Paul Davis - Pat Boone: The Authorised Biography

Friday 1st March 2002
Paul Davis - Pat Boone: The Authorised Biography
Paul Davis - Pat Boone: The Authorised Biography

RATING 4 4 4 4
LABEL: Harper Collins ISBN0007100876
FORMAT: Book General book

Reviewed by Tony Cummings

First of all, a fragment from a 1995 Q magazine review of Pat Boone's 'More Greatest Hits': "Lovers of ruff tuff, red-blooded rock 'n' roll are want to sneer at Pat Boone and vilify him as a monumentally insipid crooner who brought a terrifying new blandness into the pop music of the 1950s." Now ponder this rather different quote from Paul Davis' authorised biography of the singing star: "Looking back at the chronicle of popular music in the second half of the twentieth century it is safe to say that no one enjoyed a more enviable reputation in both the popular music and gospel music fields that Pat Boone. Nowadays he is recognised as one of the most influential of the veteran popular song stylists. Fans, critics and fellow performers all acknowledge that his name became synonymous with excellence in that felid." Clearly there's a chasm between Mr Davis' perception and that of most pop music historians who, rightly I feel, are scathing about Pat's dreary million-selling cover versions of rhythm and blues hits and his saccharine smaltz ballads. There's more than the '50s covered in this book of course. So if you want the facts on Pat's Christian conversion, his emergence as one of America's most popular gospel singers, the establishment of his daughters as singing stars, or the rather preposterous furore over his 'Pat Boone In A Heavy Metal Mood' you may want to investigate this handsomely printed hard back. But don't expect much in the way of penetrating overview.

The opinions expressed in this article are not necessarily those held by Cross Rhythms. Any expressed views were accurate at the time of publishing but may or may not reflect the views of the individuals concerned at a later date.

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