(photo credit: PR)
Legendary pop crooner Pat Boone has been to Israel many times as an evangelical supporter of the country.
But on March 1, the 81-yearold American icon will put his mouth where his money is, when he makes his musical debut in Israel at the Mann Auditorium in Tel Aviv.
Boone made his mark in the 1950s as a rock & roll contemporary of Elvis Presley and Rick Nelson.
With his Hush Puppy shoes, clean-cut demeanor and novelty tunes like “Speedy Gonzales,” Boone provided palatable versions of raucous rockers like “Ain’t That A Shame” by Fats Domino and “Tutti Frutti” by Little Richard and ranks number nine – ahead of artists like The Beach Boys and Aretha Franklin – in Billboard’s listing of the Top 100 Artists 1955-1995.
“I always treasured the reputation I had – to be considered a square guy, but I winced sometimes when people compared me unfavorably to Elvis,” Boone told The Jerusalem Post in 2010.
“Elvis’s career seemed much more exciting, even though I was matching him hit for hit. I had more hits than anyone in the ’50s except for Elvis and I ran a very close second.”
Boone endeared himself to Jewish fans and Israel supporters when in the early 1960s he took the Ferrante and Teicher theme song to the film Exodus and added lyrics. The song “Exodus (This Land is Mine)” evolved into a standard that brings the house down at Boone’s concerts.
Boone will be accompanied by 15 backing musicians for his first concert in the holy land.