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For this highly unscientific survey, Ken Burke and Gary Pig Gold asked musicians, writers, editors, and music people they know the following question:

"Between 1955 and 1962, Pat Boone scored with 50 hit records. Do you believe he belongs in the Rock'n'Roll Hall Of Fame?"


Dale Hawkins

Legendary 50s Rocker

"Yes, I think he helped open the door for rhythm and blues and rock'n'roll. That was his contribution, plus people really did like his music at the time. Y'see, back then, people could distinguish between the dark side and the light side. Pat Boone was the light side and later Elvis showed a bit of the dark side. These days, the music is so immersed in the dark side that people can't bear to even look at the light. That's what happened with Pat, but yes I do think he belongs in the Rock'n'Roll Hall Of Fame.

DJ Fontana

Elvis Presley's drummer 1955 — 1968

"Oh hell yeah. He had a lot of great records and I definitely think he should be in there. He did and a good job and sold a lot of records, so why not?"

Writer's question:We'd like you to speculate for us. Do you think Elvis Presley would've wanted to see Pat Boone in the Hall Of Fame?

"Yeah, I think so. They were friends and I think he recognized Pat's talent for what he was doing. So, I think he would've agreed."

Billy Swan

Audium recording artist, writer/singer of "I Can Help"

"I believe Pat Boone definitely does. I know that I liked rock'n'roll music as a teenager and I remember digging Pat Boone singing 'Why Baby Why,' 'Love Letters In the Sand,' and 'Don't Forbid Me.' I just thought they were fantastic and he had a great voice. He wasn't a growler or anything like that, but I thought he had a great voice and he definitely contributed in a lot of ways."

Ian Whitcomb

Ragtime Raconteur and one-time Father of Irish Rock

"I'm assuming by your tone that you assume most rocksters to have nothing but contempt for Pat Boone. But I have always liked his music and the man himself. In fact, I have very fond memories of his version of "Love Letters In The Sand," since it was to his record that I received my very first kiss from a teenager called Debbie Briggs in a punt (that's a low flat-bottomed boat) on a man-made lake at an upper-class holiday resort in East Anglia, England in 1957. Needless to say, I was a teenager, too. And what a kiss it was! Sent tingles all over me and I've never had an experience as intense since. Boone's record was what got her going. What these silly myopic rocksters don't understand is that Boone was a crooner in the great tradition of crooners, going back to the 1920s. And the mellifluous and comforting voices of the best crooners will continue to spread contentment long after the noxious caterwauling of the Dylans have been buried in a black hole. I'm sorry Boone decided to go heavy metal, thus denying his impeccable wasp background. Somebody must stand up for pure white traditions and if it has to be me, so be it."

Sonny Burgess

Legendary Sun Rockabilly

"Yeah, I'd say so. That's how he got famous was by doing rock'n'roll. I liked a lot of the stuff he did, a lot of it was covers, but we used to do a lot of his stuff. 'Love Letters In The Sand,' stuff like that. Pat's problem is kind of like Ricky Nelson's. I thought Ricky Nelson was one of the best, personally. I really liked all his stuff, man he was good, but he was too laid back kind of like Pat Boone, and folks think they weren't wild enough. Heck, everybody wasn't wild playing rock'n'roll."

J.M. Van Eaton

Legendary Sun Records Drummer

"Yeah, he probably does. He had some really big hit records. To be honest, I preferred Little Richard's version of "Tutti Frutti" and Fats Domino's "Ain't That A Shame" to his. But he was a major star and a big influence at the time."

Marshall Lytle

Bill Haley & The Comets

"I really do believe Pat Boone belongs in the Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame because of his great contribution in making R&R Music popular with the white record buyers of the late fifties. Pat was the All-American Boy that the parents wanted their teenage daughters and sons to look up to as a role model. I really thought that Pat was already in the HOF. btw, I also believe that the Comets should there Too... :-) I think the R&R HOF is run by a group of people from the sixties era and they don't want to believe that R&R even existed in the 50's. They have inducted people that don't deserve it, and have NOT inducted people that do deserve it."

Carol Kaye

Bassist on many of the Greatest Records Ever Made

"I think that Pat Boone should be inducted in the RRHOF because, regardless of who he supposedly "copied" or tried to "sound like," he did something no other singer of his time did: He brought pop-rock into the mainstream of music, in a pretty good way I'd say. P.S.: I played guitar (and then bass later) on many of his things. He was doing stuff back then that the ordinary pop singer didn't do at all."

Johnny Legend

Filmmaker / Rocker / Wrestler

"I think he belongs in the Rock'n'Roll Hall Of Fame if only for In A Metal Mood. Once he got past the things everyone is accusing him of, I liked the normal stuff — I liked 'Moody River,' 'Big Cold Wind,' and once he reached a point where he was kinda struggling, I thought he got pretty good. Most of his straight stuff is pretty good. His swing stuff is pretty good and I did appreciate his efforts to switch over in that one circus movie where he played a cynical drifter [Yellow Canary], and of course The Cross & The Switchblade. It's these fringe things that I think should land him in the Hall Of Fame. So yes, but for all the wrong reasons."

