Pat Boone

Google Pat Boone – be warned, more than 1.9 million results show up! – and a word picture of an astonishing, long lasting, still 

thriving career in music and entertainment emerges. Singer, actor, TV host, producer, songwriter, author, motivational speaker,
 TV pitchman, radio personality, record company head, TV station owner, sports team owner, family man, humanitarian, a man unafraid to air his views.

A lot of Pat Boones from which to pick and choose.

A lot of Pat Boones to go around.

Right now, Boone – the #10 all time top recording artist, according to music industry bible, Billboard – is the Lion in Winter, five decades of recording history behind him and a busy future ahead. A very active lion…

Boone runs his own record company, The Gold Label, designed for legendary artists of a certain age and certifiable talent (all with million-selling gold records to their credit) “It’s a senior tour for singers,” he jokes. “But there is a qualification: they have to be able to sell records.” So far Glen Campbell, Jack Jones, Roger Williams, Patti Page, Cleo Laine, Sha Na Na and others (as well as Boone
himself) have lived up to the Founder’s Maxim. More than 30 Gold Record albums have been released to date.

Boone has involved himself in a couple of personal projects: “For My Country,” a musical acknowledgment to the National Guard that Boone wrote himself, and regards as a follow-up to his Pledge of Allegiance pitch, “Under God,” recorded a couple of years ago, which became Boone’s 61st hit record. Tuned to current events, close to Boone’s heart and views, both stirred up debate as well as sales. “It’s not just liberals who can stir things up through recordings,” he says.

An updated pictorial autobiography, “Pat Boone’s America 50 Years” has joined the line of more than a dozen autobiographical and motivational books. He became a book author for the first time, writing the still-in-print “Twixt Twelve And Twenty,” in 1958 as a Teen Idol, himself barely out of his own teens. His newest book venture, co-written with Cord Cooper, is “Questions About God – And the Answers That Could Change Your life.” This book addresses one of today’s hottest topics, and is packed with facts that will challenge readers’ thinking. 

Today Boone keeps connected to that 50s Generation, now pre-Boomers and Boomers. He is national spokesman for the 60 Plus Association. They hear him on two nationally syndicated radio shows, “The Music of Your Life” and “The Pat Boone Show”, which features contemporary gospel. His personally written columns appear weekly on and, fearlessly embracing politics, religion, and timely causes that catch his attention. In recent months, the topics have ranged
from separation of church and state, illegal immigration, abortion, the death penalty, to public education, the NEA and the ACLU. He and his wife Shirley were so concerned about the Cambodian food crises in the 1970s, they initiated what is now a two hundred million dollar a year humanitarian organization called Mercy Corps.

Pat Boone is a man of many interests. Not all to do with music. He thinks he may – at this stage of his career – be suffering from an Edifice Complex.

“They keep naming things after me, even buildings”, he says. True. Villanova, Pa., Christian College has Boone Hall – the main campus building, established by royalties from Boone’s million selling book, “Twixt Twelve and Twenty”. There is another Boone Hall in the World Impact Outreach Center for Underprivileged, inner city kids, which is supported by Boone and wife Shirley.

Pepperdine University in California is the home of the Boone Center for the Family (Boone has been chairman of Pepperdine’s Advisory Board for the past 12 years.

Boone Fact #1 (that you may not know) Boone once sponsored a basketball team in Hollywood’s Studio League whose players included Bill Cosby, Rafer Johnson, players from the Rams and Dodgers– and of course Boone himself.

In the beginning, Pat Boone was not just a rock ‘n roll star but also a symbol. Deflected from a high school teaching career by TV and radio appearances on such programs as “The Ted Mack Amateur Hour” (in which he became the original American Idol, selected week after week by the viewers), and “The Arthur Godfrey Show,” the Columbia U., New York, graduate was further turned away from academics by record producer Randy Wood of Dot Records who thought Pat Boone could sing
rock ‘n roll.

Boone does not apologize. “Everybody was aware that the original artists were not going

to get played on 90 percent of the radio stations in America,” he told fellow label chief,  Joe Smith. “{They} hoped and prayed their records would get covered by someone who could get airplay. It meant…even more recognition in their own field. We were sort of like catalysts who helped R & B become
rock ‘n roll. A ridiculous indictment still around today.”

Boone also remembers the time Fats Domino brought him on stage, pointed to the most expensive diamond ring on his finger, and said, “Pat Boone bought me this ring.”Adds Boone, smiling: “He meant, of course, the royalties from his ‘Ain’t That A Shame’ that I recorded, paid for it!”

By the way, in the midst of all this early success, Boone continued at Columbia University, graduating Magna cum Laude in 1958, appearing on the cover of TV Guide in his cap and gown.

Boone Fact #2 (that you may not know) Pat Boone has a sense of humor about himself and his clean cut image. He once kidded Johnny Carson on The Tonight Show that he nearly drowned while swimming and, as is supposed to happen,
 his whole life flashed before him. “What did you do?” asked Carson. “I fell asleep,” replied Boone.

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