Pat BoonePat Boone
(born June 1
) is one of the biggest recording artists of the 20th century
. Born in Jacksonville, Florida
, Boone grew up in Nashville, Tennessee
and began recording in 1954
for Republic Records. His 1955
version of "Ain't That a Shame" was a hit, eclipsing Fats Domino
's original version. This set the stage for the rest of Boone's career, which focused on reworking R&B
hits with a cleaner image for white America, much to the chagrin of purists and fans of "race music
", as it was known. Future hits included "Don't Forbid Me", "April Love" and "Moody River". He hosted a TV series in the late 1950s
, and began writing in the early 1960s
, a series of self-help books for adolescents.
The British Invasion effectively ended Boone's career as a hitmaker, though he continued recording throughout the 60s. In the 1970s, he switched to gospel and country, and he continued performing in other media as well, most importantly radio. In 1997, Boone released No More Mr. Nice Guy, a curious collection of heavy metal covers. He also appeared at the American Music Awards in black leather, shocking audiences and losing his respectability among his largest constituency, conservative Christians; he was fired from Gospel America, a TV show on the Trinity Broadcasting Network.