Ray Campi

Original 50s Rockabilly

"Well, certainly. You think Prince does? Hell no! You think David Bowie does? Hell no! He sang songs that were known as rock'n'roll songs and sang them his own way. He had Billy Vaughn who had a good band. Even his ballads had kind of Fats Domino guitar figures behind them and everything. Sure, he copied black artists. I copied 'em too. Elvis copied all the old black artists he could find. So did Gene Vincent. Everyone is influenced by someone else. I think he belongs in. Why wouldn't he? He was on the rock'n'roll charts, he had records that sounded like rock'n'roll."

Bobby Wayne

Original Northwest Rockabilly

"Yes. We lived in an area where rhythm & blues wasn't a reality for our listening pleasure, and those who didn't like Elvis as much as I did, thought of Pat Boone as a rocker. He was there at the very beginning and his style was more in line with Bing Crosby's, only with a rock'n'roll beat."

Ronny Weiser

Rollin' Rock Records

"You mean the Hall in Cleveland?? There, yes, because Pat Boone is more of a R'n'R singer than many of the fools they inducted. But if you mean a REAL Rock'nRoll Hall Of Fame, then definitely NOT, because Pat was not a rocker but a pop singer attempting to sing some Rock'n'Roll!!"

Patt Cupp

Original 50s Rockabilly

"Yes, I believe Pat Boone deserves a place in the Rock'n'Roll HOF. A lot of people have a very narrow view of what constitutes Rock 'n' Roll. I believe there were many "styles" of Rock 'n' Roll, especially in the beginning of the music during the middle 50's and early 60's. The three most different styles I can think of, during the 50's, were Little Richard, Elvis, and Pat Boone. However, in there own right, they represented the music trend of the times and were considered Rock 'n' Roll artist. Just because Pat Boone had a "Crosby" type voice and could do the smooth ballads doesn't take away from the Rock tunes that he also did and made both hits of the day. Pat Boone was just another "Style" of the Rock 'n' Roll beginning. His style paved the way for many artist of the 60's who came along such as Fabian, Neal Sedaka , Bobby Rydel, etc. These guys were a "style" and/or type of Rock 'n' Roll. By the time that the "Stones" arrived, we referred to them as "Hard Rock" at the time. The "Stones" style of Rock 'n' Roll has also evolved into the term "Rock Music". Pat Boone had his day and should be recognized for his "style" of Rock 'n' Roll just as Elvis and Little Richard were recognized for theirs. Pat Boone has my Vote."

Alvis Wayne

Original 50s Rockabilly

"Yes, I believe that Pat Boone belongs in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. He was popular, had several hit records and in the early years it was Elvis and Pat Boone. He was laid-back and Elvis was all energy. But he was a part of Rock and Roll history, so he should be there."

Mack Stevens

Rollin' Rock artist

"Sure he does! OK, stylistically, maybe he's not a rock'n'roller per se, at least not as far as my tastes go, but he did have all those hits and technically they're rock'n'roll. They've got a drumbeat, saxophones and all that. I think if somebody else besides Pat Boone, say Bat Poone had recorded these songs and he wasn't well-known, they would be considered rock'n'roll by other people. For me, there's not any difference between him and say Freddie Bell or the Crew Cuts — which people do consider rock'n'roll. Some people consider Tommy Sands rock'n'roll! OK, that's not my cup of tea, but Pat Boone does belong in there. Also, if I say this maybe he'll let me borrow money from him."


Human Serviette

"Yes, only because of his 1997 release "In A Metal Mood: No More Mr. Nice Guy."

Mike McDowell

Blitz Magazine

"Does Pat Boone belong in the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame? Absolutely! First, put aside all the peripheral and irrelevant stereotypes about his image. They were the fabrication of the trend-copping hippie era rock-journalists-as-superstars phonies who were bent on rendering anything and everything pre-Sergeant Pepper as irrelevant. Fortunately, time has proved them to be dead wrong, as I said it would thirty years ago.

Pat Boone has not only had a proven track record on the charts, but he excelled in a variety of musical formats. His versions of Roy Brown's Good Rockin' Tonight, the Charms' Two Hearts and the El Dorados' At My Front Door demonstrated that rhythm and blues had universal appeal, in much the same way that Tony Bennett's earlier cover of Hank Williams' Cold Cold Heart proved beyond the shadow of a doubt the country artist as genius with universal appeal theory. His work with ballads is first rate, and from the standpoint of a listening experience, Bernardine and A Wonderful Time Up There are as thoroughly immersible as any other uptempo hit of the day.

