Pat Boone (1934) is an American singer and actor. During the 1950s and early 1960s Boone covered black artists' songs and thus sold more copies than them. The United States were still segregated and thus Boone made many of these watered down rock 'n' roll songs acceptable for white audiences. After Elvis Presley he was the most succesful singer in the U.S.A. Later in his life he also became a vocal conservative political commentator.
Zappa and Pat Boone
Zappa took a strong dislike of Boone's music and image. He frequently alluded to him whenever he needed an example of bland mainstream music.
"So to make R&B acceptable, the big shots of the record industry hired a bunch of little men with cigars and green visors, to synthesize and imitate the work of the Negroes. The visor men cranked out phony white rock Highly skilled couriers then delivered the goods to American Bandstand along with a lot of presents (tokens of their esteem) to Dick Clark for all his marvelous assistance in the crusade to jam these products down the kids' throats. Pat Boone was notable, too, for his humanistic activities (bleaching Little Richard and making him safe for teenage consumption)." (Zappa in The Oracle Has It All Psyched Out)
"We had a mixed group, and we were the only band … ah … in the desert, that could play Rhythm 'n' Blues and Rock 'n' Roll music. And … ah … the only other live entertainment that was offered to the kids in that erea, was the high school swing band, which was no fun whatsoever. It was either that or you went to a record hop, where they played Pat Boone records, y'know?" (FZ in 1968 WFMT Radio Chicago with Studs Terkel)
"Oh, man, they were really talking some good stuff then. Compare that with tutti frutti, awrootie by the time Pat Boone got through with it, and the whole thing's ridiculous." - (Zappa, comparing Roy Tann with Pat Boone in Fifties Teenagers And Fifties Rock.)
When Annie Ample went to a photoshoot at Zappa's house she noticed the following: "The set, like Zappa, was bizarre. They must have spent thousands of dollars on it. There was a house with phony snow and dozens of pink flamingos in front of it. In the background, there was a huge poster of Pat Boone with his penis hanging out. Someone had found a Polaroid and sold it to Larry Flynt, Hustler's publisher. Since he couldn't use it anywhere else, he used it here. Don't ask what the significance of any of this was. I was just doing my job."
"You also have the problem that an album is a compilation of different types of cuts. If one song on the album is sexually explicit and all the rest of it sounds like Pat Boone, what do you get on the album? How are you gonna rate it?" - (Zappa on Congress Shall Make No Law)