NASHVILLE, TN — The legendary singer/actor/philanthropist, Pat Boone was in Nashville recently, speaking at the 2017 Religion News Association Conference. In the years immediately prior to the British Invasion, only one performer rivaled the chart dominance of Elvis Presley, and that was Pat Boone. He’s the #10 all-time top recording artist of all time, earning some 38 ‘Top 40’ hits’ in his career.
In addition to his hit-making music, successful films and wholesome but handsome good looks, Pat Boone is also responsible for making it really cool for guys to wear white leather buck shoes, which have long been his trademark. Nashville is Pat Boone’s hometown. In fact, whenever he visits here, which is often, he still stays at the family home he grew up in. During his last visit, Mr. Boone answers Five Questions about his upcoming trip to Israel next year, his memories of growing up in Nashville and a new project he’s launching.
TRIBUNE: It’s such a delight and a thrill to talk with a real legend. What brings you to Nashville?
PAT BOONE: “Thank you. I’m here to promote an upcoming tour to Israel that I’m a part of for next year. We’re departing May 9, 2018, for ten days. I’d say with the local Church of Christ, and my dad, a building contractor, (Boone Contracting), and mom a registered nurse, we were adopted Jews as Christians. We were grafted into the family of God’s chosen people, and so by adoption, we are heir to the promises he made to the seed of Abraham.”
TRIBUNE: I’ve watched you and your family on Christian television for many years. PAT BOONE: “My family is strongly allied and even kin to Jews, and to Israel. I’ve known that my whole life. I’ve been to Israel over twenty times. So, on May 9, 2018, we’ll host a tour of probably five hundred people at least, to visit the Holy Land. I’ll do two concerts in Tel Aviv, along with other Christian artists. Over the years, I’ve been so supportive of Israel. I was given the medal appointment of the Christian’s Ambassador of Tourism. I’m an Ambassador Without Portfolio, a designation by the Minister of Tourism, promoting Tourism to Israel. Anyone who wants to go on this trip still has some time. They can still make the initial deposit up until some time in November. Go to www.patbooneisraeltour.com or www.patboone.com. I urge all people, including the atheists, the humanists, and the secularists, to come with us to visit Israel.
TRIBUNE: You grew up in Nashville. What do you think about the boom this city is now experiencing? PAT BOONE: It’s really amazing! I visit here several times a year and when I do, I always stay at the house where I grew up. There’s a little plaque in the house that reads: ‘Pat Boone lived here since 1940.’ My family moved in the house when I was six-years-old. My sister still lives there now. She makes sure it stays livable, presentable, and homey. We still have family gatherings there. When I was growing up in the Granny White Pike area, there was a big farm across the road from us owned by John Trotwood Moore. Now, there’s John Trotwood Moore Middle School. The school itself and the parking lot used to be a big farm. And the cul-de-sac out on the ten acres that daddy owned is where I grew up on. I used to milk a cow out in the back of that ten acres every morning. My brother milked the cow in the evenings. We took turns. (he laughs). But all that acreage turned into townhouses. We saved a couple of the big lots just for the old homestead. It’s still our home and it’s beautiful…I’ve watched Nashville grow from a town, and now become a bustling city. Now it’s a major city with all the skyscrapers, the freeways crisscrossing, and confusing, Nashville’s always been a great city with great people. I’m so proud that I grew up here.”
TRIBUNE: Are you a big fan of the pro sports teams here? PAT BOONE: “Yes, I love the Titans. I follow them and I root for them every game. I’m still surprised that we have hockey and soccer teams progressing the way they have. It’s great to see… I love sports. I once owned the Oakland Oaks Basketball Team (1969), that won the championships the second year of the American Basketball Association before it went defunct, and with it, almost my bank book! (he laughs)
TRIBUNE: I understand that you are launching a new podcast. Tell us about it. PAT BOONE: As of now, the name will be the ‘Pat Boone Podcast.’ I’ve already written the script for the first twelve shows. They’re not verbatim scripts. I will do a twenty or a thirty-minute podcast. There will be music and talk. We’re working on the song list and the themes that I’ll be talking about. We’ll probably record do the shows here in Nashville at the Sound Emporium. We’re looking at starting next month when the Dove Awards take place. I’m told that I may be in line for a Dove Award. I am already in the Gospel Music Hall of Fame.”
TRIBUNE: I know you’re on a tight schedule but thank you so much for the chat. It’s been an honor to speak to a show business icon. PAT BOONE: “I’ve enjoyed speaking with you as well.”