Pat Boone

Pat Boone is one of America's most successful recording artists, second only to Elvis Presley in terms of 1950s chart success; going on to have 38 Top 40 hits and selling over 45 million albums. Born in Florida but mostly raised in Nashville, Tennessee, Boone's recording career began in 1954 at the age of 20 and he had his first hit a year later with a cover of Fats Domino's Ain't That A Shame. Initially he created an unusual niche for the time, covering R&B songs by black artists for white audiences. In 1956 he had his first Number 1 with an Ivory Joe Hunter song I Almost Lost My Mind, a song previously associated with Nat King Cole. A devout Christian, Boone's clean-cut image helped raise his profile as he enjoyed further hits with covers of more black R&B songs like Tutti Frutti and Long Tall Sally while he also wrote the lyrics to the theme tune of the movie Exodus and made regular TV appearances and had his own long-running show. The hit singles continued, including American chart-toppers Love Letters In The Sand and April Love (1957) and Moody River (1961), although his last major hit was Speedy Gonzalez in 1962. As pop music horizons shifted with the arrival of The Beatles, Boone turned to Christian music and gospel songs, though in 1997 he recorded an album of heavy metal covers (In A Metal Mood: No More Mr Nice Guy) and in 2006 returned to recording R&B covers (Pat Boone R&B Classics). A hardcore Republican, he joined Ronald Reagan's presidential campaign and made more public appearances opposing the presidential candidacy of Barack Obama.

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