Later attempts at folk rock (Break My Mind), tongue-in-cheek protest rock (Wish You Were Here, Buddy) and Gospel (only the blatantly arrogant and ignorant would deny the impact of Exodus) prove his mastery of a variety of unlikely forms, and his hands-on involvement with the Mira and Mirwood labels brought the world a number of pleasurable moments via records from the Leaves, the Forum and Jackie Lee.

Pat Boone in the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame? Absolutely! I would put him above quite a number of those already in there."

Steve Knopper

Music Journalist

"I believe Pat Boone deserves inclusion solely on the basis of his heavy metal album. Best damn version of "Smoke On the Water" I ever heard. Or were you looking for something less facetious?"

Jeff Wall

Rural Route Twangzine

"Pat Boone? That white loafer-wearing crooner, in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame? Should Pat Boone be allowed a place alongside such greats as Ray Charles, the Staple singers, Johnny Cash, and Hank Williams? Hell, why not? If they let that loser Billy Joel in, Boone deserves a spot too. At least Boone has earned a spot with 50 hit records. In fact, Pat Boone should be inducted to to show the world the evolution of Rock and Roll, that and for the cringe factor from all our parents who bought his albums."

Howard DeWitt

Blue Suede News

"Pat Boone deserves to be in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. The reason is a simple one. He covered artists like Little Richard. He had hits with their music. Did he rip them off? Maybe. But did he popularize the best of rhythm and blues and roll and roll? You bet. Did he sell a lot of rock records at a time people were criticizing the genre? He did. Whether or not you like or agree with Pat Boone, he was an immensely popular and influential artist. So he belongs in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame."

Maryglenn McCombs

Dowling Press

"I am 100% in favor. Pat Boone is too cool! And 50 hit records? I had no idea there were that many! I think he deserves a place in the RRHOF."

Steve Lester

Wix Records

"Yes, Pat Boone should be in the Hall. His "statistics" are overwhelming, although personally, I don't think that "numbers" should be the most important factor. But if you set the numbers aside, you'll still find that Boone did influence rock and roll and he did influence pop culture. There is NO disputing his immense popularity at the time. He was VERY instrumental in bringing r'n'r into the mainstream. He wasn't ALL about whitewashed cover versions, although unfortunately, that seems to be all some people remember. Ballads like "April Love" and "Love Letters in the Sand" certainly have their place alongside the "Mystery Train's, "Be-bop A Lula's and the "Rock Around the Clock's. I'm sure there were plenty of black leather rebels who enjoyed the occasional slow dance to a Pat Boone number, whether they choose to admit it or not."

R. Stevie Moore

DIY home recording iconoclast (whose father Bobby actually attended East Nashville High School with Pat!)

"Yes! Debate irrelevant. 50 hits - reason enough!"

Bobby Brom


"Pat Boone definitely belongs in Cleveland's unfortunately mistitled Pop Music Hall of Fame, as he contributed both prolifically and innovatively to American Pop Music. His Pop covers of Rock and Roll music, despite helping to expose the genre to an older Pop audience, probably aren't significant enough to earn a first-tier place in a genuine Rock and Roll Hall. However, he definitely deserves a mention for unleashing the Phantom. "

Robert Gentry

Author / Publisher

"Yes, I very much think Pat Boone should be in the Rock 'n Roll Hall of Fame. I just assumed he already was. When Rock 'n Roll was at its zenith in the mid-50's to early 60's, Pat Boone was one of the top artist of the day. He was among the top artist with the rock and rollers of that generation."

David Dennard

Dragon Street Records

"Yes, of course Pat Boone deserves to be at least considered for membership the R&R Hall of Fame. Whether he should win or not is another question. First, he deserves points for running off and marrying Red Sovine's daughter, against her father's wishes...a classic rock & roll act of rebellion. Second, he was a bonafide star of his time, so he and his music always need to be considered in that context. People of the '50s loved him, and his covers of many rock & roll songs certainly caused some listeners (such as myself) to later discover the original recordings and artists. His later "religious transformation" was also typical of performers of his generation, so must also be considered in context. Finally, he totally redeemed himself, as well as having displayed a keen sense of self-irony, by having released the "In A Metal Mood" CD, which is remains a camp classic. So I say, "Let the critics be damned, and let the voting begin" (Although I hope that other, more important artists continue to squeeze him out of the final winner's circle)."

Tommie Wix

Wix Records

"Yes I do. Very Much so. He worked for it, he earned it, and he deserves it."

Richard Davis

Manager — Little Jimmie Dickens / Ferlin Husky

"Yes. Absolutely. His image with the white-buck shoes shouldn't take away from that. Everybody has an image. William Lee Golden he has the image with the beard. Jerry Lee Lewis has his image. David Allan Coe has an image of wanting to be a hoodlum. Pat Boone wanted to be a goody two-shoes, and it worked for him for a number of years. I have worked with Pat Boone over the years at festivals and I have never, never, known him to be anything but a gentleman."

