Yes, it is indeed THAT time of year again. When what remains of the music industry gathers at the Waldorf to eat, drink, and act even more self-congratulatory than usual.
And while I must applaud the powers that may still be for inducting, at extremely long last, what remains of The Dave Clark Five and Ventures, I couldn’t help at the same time conducting a virtual poll of my own on that one dire musical question which more often than not goes unspoken. Even in quasi-hip circles:
SHOULD PAT BOONE BE INDUCTED INTO THE ROCK AND ROLL HALL OF FAME?
R. Stevie Moore, DIY home recording iconoclast (whose father Bobby actually attended East Nashville High School with Pat!)
Yes! Debate irrelevant… 50 hits, reason enough! I’ve been knowed to be WRONG! (but not very often!!!)
Carol Kaye, Bassist on many of the Greatest Records Ever Made
I think that Pat Boone should be inducted in the RRHOF because, regardless of who he supposedly “copied” or tried to “sound like,” he did something no other singer of his time did: He brought pop-rock into the mainstream of music, in a pretty good way I’d say.
P.S.: I played guitar (and then bass later) on many of his things. He was doing stuff back then that the ordinary pop singer didn’t do at all.
Jeff Tamarkin, former editor, Goldmine Magazine
Of course not, but I don’t believe James Taylor should’ve been either. Neither one is a rock ‘n’ roll singer.
Stephanie Chernikowski, world-renowned photographer (…who actually once received a kiss from the PRE-ARMY Elvis!!)
Absolutely not. He is not rock ‘n’ roll.
Peter Noone, the Artist formerly known as Herman
Hmmmm. If he is inducted before Davy Jones from the Monkees and Tommy Lasorda, who surely are more to do with rock ‘n’ roll than Pat Boone, I will make Little Jimmy Osmond the editor of Q Magazine.
Irwin Chusid, “Songs In The Key Of Z”
I have a DEFINITE opinion on the matter. The answer, by the way, is Yes.
Domenic Priore, Sunset Strip Historian
No. Unless Phil Collins gets in. Because they are equals.
Andrew Gold, Lonely Boy
Sure. Why not? Because he’s a square? Besides, he wrote the words to my Dad’s hit of the theme from Exodus (“This Land Is Mine”).
Mark Johnson, Wild Alligator
Pat Boone was a more relaxed actor than Elvis Presley (let’s put that adult contemporary smooth temperament to good use) – more at ease on camera and he could deliver his lines without making you feel like he knew he was on all the time – which unfortunately was how I perceived Elvis in most of his films. Why are we talking about Rock and Roll when we could be talking about a lifetime achievement award for Journey to the Center of the Earth?
Phil Angotti, The Idea
No, absolutely not. He doesn’t have a rock ‘n’ roll bone (boone) in his body.
Mick Farren, Dog-Poet at the Cathouse
My first instinct was no, never: It would be an insult to Little Richard: RICHARD BOONE did more for rock ‘n’ roll as far as I’m concerned. But then I thought, yeah, why not? It only shows the RRHOF as the dumb hype tourist trap farce it really is. Induct everyone! Tiny Tim, The Chipmunks, One String Sam, Frank Stallone, The Big Bopper. I mean, where’s Syd Barrett, or Roky Erickson, and did they ever get round to Gene Vincent? I can’t even keep up with the self congratulatory nonsense. It’s the Paul Shaffer world and I don’t go there.
Kim Cooper, Scram Magazine
When I was fifteen, the headmaster of my freaky new age alternative school somehow arranged that his students would appear on Pat Boone’s Christian cable show. As all of the other kids and teachers were desperate to be televised, I was unable to get out of joining this group at the taping, which took place in Pat’s large suburban tract home high above the Sepulveda Pass — in a street of houses notorious for having been built atop improperly sealed landfill! There was no way in the world that I was going to appear on a Christian TV show hosted by someone who had turned vital ’50s rock ‘n’ roll into namby-pamby candyfloss, and I was saying as much to my pal Chris when Pat ambled over to ask why we weren’t with the other kids. I’m pretty sure he heard enough of my screed to get the point, but he was extremely gracious and we reciprocated. Chris and I sat out the taping, remarking that Pat didn’t seem like such a bad guy, really. I don’t think he belongs in the Hall of Fame, but then many of the past inductees don’t either, and his entry would at least inspire debate. His fifties’ recordings presumably generated royalties for some deserving folks and helped ease the mass acceptance of rock songwriting. I haven’t felt the need to demonize Pat Boone since the day he played it so cool with a couple of snotty kids. And you gotta admit, that heavy metal phase was a hoot.
Ian Whitcomb, Ragtime Raconteur and one-time Father of Irish Rock
I’m assuming by your tone that you assume most rocksters to have nothing but contempt for Pat Boone. But I have always liked his music and the man himself. In fact, I have very fond memories of his version of “Love Letters In The Sand”, since it was to his record that I received my very first kiss from a teenager called Debbie Briggs in a punt (that’s a low flat-bottomed boat) on a man-made lake at an upper-class holiday resort in East Anglia, England in 1957. Needless to say, I was a teenager, too. And what a kiss it was! Sent tingles all over me and I’ve never had an experience as intense since. Boone’s record was what got her going. What these silly myopic rocksters don’t understand is that Boone was a crooner in the great tradition of crooners, going back to the 1920s. And the mellifluous and comforting voices of the best crooners will continue to spread contentment long after the noxious caterwauling of the Dylans have been buried in a black hole. During MY rock ‘n’ roll period I appeared as a guest on The Pat Boone Show, where I sang “You Turn Me On” to my uke accompaniment. Then I handed the uke to Pat who proceeded to strum and sing “Love Letters In The Sand” while Soupy Sales and I provided a tasteful doo-wop backing noise. I told Pat the story of the kiss. He seemed impressed at the time. I have this show on film to prove that I’m not lying. I’ve been known to invent, you know, but this was for real. I’m sorry Boone decided to go heavy metal, thus denying his impeccable wasp background. Somebody must stand up for pure white traditions and if it has to be me, so be it.
Chad Stuart, Chad & Jeremy
WHY PAT BOONE SHOULD NOT BE INDUCTED INTO THE ROCK AND ROLL HALL OF FAME:
Because he didn’t make a genuine contribution to the art form.
Because he made records which were a pale imitation of the genuine article.
Because he never poured his heart and soul into his recordings.
Because he was a pop singer, and they don’t count. (The “pop” hall of fame, maybe.)
Henny de Pater, Dutch Country D.J. Association
Will, or Must, Pat Boone be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame? Why not?? Like Elvis, he did a lot of sweet ballads. My old girlfriend loved that warm and tender voice, and by telling her that Pat Boone was MY favorite too (but then, what I DIDN’T tell her was I was really a Rocker at heart!), I scored many points and left other guys, who were after that same girl, far far behind me. That’s why “good old” Pat ought to be inducted: So that other people won’t forget him either.
Rob Morgan, Poplust Magazine
2 words: “FUCK NO”! No further explanation necessary!
J. R. Taylor, New York Press
Sure! It’s understood that some people consider Boone to be an agent of oppressing the poor black artists. But, unlike Hall-of-Famer Woody Guthrie, Pat Boone never took money from the Communists to tour our country as a Nazi sympathizer. And if this is new to anybody, then it’s no wonder they waste their time worrying about Pat Boone being in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.