Washington, D.C.–Legendary entertainer Pat Boone, the original American Idol, will receive a lifetime achievement award at this week’s 38th annual Conservative Political Action Conference.
Sponsored by the American Conservative Union, the CPAC lifetime award is not presented annually but only after deliberation by the organization. In 2002, Boone’s longtime friend and activist, the late Art Linkletter, was so honored, and news editor and author Stan Evans received the award in 2009.
Boone burst upon the national scene in the early 1950’s when he won not one, but two national contests, the Arthur Godfrey Talent Show, a nationally televised variety program and the Ted Mack Amateur Hour.
His career was launched with the Pat Boone Chevy Show beginning a friendly fan club rivalry with a newcomer named Elvis Presley. “It was salt versus pepper,” Boone jokes today but they were the top recording artists in the late l950s. Even today, according to Billboard magazine, Boone still holds the record for most consecutive weeks (220) on the charts by any performer.
Boone and wife Shirley, married 55 years, have four daughters, one of whom is Debbie Boone, whose own singing career has resumed since her children are grown. Her single best seller? You Light Up My Life, which is her “tribute to God.”
A star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame signifies success in show business. Pat Boone has three stars; for music, movies and television.
Pat has written numerous books and has been an outspoken conservative even while he and Shirley have resided 50 years in that haven of liberalism, Beverly Hills, CA. At CPAC in 2009 Boone drew cheers when he described himself as ‘an embedded conservative’ out in ‘La La’ land. In 2010 Boone helped organize a Tea Party event in Beverly Hills. Asked on TV how he found 700 or more conservative in Beverly Hills, Boone responded, tongue firmly in cheek, ‘we had to import them!’
Boone is now National Spokesman for the 60 Plus Association, the conservative alternative to the liberal AARP. When 60 Plus head Jim Martin asked Pat to serve, Boone, who is a financial backer, replied: ‘Well, Jim, now that I admit to being 60 plus in years, I’m glad to accept!’
Boone will be 77 on June lst and keeps up a full schedule of primarily gospel music concerts while campaigning on behalf of candidates at the federal, state and local levels, recording, when time permits, TV, radio spots and phone calls. In 2010 Boone’s voice was heard in 7.l million homes on behalf of more than 70 House and Senate winners.
Boone will be at CPAC on Saturday, Feb. 12, to receive the award on the final day of the conference.