Bob Timmers

Rockabilly Hall Of Fame

"Cleveland's Hall Of Fame, yes. Not ours."

Prewitt Rose

SRO Records

"Yes. People forget that Pat was considered a rock'n'roll artist in the context of times and in some ways, was even bigger than Elvis. Plus, his example kept doors open when anti-rock forces tried to shut the music down. To deny Pat Boone induction into the Rock'n'Rock Hall Of Fame is to be guilty of revisionist history, which I am dead-set against."

Roy Harper

Outer Shell

"Pat Boone led the way for contemporary 'Pop' music. While Elvis Presley, Little Richard, and Chuck Berry pushed the limits of Rock n Roll in the 1950s and influenced artists for generations to come. Pat Boone showed us that music could have a simple message of love and also be stylistic at the same time. The influence of Pat Boone was evident in works by the early Beatles, Elton John during the 70s and 80s, and by such artists today as N Sync. The music of Pat Boone still endures today because silly love songs are 'true-to-our-character', and not really so "silly."

J. R. Taylor

New York Press

"Sure! It's understood that some people consider Boone to be an agent of oppressing the poor black artists. But, unlike Hall-of-Famer Woody Guthrie, Pat Boone never took money from the Communists to tour our country as a Nazi sympathizer. And if this is new to anybody, then it's no wonder they waste their time worrying about Pat Boone being in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame."

Henny de Pater

Dutch Country D.J. Association

"Will, or Must, Pat Boone be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame? Why not?? Like Elvis, he did a lot of sweet ballads. My old girlfriend loved that warm and tender voice, and by telling her that Pat Boone was MY favorite too (but then, what I DIDN'T tell her was I was really a Rocker at heart!), I scored many points and left other guys, who were after that same girl, far far behind me. That's why "good old " Pat ought to be inducted: So that other people won't forget him either."

Bob Brainen


"It's all relative, and there are people nominated and selected that have less to do with rock 'n' roll than him. As far as his place in the scheme of things, he was someone who watered down rock 'n' roll, but I enjoy some of his records, so I'd say YES. For one, he put out a great record produced by Terry Melcher called "Beach Girl" in '64 (written by Melcher and Bruce Johnston, who also did backing vocals). The flip-side was "Little Honda."

Beverly Paterson

"Twist And Shake" Magazine

"Yes, Pat Boone should be inducted in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

Simply on the basis of his heavy metal album from a few years ago!"

Geoff Cabin

"Rock Beat International" Magazine

"I am opposed to the entire concept of a Rock and Roll Hall of Fame - music is not a competitive sport where an individual1s performance can be statistically measured against another individual1s performance.

If we are going to have a Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, however, the answer to the question of whether Pat Boone should be inducted into it depends on what criteria is used for induction.

I don't know the actual criteria, but I would look at two things:

(a) Did the person make any significant musical contribution to rock 'n' roll?

(b) Did the person play a significant role in rock 'n' roll history?

In the case of Pat Boone, the first question is easily answered. No, he did not make any significant musical contribution to rock 'n' roll. His only musical "contribution" was to record watered-down versions of songs originally recorded by Fats Domino and Little Richard for sale to the white teenage audience. If making a significant musical contribution is the sole criteria for induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Pat Boone definitely should not make it.

If we go on to the question of whether Pat Boone played a significant role in rock 'n' roll history, however, things get much more difficult. The question of Pat Boone's role in rock 'n' roll history is complicated by the emotionally-charged racial issues involved. It is also a question that is particularly difficult for someone of my age (part of the "blank generation") to assess in retrospect, given the fact that Boone has been all but written out of rock 'n' roll history.

On one hand, it can be argued that Pat Boone did play a positive role in rock 'n' roll history by exposing white teenagers to the music. On the other hand, it can be argued that Boone exploited and ripped off the music of black artists and had success that rightfully should have been theirs. Either way you look at it, however, there is no denying (as much as some people would like to) that Pat Boone did play a significant role in rock 'n' roll history.

If the purpose of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame is to document rock 'n' roll history (as I think it should be), then I think the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame has to deal with Pat Boone."

Irwin Chusid

"Songs In The Key Of Z"

"I have a DEFINITE opinion on the matter. The answer, by the way, is Yes."

Jon Pressman

The Voice of Butterscott


Andrew Gold,

The Fraternal Order Of The All

"Sure. Why not? Because he's a square? Besides, he wrote the words to my Dad's hit of the theme from Exodus ("This Land Is Mine")."

Brett Milano

Bosstown journalist

"Yes, but only by virtue of that cocktail version of "Stairway to Heaven" he did a few years ago."

Henry Harrison

International Rock-A-Billy Hall Of Fame

"Certainly, Pat has made a magnificent contribution to our national and international musical achievements. Pat is still one on my all time favorites!"

Kim Ahern

Publisher, Blues Connection

"Certainly anyone with 50 hit records deserves to be in the Hall of Fame. There are a lot of one-hit-wonders out there. His credentials have absolutely earned honors."

