Legendary singer Pat Boone recently took to the stage at the Coach House in Southern California for what may be his final live performance on the West Coast. At the age of 87, Boone has decided to retire from performing, but he wants to go out on his own terms.
Boone, known for his smooth voice and hits like “April Love” and “Exodus,” has been contemplating this decision for some time. The loss of his wife of 65 years, Shirley Boone, a year ago has made him reflect on endings and the passage of time.
“It’s been an emotional journey for me,” Boone shares. “Losing Shirley had a deep impact on me, more than I realized. But I find comfort in our home, where her presence is still felt.”
The couple had lived in their Beverly Hills home for 60 years, raising their children and creating lasting memories. Boone admits that the house has become lonelier without Shirley, but he often feels her presence, especially when he looks at the pictures of their life together.
As Boone takes the stage for what may be his final performances, he plans to sing some of his seldom-performed golden hits, such as “When the Swallows Return to Capistrano.” He also intends to captivate the audience with songs from his early rock and roll days in the 1950s, as well as memorable tracks from movie soundtracks.
Boone’s recording career has been remarkable, with a staggering 2,300 songs recorded, making him one of the most prolific musicians in history. Some even argue that he has recorded more songs than icons like Frank Sinatra and Bing Crosby, whom Boone greatly admires.
Reflecting on his chart success, Boone proudly notes that he debuted less than a year before Elvis Presley and even managed to chart 41 songs in the next decade compared to Presley’s 40. Recounting his friendship with the King of Rock and Roll, Boone shares an amusing anecdote about a tribute album he recorded for Elvis.
“One day, I told Elvis about the album I was making for him, called ‘Pat Boone Sings Guess Who?’. His manager, Col. Tom Parker, insisted on a royalty for using Elvis’s name in the title. So, we ended up calling it ‘Guess Who?’ instead,” Boone laughs.
The album cover features Boone holding a guitar in an Elvis-like pose, wearing a gold lamé outfit. It displays the song names surrounding the image, paying tribute to his friend, whom he fondly called “Guess Who-sley.” Elvis loved the gesture and even presented Boone with a gold-plated membership card to a secret club for tricksters and con artists.
While Boone may be retiring from performing, he is not slowing down. He remains active, engaging in three sets of singles tennis every week with a “younger guy” who is just 82 years old. Boone is also working on a book titled “If: The Everlasting Choice We Must All Make,” aimed at helping individuals who are unfamiliar with the Bible or uncertain about their beliefs regarding the afterlife.
In closing, Boone reminds us that while he may have a little more time in this world, he looks forward to reuniting with Shirley and meeting his Heavenly Father. With a joyful spirit, he says, “If someone were to tell me I’d pass away at 3 p.m. on Tuesday, I’d reply, ‘Great! At 3:30, I’ll meet Shirley. And of course, there is the Lord.’”