Personalities | Pat Boone | Fifties | Rock
(Vocals, b. 1934)
Supposedly directly descended from US pioneer Daniel Boone, Florida-born Charles Eugene Boone’s 55th US hit, ‘Speedy Gonzalez’, in 1962 followed 10 million-sellers and six US No. 1s since 1955. His early hits were tame white versions of black R&B hits by Fats Domino (‘Ain’t That A Shame’), Little Richard (‘Tutti Frutti’ and ‘Long Tall Sally’) and The Flamingos (‘I’ll Be Home’, Boone’s 1956 five-week UK No. 1). With black acts effectively banned from white American radio, Boone, wearing trademark ‘white buck’ shoes, was Elvis Presley’s safer rival in the 1950s. He married Shirley, daughter of country star Red Foley, in 1956, and sang the theme to the movie, Friendly Persuasion (1956), starred in and sang the movie themes to Bernadine and April Love (both 1957), but was not a rock’n’roller. Graduating to family TV shows and later, religion, he was arguably overshadowed in 1977 by his daughter, Debbie Boone’s platinum single ‘You Light Up My Life’, which topped the US chart for 10 weeks.
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