Wednesday, October 12, 2005


Looks like the special session of the Legislature is about to shut down. I've got way too much to do to pay any attention to music biz press releases. But this is disturbing enough that I have to share in its entirety:


Legendary crooner Pat Boone celebrates 50 years in music in 2005 and 2006 with releases planned in multiple genres ranging from country to gospel to R&B to Latin to Celtic. In 2005 alone, Mr. Boone has released and album of patriotic songs, American Glory, a collection of country tunes, Ready to Rock, and a soon-to-be classic gospel album, Glory Train: The Lost Tapes, released in September to qualify for Grammy and Gospel Music Association consideration.

Given his youthful appearance and demeanor, it's hard to believe that Pat first topped the charts back in 1955 with a cover of Fats Domino's "Ain't That A Shame." Over the years, Pat maintained his pop icon status by continually surprising people with his innovative and original take on covers (remember 1997's In a Metal Mood?) and original tunes.

Pat is still knocking 'em dead at radio (and video), as well. The singles "NASCAR Time" and "Thank You, Billy Graham," are accumulating impressive airplay at stations and outlets around the country while his song "Still Waters Run Deep" has been a smash with the 'stepping' crowd in Chicago. "NASCAR Time," the lead track from his upcoming country album, Ready to Rock, is Pat's tribute to America's favorite pastime and all its major racetracks, at which Pat has made several appearances this year alone.

"Thank You, Billy Graham." is a star-studded homage to America's pastor, Billy Graham. The video, which is included with every copy of Pat's gospel album, Glory Train: The Lost Tapes, features contributions from Bono, Leann Rimes, Michael McDonald, Andre Crouch, and tv talk-show host Larry King.

There's no stopping Pat as he rolls into his 51st year of performing. 2006 heralds the release of a love song collection entitled Hopeless Romantic. The ballad-heavy album will feature "Waltz for the Lonely," a song he wrote with guitar great Chet Atkins that includes Atkins' last recorded performance before his death. Hopeless Romantic also includes "You Make My Life a Song", co-written with Paul Williams as Pat's 50th anniversary present to Pat's beloved wife, Shirley. The first single "Still Waters Run Deep" is already a radio hit at AC and Urban formats.

His Spring 2006 release, We Are Family, will be a twist on the Frank Sinatra "Duets" concept featuring covers of R&B classics recorded with their original performers. Included are performances by Smokey Robinson ("Tears of a Clown"), the Four Tops ("I Can't Help Myself"), Kool & the Gang ("Celebration"), KC & the Sunshine Band ("Get Down Tonight"), Sam Moore ("Soul Man"), Sister Sledge (on the title tune), Earth, Wind & Fire ("That's the Way of the World"), Ray Parker Jr. ("A Woman Needs Love") and what Boone calls the piece de resistance, with James Brown doing "Papa's Got a Brand New Bag." Lest he not touch a genre with his talent, Pat also penned a rap song he performs with rap legend, Kool Moe Dee.

Boone's calling this effort "my big finale, a musical fireworks display," and insists he intends to stop touring next year - though he knows better than to say "never." "If something comes up that I need to do after that, of course I can do it," he says. "But I do consider this just a giant thanks and farewell."

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