Pat Boone and the Disappearing Hitchhiker

booneReader JS agitates for a Pat Boone post and thereby provides a nice blog entry on the subject himself:

Why don’t you or Krafty do a music blog on Pat Boone, the loathsome twit from the 1950s who is still around? He was sort of the Great White Hope of Pap (as distinguished from Pop or Rap) Music in the 1950s, turning out castrated, salt free versions of Little Richard hits like Long Tall Sally that were deemed safe for consumption by Nice White Kids. He popularized the Legend of the Disappearing Hitchhiker. He claimed to have been tooling down Pacific Coast Highway in his Rolls Royce (he maintained that he was immune from criticism for owing such an automobile because he was only God’s steward, with real ownership of the limo resting with Jesus) when he stopped for an ethereal young hitchhiker. As they sped down the coast road, the Hitchhiker spoke out passionately against premarital sex, and articlulated his hope that all of Pat’s fans would return to God’s flock, his eyes burning like coals, etc. When he fell silent, Pat turned to the Hitchhiker to express his solidarity only to discover that he had disappeared into thin air!

I should add that JS was a teenager in the 50s, so he experienced the Boone phenomenon as a horrified first-hand witness, whereas for people my age, Boone is more of a kitschy relic. I do legitimately enjoy his In A Metal Mood: No More Mister Nice Guy album, where he does schmaltzy big-band covers of heavy metal songs. Check out, for example, his charming rendition of G’n’R’s ‘Paradise City’.

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