Wednesday, May 09, 2018


    Here’s to Pat Boone, who, today, departed on what will probably be his last pilgrimage to The Holy Land. He will be arm and arm with his friend Rabbi Eckstein, leading fans through the sites of Israel treasured by both Christians and Jews. 

    While anti-Semites think that Israel is only of interest to the Jews, and that the Middle East would be better off if Israel was “blown off the map,” many supporters of Israel are Christian. They want to be able to walk in Christ’s footsteps in Israel…and bathe in the River Jordan afterward.  

    Although not known for writing songs, it was Pat Boone who wrote the lyrics to “Exodus.” After the movie came out, he was listening to the soundtrack theme and thought…there should be words to this. His divine inspiration for the opening chords: “This land is mine. God gave this land to me.”  He wrote down the rest within a half an hour. Yes, the Jewish composer Ernest Gold wrote the music, but the Christian Pat Boone wrote the words (Boone wears both a cross and a Star of David). Years later, a Jewish museum requested that when the time was right for him, Pat would donate the original manuscript of his words. Pat was more than glad to comply, but he let the museum know: “I wrote the lyrics on the back of a Christmas card.”  

    You’d assume that this blog would happily ridicule Pat Boone as a limp fish in a barrel of milk. Thing is, Pat Boone never pretended to be anything but a whitebread middle-American who liked to sing pleasant melodies. If the song was a little hot (oh, say, Little Richard’s “Tutti Frutti”) Pat poured milk on it. That’s what his fans wanted, and that’s what most of America wanted at the time. His version of the song and Richard’s version were both in the Top 20 at the same time, but were played on different radio stations. It wasn’t segregation; it was the simple fact that there were few “crossover” singers or songs back then. Morons who say Boone was “racist” should listen to Rev. Jesse Jackson, who said Boone’s covers helped the cause.

    Frankie Laine and Louis Prima were whites who could sound black, and Johnny Mathis and Nat “King” Cole were blacks who sounded easy-going, if not white. Of all the media, including movies and TV, music was the most progressive in allowing blacks to participate. Everyone bought records by Cab Calloway or Louis Armstrong or Billie Holiday. Was Pat Boone covering them all, or other white artists? 

    Is anyone puking because Nat “King” Cole sang something as white and sappy as “Mona Lisa?” Should revisionist Black Panthers be protesting him as an Uncle Tom because he happened to like and thrive on “middle of the road” white-style music? On music Pat Boone could’ve performed? Then why the reverse racism bullshit. The race card is too easy to play on Pat Boone. To his credit Boone never lost his cool despite the slams about him “stealing” from the blacks. Let’s also remember that Boone was actually a rival to Elvis Presley…and that his “lame” style of music attracted as many bobby soxers to his singles as to Presley’s. 

    Once The Beatles arrived, Boone and his milk pack (including Paul Anka, Bobby Rydell, Bobby Darin, Fabian, etc.) disappeared. He became a young guy on the oldies circuit, and sang the same repertoire as Andy Williams and other pleasant fellows.  The white bread style that sold millions of albums for Mantovani and Melachrino went moldy. The conservative views of Pat Boone and Anita Bryant became increasingly out of touch with a majority of Americans, although “easy listening” music still had a home in Las Vegas and in Branson, Missouri. 

    Boone finally returned to the charts when he put together a jokey lounge album of heavy metal songs. This time, it was his fans, not his enemies, who were appalled. They hated the album, hated him wearing leather and fake tattoos, and thought he was nuts. Actually it was just Pat Boone being Pat Boone. 

      A few years later he put out an album of R&B duets with top soul and R&B contemporaries. Yes, despite the reverse racists screaming “he bad,” and “he stole da black music,” Boone had just about every famous name black performer singing with him. They got it. Differ with his views on abortion, Trump, whatever, and like or dislike his music (I don’t play his “Greatest Hits” — anymore than I listen to Kostelanetz or James Last) but don’t diss da Boone! Sis Boone? Bah! 

    Do you know what Netanyahu calls him? “Speedy.” That’s because the leader of Israel is a fan of Pat’s dopey “Speedy Gonzalez” novelty hit. Who knows, Netanyahu might also, like so many white people, sing a Four Tops or Supremes song while driving along, or in the shower. He’s allowed. Boone’s allowed. “It’s all permitted.” Whites know they aren’t sounding like Levi Stubbs or Stevie Wonder or Smokey Robinson, but they enjoy it anyway. That’s a GOOD thing. There are also blacks who enjoy singing opera and country songs. Whites shouldn’t tell them they can’t, and neither should blacks. Sing along to whatever you want, and enjoy your fantasies.

    “This song is mine. God didn’t give this song to me…I bought the sheet music in a store. Nothing on the sheet music mentions that I can’t sing it unless I’m of the same race as the composer….” 

EXODUS -- via a download that won't take 10 days.


Bob said...

Thanks! Your blog is one of the most intelligent blogs I'm following. I'm not joking!

Ill Folks said...

Thanks, Bob. I appreciate it.

joe v berlin said...

Here is one from Nudie. Pat ought to wear one in Palestine.

Ill Folks said...

Who did Cohn's rug? They do such creative things with roadkill!

As for Pat, as long as he wears ANY kind of suit. You don't want him going Nudie.