CCM Classic Blog

Respect & Love To The "First Class" Boone Family

There are many things in life that are considered to be "first class"...the Boone family is one of them.  Singer Pat Boone, a direct descendant of the legendary frontiersman Daniel Boone, became a legend himself as a teen idol in the mid 1950s.  From 1955 to 1962, Boone racked up an astonishing 38 top 40 hits on the Billboard charts, including 6 that went all the way to number one.  By the 70s, his star had faded, but then his four daughters, Lindy, Debby, Cherry, and Laury decided to start recording Christian music together.  In 1976, they released their first album on their father's new Lamb & Lion record label.  Titled "Glass Castle", the album established the Boone sisters in the emerging Contemporary Christian music industry. However the following year, two things happened...first, their album was re-issued, and the name changed to "The Boone Girls", and second, Debby hit the BIG TIME as a solo artist. She recorded the song that Rolling Stone magazine readers voted the 4th worst song of the decade*, that of course being "You Light Up My Life".  The single spent what was then an all-time record 10 weeks at number one on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, and also won Debby the Grammy award as Best New Artist Of 1977.

So, the big question...what do you do for a follow up?  Fortunately for classic CCM fans, the answer was the Boone Sisters hit the studios with producer Chris Christian, to record their second Lamb & Lion album, which we are featuring on Vinyl Revival this week, entitled "First Class". Recorded in Nashville and Los Angeles, this album is considered one of the Boones' best albums of the four CCM recordings they released.  A solid slate of ten songs, with a roster of writers such as Phil Johnson, Scott Wesley Brown, Chris Christian, and some of the Boone sisters themselves, help to make this a very likeable album, even though probably dated to a certain extent. 

Radio waves were filled with singles such as "I'm A Believer", "My Love Will Never Change", and "You Were There", but there are some other gems on the album that still sound good today, such as the playful "I Love You More Than My Rock And Roll", which features backing vocals by 2nd Chapter Of Acts baritone Matthew Ward and none other than Pat Boone himself.  Songs like "You Took My Heart By Surprise", "Caught In This World", and "Perfect Love" represent what the genesis of early CCM was all about...pop music with Christian lyrics, that could be interpreted to represent love for God, or for a significant other.   Aside from any controversy songs like these might have caused back in the day, they are still well written, and well performed by the Boones, in keeping with the musical trends of the times.   Backed by some of Nashville's finest studio cats, the musical tracks on this album are excellent, each providing the backdrop for the sisters' top notch vocals.

Although some fans of early CCM may not remember the Boones (their final album together was released in 1980), they are still a vital part of the development of the Contemporary genre. While some fans may not have been happy with the idea of a Christian artist such as Debby Boone having crossover success, the fact is that the Boones released four very good albums that are each quite enjoyable to listen to now.  So this week, we give the respect and love to a group and album that are truly "First Class".

*Rolling Stone, October 19, 2011

Tracklist

1. I Love You More Than My Rock And Roll (featuring Matthew Ward)

2. I'm A Believer

3. My Love Will Never Change

4. You Took My Heart By Surprise

5. Dance

6. Let Me Be Lonely

7. Caught In This World

8. You Were There

9. Father's Arms

10. Perfect Love



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