Patrick Wall Jr.

Jerry Lee Lewis webpage / Roots music researcher

"Yes. There was a lot more blues in Pat's style than that of Guy Mitchell, Charlie Gracie, or many others of that ilk. I prefer to think of rock'n'roll as a Pop derivation of the blues. In that light, Pat Boone was an essential rocker of the mid-50s."

Gary Pig Gold

Fanzine Legend / producer, To M'lou Music

"I truly believe Pat Boone should be inducted towards the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame immediately.

I believe this for several reasons...not the least of which is his absolutely stunning rendition of "Hoboken Baby," which I still find myself humming every time I try to find parking space within this increasingly yuppie-infested, once quaint little adopted hometown of mine."

Gary King

Editor of "Oldies Newsletter"

"As much as I am really not a PAT BOONE fan (but I do like a lot of his songs), I would have to admit that since he did have 50 charted hits, it would qualify him for being into the R&R Hall of Fame.


Peter Noone

Herman's Hermits.

"Hmmmm. If he is inducted before Davy Jones from the Monkees and Tommy Lasorda, who surely are more to do with rock 'n' roll than Pat Boone, I will make Little Jimmy Osmond the editor of "Q Magazine."

Chad Stuart

Chad & Jeremy


Because he didn't make a genuine contribution to the art form.

Because he made records which were a pale imitation of the genuine article.

Because he never poured his heart and soul into his recordings.

Because he was a pop singer, and they don't count. (The "pop" hall of fame, maybe.)"

Billy Lee Riley

Sun Records Legend

"I don't think he does, to be honest with you. I don't think it's necessarily how many hit records you have that gets you in there. I think the induction should be based on whether the artist's contribution is a milestone for rock'n'roll or not. That's the way I look at it. I'm not anti-Pat Boone, I just don't think he belongs in the Hall Of Fame."

Linda Gail Lewis

Sire Recordings Artist / Jerry Lee's sister

"Well Darlin', Pat's a great guy with a lovely voice. I really liked his record of 'Love Letters In The Sand,' but he's just not rock'n'roll. Why anyone would even think of putting him in the Rock'n'Roll Hall Of Fame is more than I can imagine."

Barbara Pittman

Sun Records Legend

"No, I don't believe so. When I saw him do 'Tutti Frutti' I said, 'Man if I was Little Richard I'd cut his hands off.' I'm sure he's a very nice man but he is not rock'n'roll. He wasn't even good pop. I don't know him personally and I'm certainly not going to judge his character or anything. I think he's funny though. I thought that heavy metal outfit he wore a few years back — I thought it was great to have that kind of nerve

Joel Selvin

Music Journalist

"I've heard Boone's rap on this -- about the importance of the popularizer, as well as the innovator -- my problem is that his God-awful records don't hold up. His "Tutti Frutti" is embarrassing, where Bill Haley's version of "Rip To Up" probably out-rocks Little Richard (heresy, shame). I say vote for Fabian. When it comes to phony rock and rollers, he's the real deal."

Marc Bristol

Blue Suede News

"Not with Ritchie Valens & Buddy Knox out. But perhaps he has a place there, for having given the white bread kids a bit of rock they could hang their hats on, while they were on their way to discovering the REAL rock'n'roll. The Hall is really more of a way to promote the business than a way to honor "founding fathers & mothers", and everyone should keep that in perspective. Blue Suede News is a way to honor the founding fathers & mothers. Buying their recordings and playing them is an even better way."

Gary Graff

MusicHound Rock Guide

"He does not. Hit records do not necessarily translate into status for the rock and roll hall of fame. While pat's commercial accomplishments were impressive, he was not a rock and roll artist in any way, shape or form. In fact, he willingly and quite outspokenly took part in a sanitation of the form. Granted, there are some folks in the rock and roll hall of fame who are not, by strict definition, rock and roll; the beauty of rock and roll, however, is that it has no strict definition. It encompasses attitude, impact and outlook, too. But by any count imaginable, Pat Boone was not a rock and roll artist."

Jake Austen


"I say no on Pat in the hall, but I'd also put him on equal plane with Buffalo Springfield as far as importance and greatness, so I'm obviously not on the same page as Cleveland."

Buddy Woodward

Musician — Nitro Express

"Now how 'bout these people here: Charlie Rich, Ronnie Hawkins, James Burton, Johnny Ray, Kingston Trio, Ernie K-Doe, The Move, Don Covay, Major Lance, Solomon Burke, Waylon Jennings, Zombies, Hollies, Esther Phillips, Gene Chandler, Sonny Boy Williamson (both of 'em), Jerry Butler, Ventures, The Guess Who, Lee Dorsey, W.C. Handy, T Bone Walker, Merle Travis, Little Junior Parker, Al Hendrickson, Allan Lomax, Moon Mullican, Charlie Christian, Blind Lemon Jefferson, Ma Rainey, Dixie Hummingbirds, Otis Blackwell, Mickey Baker, Bobby Charles, Huey "Piano" Smith, Alexis Korner, Doug Sahm, Johnny Jenkins & the Pinetoppers, Tennessee Ernie Ford, Hank Snow, Buck Owens, Johnny Ace, Sid King et. al. If just ONE of the artists in this list is not in the Hall of Fame, ol' Bland Eyes can just cool his heels in the parking lot, right along with Sopwith Camel, The 1910 Fruitgum Co., and Mrs. Miller!"

