Wednesday, November 14, 2012
AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Pat Boone
Pat Boone was the clean cut alternative to Elvis Presley in the 50s. There were others like Boone but he had the longest run of success. He is frequently vilified for his sanitized covers of R & B classics. Moody River was his final number one hit in 1961. He was born June 1, 1934 in Jacksonville, FL and grew up in Nashville. At age 19, he married Shirley Foley, daughter of country music legend Red Foley. An appearance on Ted Mack's Amateur Hour earned Boone a stint on The Arthur Godfrey Show. He first recorded for Republic Records and his 1955 cover of Fats Domino's Ain't That A Shame was his first #1 hit. And though purists vilify Boone for covering that song, Domino liked Boone's version and it helped launch Domino's career. Then Boone signed with Dot Records. Dot owner Randy Wood liked the idea of Boone covering R & B songs. Wood had done it with other artists. After Boone had top ten hits with covers of the Little Richard songs Tutti Frutti and Long Tall Sally, his next #1 hit was his cover of the Ivory Joe Hunter classic I Almost Lost My Mind. His biggest hits at the time were Love Letters In The Sand, which was originally recorded in the 30s, and the theme from the 1957 film April Love. He starred in that film. He was also chosen to replace Dinah Shore as a spokesman for Chevy and they sponsored his variety show. Parents thought Boone was a clean cut alternative to Elvis. Many teens thought Boone was corny. Boone faded until he topped the charts for the last time with Moody River in 1961. I always thought that Boone didn't know what he was singing half the time. Moody River is an uncharacteristically dark song. It's about suicide. It was written and originally recorded by Chase Webster (real name-Gary D. Bruce). He recorded for Dot and Randy Wood chose the song for Boone. That was the end of Boone's run and by the 70s, he was recording Christian music. He still surfaces occasionally and has his own theatre in Myrtle Beach, SC. Beware of rerecorded versions of Boone's hits. This 2CD comp is from the Dutch oldies label BR Music. Here's Pat Boone performing Moody River on The Lawrence Welk Show June 1961.