Pat Boone: God's Hall of Fame
By Scott Ross and Cheryl Wilcox
The 700 Club
Scott Ross: For the record, you are the original American Idol.
Pat Boone: Well, you sure could make that case.
Scott Ross [reporting]: How about a hit parade run of 61 recordings, 6 number #1 hits, 20 top ten hits, 13 certified Gold singles, two Gold and one platinum album for starters. Only one performer rivaled Elvis Presley’s chart dominance, that was Pat Boone. It was 55 years ago when Pat Boone got his big break on the Ted Mack Amatuer hour.
Boone: They tell me I was winning the shoot-out with the other winners in cards and letters, but I made this horrible tactical error. While I’m waiting in New York, I went over and auditioned for the Arthur Goddfrey show, which was a show for professionals. I didn’t tell her about Ted Mack, and she said, “Well, fine. We will put you on tonight.” I went on that night and won! Now, you can’t win a professional show on Monday night and be declared an amateur winner the following Saturday that week. I thought, 'Well, that was it.' By my overreaching, I have ruined everything! Even though I’d won both, but that led to the recording contract.
Ross: Look where we are today.
Ross [reporting]: In 2008, Billboard magazine named him the 10th all- time rock recording artist in history. He’s still producing and performing, white bucks and all. His trademark smooth style, wit and warmth show no sign of fading.
Ross: If you hadn’t said this publically I don’t know how many people would believe this, 75 years?
Boone: It’s true! In fact, the more sobering realization is first of all June 1st. My wife experienced an awful shock. She turned over in bed, and there was a 75 year old man in bed with her.
Ross: Her name is Shirley, incidentally..
Boone: That’s right. But I had the shear realization that I lived 75 years already. This is my first year of living 76. So you know, I’ve begun to think like Paul. I’ve finished the course. I have kept the faith. I’m not ready to cash it in yet.
Ross: No? Good! In talking about marriage, how long have you and Shirley been married?
Boone: Fifty-five years and she’s picked up my options for another year. Even though I’m 75.
Ross: And four girls…
Ross: How many grandchildren?
Boone: Fifteen grandkids, all Christians, 10 girls and five boys.
Ross [reporting]: Fame notwithstanding, Pat will have left behind a rich legacy of faith, family and philanthropy. Never idle, he’s penned another book, Questions About God, with award winning reporter, Cord Cooper.
Ross: Do you have questions about God?
Boone: I always have. Yes, of course. But the big question is there a God? Is God real? How do we know? Is there proof? So this fella, Cord Cooper and I decided we needed to answer three basic questions in a very simple form, but I think substantively and really bares no rational refutation.
Ross: Some of the scientific evidence that you present in the earlier part of the book is just amazing.
Boone: I think so. We quote [Einstein] and Steven Hawking, who is still living, the most brilliant man on the planet.
Ross: Good company.
Boone: As they say, it’s inconceivable that all this has happened without a plan, without a blueprint, without some designer who created the design. So this book is so simple, yet I think profound truth. I want it to go in college campuses. It’s just a little compact paperback book.
Ross: There’s good stuff here, and it causes people to think.
Ross: You are promoting that in our culture and provoking thought about God.
Boone: I think it's fine to ask questions. I think intelligent people always do. I have. I went through a period about questioning the existence of God years ago. I came down to basically what I say in this book.
Ross [reporting]: After our discussion on the sacred and sublime matters of life contained in the book, we shared more good natured teasing about the superfluous accodlades that come with fame.
Ross: I can speak a little reflected glory about my own wife who’s in the Rock and Roll Hall Of Fame.
Boone: Yep, and I’m not.
Ross: This is not one of the big issues of time, but God is God and He looks over you.
Boone: ... And he promotes.
Ross: What’s the problem here?
Boone: I made the terrible mistake of recording gospel, country, and movie themes. I haven’t lived a rock and roll lifestyle, therefore I can’t be considered a "rock and roller". I am in the Gospel Hall of Fame, and that means a great deal more to me.
Ross: We know there is another hall of fame we know you are in too!
Boone: I believe it!
Ross: It’s not written in pencil either.
Boone: That’s right.
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