Jon Sievert

Humble Press

"I was a teenager during the Boone plague, and I say he shouldn't even be allowed to visit the Rock'n'Roll Hall of Fame. Pat Boone was the ultimate anti rock-and-roll figure, created by record companies for the sole purpose of shielding white America from the likes of Fats and Little Richard, while ripping them off. And his music really sucked, which should be the ultimate criteria for determining worthiness."


Dionysus Records

"I think that someone like Steve Marriott or Pete Townsend who pioneered a sound, way of life and brought soul, definitely belongs there before Pat Boone does."

Deke Dickerson

Musician — The Eccofonics

"Pat Boone never did anything original. Why don't they finish inducting the REAL rock and rollers who still aren't in the Hall of Fame before even considering Ivy League pretenders like Mr. Boone?"

Rich Horton

Optional Art Records

Pat's was instrumental in exposing thousands (millions?) of American teenagers to "real" rock'n'roll. For one, he knew a good song when he heard one. Second, he had the guts to record music that had hitherto been "forbidden" to white mainstream pop singers. Third, when the original artists whose material he'd covered finally did appear on the scene, they had already been provided with as good an introduction as they could get--with the stamp of approval from the unthreatening and unfailingly polite Pat Boone. Does Pat belong in the Rock 'n' Roll Hall of Fame for this? Not on artistic grounds, perhaps. But give him an honorable mention plaque or credit him along with the other folks, like Alan Freed and Sam Phillips. They all introduced us to the music and made sure it was heard by millions of American teens who were dipping their toes into the rock 'n' roll ocean for the first time."

John Sinclair

Managing Editor, BLUES ACCESS

"Pat Boone was a major bugaboo of my youth. He covered great records by my favorite artists -- "Tutti Frutti" and "Long Tall Sally" by Little Richard, the magnificent "Two Hearts" by Otis Williams & the Charms on DeLuxe, and I can't remember what else -- before he found his true niche in the marketplace with "Love Letters in the Sand" and other sappy tunes like that. A precursor of guys like Bobby Darin and Paul Anka, he and his producers at Dot Records simply used rock & roll tunes to bring this matinee idol-type creep to the attention of the public. Bobby Darin at least made a couple of good rock & roll records like "Splish Splash" before entering the entertainment mainstream of the time, but Pat Boone NEVER made a good record. And you can quote me on that! Here's a poem with my take on this issue:

"the Screamers"

for kenny schooner

stagger down overgrown sidewalks
of memory. giving hand &
giggling. (earth angel, how i long

for you. where you been, all these
years. Johnny Ace, with a hole
in his head. where you gwine,

Ivory Joe? or those stupid white
imitations, the Crewcuts, jive Pat
Boone, stealin' their songs. Shh-

Boom. Two Hearts. Chuck Berry,
Jimmy Reed. "I walk 47 miles
of barb wire. I use a cobra snake

for a neck tie. I got a bran/new house
by the road side, made from
rattle snake hide." o you really

really send me, baby, you
got to go fo' me or I'll
beat yo ass. who

do you love. (weird lullabies. "broken
hearts." long long &
lonely nights. for your

precious love, I wd have drank
gasoline, & all I wanted
was a little water. where I came from,

mysterious ofays of the imagi-
nation. why you aren't here
with me, old gang, beer

drinkers, bull
shitters. where
did you go?

march 16, 1965
after leroi jones

As far as the Rock Hall is concerned, it doesn't matter to me who they put in there, the whole thing is a typically bullshit creation of the mental and moral midgets who run the recording industry. In that sense, I guess Pat Boone would be an important addition to the ranks of Rock Hall immortals."

Jason Shields

Texas Jamboree

"I don't think he belongs. There are countless others that deserve the honor before him. The fact he re-recorded and made hits of already existing songs is just like plagiarism. I think he helped promote the rock and roll music to a "larger" amount of white kids, but his versions took out the raw energy that was rock and roll. Most white kids were already diggin' the sound of RnR. His versions are really not rock and roll though, they are pop versions of real rock and roll songs.

The real problem of The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame is the term rock and roll is too vast now, so in time people like Metallica, Madonna, Backstreet Boys, Celene Dion, and the like will be in there. If you go by what the "Hall" considers RnR they he will be there, but to people who love real RnR knows that the "hall" is a lame excuse to the music we all love."

