Sunday, January 11, 2009

white bucks & the switchblade

I wasn't born until 1958 and missed the big splash of Pat Boone's career. Pat, unlike Dean Jones, actually made it in music - but they are both linked in my mind.

Pat Boone got his foothold by taking black R&B and making it white R&B. He was so big that Elvis Presley (who did the same thing) was one of his opening acts - and as Elvis grew in popularity - both men's music reigned the charts together. He is claimed to be a direct descendant of Daniel Boone and is cousin to actors Richard Boone and Randy Boone.

My first introduction to Boone was seeing him in the movie Cross and the Switchblade, where he played David Wilkenson and Erik Estrada (CHiPs) played Nicki Cruz. The book Cross and the Switchblade in the late sixties was a best seller and every one in our church (Bellevue United Methodist) went to the movie like church goers recently turned out to see Mel Gibson's Passion of the Christ. I kiddeth thee not. I don't remember the movie as memorable - don't care to revisit it either. I just remember how big it was at the time.

Pat Boone turned more toward gospel/inspirational during the sixties and his music career was the first casualty of the British Invasion. My memory of Pat Boone are primarily drawn from his expression of faith in the media - but his faith was there long before. I just read where in the movie April Love - he didn't want to kiss Shirley Jone's character because Shirley Jones in real life was married. He also turned down a part with Marilyn Monroe - not wanting to have anyone in his audience think that he'd compromise his faith. He not only had a clean cut image - he did his best to keep his white buck shoes white.

Pat created Lion & Lamb Records back in the late 70's that featured his daughter Debbie Boone, and other Christian groups Dan Peek, DeGarmo & Key, and Dogwood. Though I am not a big fan of his music and his old Hollywood musicals (sorry Derick), I respect the man.  Like Dean Jones, he's running the good race and using his voice today to promote values we hold near. These men are not politically correct and are no longer popular in the media's eye.  These men are despised by the left because of what they believe. They are right down there with Pat Robertson. God bless them!
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