On June 1, 1934, Charles Eugene Patrick Boone, a direct descendant of the American pioneerDaniel Boone was born in Jacksonville, Florida. Growing up in Nashville, Tennessee, Pat Boone wed Shirley Foley, daughter of country music icon Red Foley, they have four daughters, Cherry, Lindy, Laury and Debby Boone who’s top selling “You Light Up My Life” was the top selling single of 1977.
Boone’s career began as a multiple winner of the Ted Mack Amateur Hour and the Arthur Godfrey TV show. A recording contract with Dot records followed with “Two Hearts” beginning a Hit Parade run of more than 60 recordings over a dozen years that included 6 chart topping #1 hits, 20 top ten hits, 13 Gold singles, two Gold and one Platinum album. In the mid 1950’s Pat’s popularity equaled that of Elvis Presley who appealed mostly to teens, while Pat Boone’s clean-cut image and white buck shoes was a favorite of both teens and adults.
It was Pat Boone’s recordings of “Ain’t That A Shame,” “At My Front Door,” “Long Tall Sally,” “Tutti Frutti,” “I’ll Be Home,” “Don’t Forbid Me,” and “I Almost Lost My Mind” that introduced a wider audience to the music of black performers in an era when their songs were seldom heard on radio. Pat is credited with building the bridge that black artists would cross over into mass appeal acceptance. Pop treatment of R&B songs led to their being played by radio disc jockey’s who were largely unaware of them prior to Pat’s version reaching the top of the charts. His recordings brought ﬁnancial success to the writers and publishers of R&B music.
Pat Boone’s biggest hits included “Love Letters in the Sand,” “Friendly Persuasion,” “Why Baby Why,” “Remember You’re Mine,” “A Wonderful Time Up There,” “It’s Too Soon To Know,” “Sugar Moon,” “If Dreams Came True,” “Moody River” and “Speedy Gonzales.” Another of Pat’s #1 hits, “April Love” not only topped the Hit Parade it was nominated for an Academy Award. He sold over 45 million albums, had 60 trips to the Hit Parade, wrote the theme song for the movie “Exodus” and had a leading role in 15 motion pictures including the 1960 blockbuster “Journey to the Center of the Earth.”
Pat Boone is honored with three stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame for his many contributions to music, television and motion pictures and was inducted into the Hit Parade Hall of Fame in 2007.