. Blessed Assurance

19. A Wonderful Time Up There

20. You'll Never Walk Alone

x

Track List: In A Metal Mood: No More Mr. Nice Guy

1. You've Got Another Thing Comin'

2. Smoke On The Water

3. It's A Long Way To The Top (If You Wanna Rock 'N Roll)

4. Panama

5. No More Mr. Nice Guy

6. Love Hurts

7. Enter Sandman

8. Holy Diver

9. Paradise City

10. The Wind Cries Mary

11. Crazy Train

12. Stairway To Heaven

x

Track List: The Gold Collection

1. April Love

2. Love Letters In The Sand

3. Rip It Up

4. Moody River

5. Friendly Persuasion

6. Don't Forbid Me

7. Mr. Blue

8. Ain't That A Shame

9. I Almost Lost My Mind

10. Tutti Frutti

11. A Wonderful Time Up There

12. Speedy Gonzales

13. Bernardine

14. The Exodus Song

x

Track List: Pat Boone's Greatest Hits

1. Two Hearts

2. Ain't That A Shame

3. I'll Be Home

4. I Almost Lost My Mind

5. Friendly Persuasion (Thee I Love)

6. Chains of Love

7. Don't Forbit Me

8. Why Baby Why

9. Love Letters In the Sand

10. Bernadine

11. Remember You're Mine

12. April Love

13. A Wonderful Time Up There

14. It's Too Soon to Know

15. Sugar Moon

16. If Dreams Came True

17. Moody River

18. Speedy Gonzales

x

Track List: Pat's Great Hits

1. Love Letters In The Sand

2. April Love

3. I Almost Lost My Mind

4. Don't Forbid Me

5. Why Baby Why

6. Remember You're Mine

7. I'll Be Home

8. Moody River

9. Tying The Pieces Together

x

Track List: For My Country (Cd Single)

Comments

Report as inappropriate
god gave all of us a voice,but boone was given a beautiful sterofonic or just beautiful voice that reaches out and touches you personaly.
Report as inappropriate
I am also descended of Daniel Boone and my neighbor across the street is too! and so many people ,it creates a special bond to be cousins. we are all into music myself w. 3 brothers and a son in the Wabash Valley Country Music Hall of Fame ,here where we live in Terre Haute, Indiana from the Richey's and Payne; here in Indiana
Report as inappropriate
His voice is so excellent... . a l w a y s been a favorite the best I love to listen to.
Report as inappropriate
kdpdean28
Loved him in cross and switchblade
Report as inappropriate
bigred12476
I am in love with his voice...I have several of his records
Report as inappropriate
btowle1933
Pat Boone has always been a favorite of mine. Have seen him recently in commercials and he still looks good. God Bless Pat Boone and family
Report as inappropriate
I think it is a shame that a few narrow minded people could have influenced a network as large as TBN. I am also a decendant of Daniel Boone, and I don't believe he would have been as prejudiced. This fine young man could well be an example to the youth of today of clean honest living; as well as an example of a faithful family man. gospel.chick
Report as inappropriate
simplyshanno n . 1 2 2 7 6
So talented.... t h a n k s for sharing it with all the world and helping us feel good about so many things. Love Pandora and Pat is right there with me.
Report as inappropriate
randjpoythre s s
His songs and Christian testimony kept me strong. Still remember meeting him and his family after a concert in 1971. Thank you, Mr. Boone.
Report as inappropriate
kenwiker2002
his sounds never grow old.
Report as inappropriate
felixandlett y
After all these years Mr.Pat Boone is stil one of my favorite artist. I frequently listens to his songs like,Love Letters in the Sand,April Love and Put your Hand on My Shoulder.Fel i x Albano,M.D.
Report as inappropriate
Like the Fleetwoods version much better.
Report as inappropriate
I haven't listened to Pat for a long time. will revisit. I'm with Sandy Bledsoe re: Bobby Darin. He was a genius superstar singer. Just wish he had left us with more material. 'A career cut way too short'.
Report as inappropriate
Pat Boone. Luv ya man!!!
Report as inappropriate
really i want to change to Bobby Darin espeacially ..your th reason im living came out about 61 or 62 9 love all bobbys music thank you
Report as inappropriate
dsasp
i had to listen to this music when my oldest sis played it on her phonograph,n e v e r knowing i`d listen to it today! i grew up with the Beatle`s.
Report as inappropriate
please remove pat boone from my play list

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