Tony Wilkinson

American Music Magazine

"Pat Boone was a product of his time - a crooner trying to get to grips with rock 'n' roll. He was the half way house in getting the big beat acceptable to a mass audience before the southern boys took over. His records were well crafted but lacked emotive feel and spirit".

James Richard Oliver

Illbilly Records


Phil Kaufman

Road Mangler Deluxe

"Pat Boone? Pop Hall Of Fame …or the White Buck Shoe Hall. But NEVER Rock 'n' Roll! (P.S.: Where is the "ROADIE Hall"?)"

Jeff Tamarkin,

Former editor, "Goldmine" Magazine

"Of course not, but I don't believe James Taylor should've been either. Neither one is a rock 'n' roll singer."

Stephanie Chernikowski

World-renowned photographer (…who actually once received a kiss from the PRE-ARMY Elvis!!)

"Absolutely not. He is not rock 'n' roll."

Joe Viglione,

The "Count"

"Pat Boone - no!"

Tommy Womack

Author, Cheese Chronicles

"No, no, no, no and HELL no."

Domenic Priore

Sunset Strip Historian

"No. Unless Phil Collins gets in. Because they are equals."

Lee Greenfeld

"Sound Views" Magazine

"Well no, but... he DID manage The Leaves!!!"

Lisa Mychols

The Masticators

"The fact that Pat Boone even had even an inkling of a thought of changing "Ain't That A Shame" to "ISN'T That A Shame" makes me wonder if he even knows what rock 'n' roll is! When rock 'n' roll was fresh, new, and exciting.... where was he? He was singing Adult Contemporary! He wanted to make that song adult contemporary!!!!!!"

J. D. Considine

music journalist

"What a non-issue. Seriously, Donny Osmond has a better shot of getting in than he does. It isn't just because he's a joke now -- he was a joke back then, when people actually bought his records. A better question would be why Black Sabbath has been nominated three times and still hasn't gotten in. But that, I suppose, is another poll."

Phil Angotti

The Idea

"No, absolutely not. He doesn't have a rock 'n' roll bone (boone) in his body."

Mick Farren

Dog-Poet at the Cathouse

"My first instinct was no, never: It would be insult to Little Richard: RICHARD BOONE did more for rock 'n' roll as far as I'm concerned. But then I thought, yeah, why not? It only shows the RRHOF as the dumb hype tourist trap farce it really is.

Induct everyone! Tiny Tim, The Chipmunks, One String Sam, Frank Stallone, The Big Bopper. I mean, where's Syd Barrett, or Roky Erikson, and did they ever get round to Gene Vincent? I can't even keep up with the self-congratulatory nonsense. It's the Paul Shaffer world and I don't go there."

Kim Cooper

"Scram" Magazine

I don't think he belongs in the Hall of Fame, but then many of the past inductees don't either, and his entry would at least inspire debate.

His fifties' recordings presumably generated royalties for some deserving folks and helped ease the mass acceptance of rock songwriting. And you gotta admit, that heavy metal phase was a hoot.

Rob Morgan

"Poplust" Magazine

"2 words: "FUCK NO"! No further explanation necessary!"

Bill Kelly


"I LIKE several of Pat Boone's songs. But I don't think he belongs in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, because his appeal and presentation was decidedly "pop" and not rock 'n' roll."

Carl Cafarelli

Writer, and co-host (with Dana Bonn) of This Is Rock 'n' Roll Radio on WXXE-FM, Syracuse, NY

"No. I'm tempted to add "Absolutely not!," but I'm aware of the arguments in Boone's favor. Give 'im his due: he did help to popularize many classic R & B tunes with his wretched, whitebread covers of "Tutti Frutti," "Ain't That A Shame," "Long Tall Sally," et al. But his bloodless covers were hits at the expense of the vastly superior versions by the likes of Little Richard and Fats Domino.

Proponents for Boone's induction into the Rock Hall claim that his covers of these great early rock 'n' roll records were pivotal, since segregated white radio stations would never have played the "race-music" originals; Boone's versions therefore brought the songs to an audience that would otherwise never have heard that ol' "A-wop-bop-a-loo-bop-a-lop-bam-boom!" The claim has some validity; I reject it nonetheless. Boone's records were never intended to spread the gospel of rock 'n' roll or R & B--they were intended to dilute the music's power, to make it safe for White America and, oh yeah, make a big pile of money while effectively shutting out the black guys who created this transcendent music to begin with.

Apartheid should not be rewarded. I don't hold Boone personally responsible for the inherent racism of his early, ersatz rock 'n' roll success. But nor do I see any good reason to consider him a rock 'n' roll pioneer, nor even a rock 'n' roller of any description or distinction. And there's certainly no good reason for him to be in the Rock 'n' Roll Hall of Fame."

