Pat Boone in Conversation with President Andrew K. Benton

On May 30, 2018, Payson Library presented an afternoon of of storytelling with legendary entertainer and family man Pat Boone. President Andrew K. Benton interviewed Mr. Boone, a longtime Pepperdine supporter, about his career and the people and experiences that shaped his life and contributed to his success. Dean of Libraries Mark Roosa introduced the two special guests. “Pat Boone began all the way back in 1954,” said Dr. Roosa, “and in the 64 years since, he has made an indelible, and inimitable, mark on American popular culture.”

Pat Boone and President Andrew K. Benton
Pat Boone and President Andrew K. Benton

In his conversation with President Benton, Pat Boone described his rise to fame from modest roots in Nashville. He also shared the stories behind popular songs such as “Moody River” and “Love Letter in the Sand.” The audience laughed he related a humorous back story about song “Ain’t that a shame.” As he had been planning to be a schoolteacher and preacher before his singing career took off, Boone initially insisted on singing “Isn’t that a shame” in order to be grammatically accurate. However, the producer eventually won the argument, and Pat Boone sang the hit song as it was originally written.

President Benton noted even though Pat Boone never took on a career in the classroom, he still became a teacher through the great impact he has had on popular culture through his songs and philanthropic efforts. “We all are teachers,” Mr. Boone said in response. “Every one of us is teaching others how to live.”

The event was held in conjunction with Payson Library’s current exhibit, Pat Boone: Celebrating America’s Favorite “Unrock” Star, on view from September 2017 through July 2018. Dean Roosa described the exhibit as “a fascinating slice of 20th-century Americana that makes Payson utterly unique among university libraries in the United States.”

Boone exhibit
Attendees view Payson Library’s Pat Boone exhibit after the event

Pat Boone: Celebrating America’s Favorite “Unrock” Star
Exhibit on view in Payson Library

Pat Boone exploded onto the world stage with a pair of white buck shoes and a bounty of chart-topping pop hits in the late 1950s, and he enjoyed continued success for decades thereafter. This exhibit explores highlights from Pat’s life and career with a vibrant collection of photographs and memorabilia. Visitors can also take a seat in a mid-century inspired living room set to view Pat Boone’s 1950s live variety show on a vintage 1957 television.

On view September 2017 through July 2018

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Pat Boone in Conversation with President Andrew K. Benton
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