Yvon Bonneville

Editor/Publisher, Jerry Lee Lewis Canadian Fan Club Newsletter

"No, not as far as I'm concerned. Why? Because I believe that Pat Boone was a crooner, or a pop artist, not a rocker. Even if he did take a stab at a few rock songs does not necessarily make him eligible for induction into the Rock'n'Roll Hall of Fame. To better illustrate take the song, "Miss You" by the Rolling Stones which was their contribution to Disco....If there was a Disco Hall of Fame you can be sure that The Stones would never be inducted or even nominated for that matter just because they took a stab at the Disco movement....bottom line is that the Stones are ROCKERS.

In spite of all that I've said Pat Boone will probably be nominated one day for induction into the Rock'n'Roll Hall of Fame because those running the show there base their choice on the number of Hits an artist has had in his, her or their career. For this same reason artists like Ronnie Hawkins, Charlie Rich, Jack Scott, Billy Lee Riley and Sonny Burgess are not already in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame where they should already be. Imagine, Sonny Burgess has been rockin' for almost 50 years now and he has practically no chance of ever even being nominated for the R&R Hall of Fame, and the same goes for Billy Lee Riley. Don't get me wrong, I like Pat Boone and have many of his records but HE'S A CROONER NOT A ROCKER.


Ripsaw Records

"I liked 'Don't Forbid Me' but for the most part I thought his other records were pretty lame."


As I see it, there are two interesting factors here. One, how many respondents actually have little or no respect for the Rock'n'Roll Hall Of Fame in Cleveland. Two, how big a split exists between the attitude of the writer/historian types and the actual artists of the 50s.

The writer/historian types make the biggest and harshest case against Boone's induction. Even those who voted "yes" seem to damn him with faint praise and ridicule the very question. By contrast, musicians are strongly in favor of "Mr. White Buck Shoes" being inducted. Moreover, Boone's contemporaries overwhelmingly believe induction into the Rock Hall to be a genuine and sincere honor, and that Boone is worthy.

At this point it is important to note that we tried to get votes and commentary from Little Richard, Fats Domino and his collaborator/producer Dave Bartholomew. As Hall Of Fame artists who were affected, possibly even enriched by the cover version trend, a yes or no from any of these men would certainly carry a lot of weight. Unfortunately we got no further than publicists, managers, and answering machines. Likewise, calls to Jerry Lee Lewis and Bo Diddley went unanswered.

Fats Domino's brother-in-law Reggie Hall told us Domino doesn't like to make public comment and would probably say he thinks everyone belongs in the Hall Of Fame. Generous idea, but not exactly a vote one way of the other.

So, is there a solution? Not based on this survey. The Rock Hall crowd certainly wouldn't be swayed by a vote this divided, even on a wider scale. As a result, it seems Pat Boone's best shot at induction would come whenever the Rock Hall took a tip from the Baseball Hall Of Fame in Cooperstown and instituted an Old-Timer's Committee. Of course that would mean ceding power and prestige to a group not heavily tied to either the museum or the major labels that support it.

The guess here is that Mr. Boone is in for a bit of a wait.

What Is The Author's Stance On This Issue?

This may shock my fellow R&B-aficionados and Sun Records-addicts but "Yes, I think Pat Boone deserves induction into the Rock'n'Roll Hall Of Fame in Cleveland."

I'd say that Boone wouldn't qualify for induction if the Rock Hall had set the following rules.

All 50s inductees must rock in a style similar to Jerry Lee Lewis, Chuck Berry, Little Richard, Elvis Presley, etc.

The music of all inductees should still sound like rock'n'roll out of context of the era in which it was produced.

All inductees must personify the "bad boy" aspect of rock'n'roll and should have an arrest record or receipts from the Betty Ford Clinic to prove it.

However, no such rules exist!

As stated by the Hall's own website (, the rules for a performer's induction are pretty simple.

"Artists become eligible for induction 25 years after the release of their first record. Criteria include the influence and significance of the artist's contributions to the development and perpetuation of rock and roll."

That's all! It doesn't say "except Pat Boone," or "except Herman's Hermits," or even "except the Archies." It also doesn't say anything about guys with squeaky-clean images or practicing conservative Christians not being inducted.

Boone advanced the cause of rock'n'roll's commercial prospects, making it possible for the down and dirty stuff we cultists like to get what little exposure it did. His early successes were decidedly rock'n'roll in the context of the era's playlists and he was the music's first true teen idol. In addition, he made rock'n'roll acceptable at a time when singing black-oriented music was a severe risk for a white artist. He sold tons of records that helped establish a new industry, in the process turning rock'n'roll into a legitimate branch of show business. All of which means that Boone more than meets the Rock Hall's qualifications.

To suggest he should be denied induction on the basis of his being a successful white artist in racist times is just plain wrongheaded thinking.

Granted, he wasn't the hard rocker his friend Elvis was, but any Hall Of Fame that considers James Taylor, Joni Mitchell, or the Mamas and the Papas to be "rock'n'roll," should provide a place of honor for Mr. Pat Boone.