Northeast Times

Debby Boone will light up the Keswick

Prob­ably best known for her 1977 hit You Light Up My Life, which led to her win­ning the Grammy Award for Best New Artist, Debby Boone will light up the stage at the Keswick Theatre in Glen­side next Sunday, May 13.
“Of course, that song will be in­cluded in my show,” says the 55-year-old sing­er. “I think people would be really up­set with me if they came to my show and I left that one out. Today, be­cause it’s be­come such a stand­ard, I real­ize I owe it to my audi­ence to sing it.”
Boone is com­fort­able singing that song now, but it wasn’t al­ways that way.
“When I sang that song I sang it to God, even though most people saw it as a ro­mantic song,” she ex­plained. “When I re­cor­ded it I wasn’t in a re­la­tion­ship, so I felt like this was a kind of pray­er and so I sang it that way.”
But, Boone ad­mit­ted, be­cause of the pop­ular­ity of that song, a song that was on al­most every­one’s lips once it came out, she got really nervous.
“It seemed that for the next three years, nobody wanted me ex­cept to do that song,” she said. “That’s all they wanted and so I felt I would nev­er be al­lowed to grow or sing any­thing else.”
But she needn’t have wor­ried.
The third of four daugh­ters born to sing­er-act­or Pat Boone and Shir­ley Fo­ley Boone — daugh­ter of coun­try mu­sic star Red Fo­ley — Boone was just 14 years old when she began tour­ing with her par­ents and sis­ters. Later, when the oth­er sis­ters dropped out of the spot­light, Debby Boone de­cided she wanted more. That’s when re­cord pro­du­cer Mike Curb urged Boone to re­lease her first hit solo, You Light Up My Life.
“Singing and tour­ing with my dad came about be­cause he didn’t want to travel so much and leave us be­hind. So we went with him,” she said. “But I think he thought his daugh­ters should get mar­ried and settle down. But from the first time I hit the stage, I loved the at­ten­tion I got. I knew I had found what I could do well and en­joy for the rest of my life.”
And she was right. Since those early be­gin­nings, Boone has gone on to make a name for her­self in many as­pects of mu­sic, lead­ing to tours with her fath­er and fre­quent tele­vi­sion ap­pear­ances. After the suc­cess of her first big hit, Boone later fo­cused her mu­sic ca­reer on coun­try mu­sic res­ult­ing in the 1980 No. 1 coun­try hit, Are You on the Road to Lov­in’ Me Again. In the ‘80s, she re­cor­ded Chris­ti­an mu­sic that garnered her four top 10 Con­tem­por­ary Chris­ti­an al­bums as well as two more Grammys.
And then, she said, much to her sur­prise, she was ap­proached to ap­pear in stage pro­duc­tions na­tion­wide in­clud­ing lead roles in Cam­elot, Meet Me In St. Louis, South Pa­cific, The Hu­man Com­edy and more.
“My first show was Sev­en Brides For Sev­en Broth­ers,” Boone re­called. “I think I was one of the lucky ones who got asked to do that role for a Broad­way tour rather than hav­ing to au­di­tion with many oth­ers. They came to me be­cause of You Light Up My Life, and I was ab­so­lutely thrilled for the op­por­tun­ity.”
Boone’s latest CD, titled Re­flec­tions of Rose­mary, is a mu­sic­al por­trait of her late moth­er-in-law, the le­gendary sing­er Rose­mary Clooney. It is a col­lec­tion of 14 stand­ards chosen for their sig­ni­fic­ance to Boone’s life with Clooney and will be fea­tured when Boone comes to the Keswick.
Mar­ried for many years to Gab­ri­el Fer­rer, one of Clooney’s sons from her mar­riage to act­or Jose Fer­rer, Boone said her spir­itu­al­ity is one of the ma­jor reas­ons she’s been able to en­joy and get through the ups and downs in her life.
“My par­ents were great role mod­els. Watch­ing how my fath­er handled the ups and downs in his own ca­reer and in his life gave me the strength I needed in my own life,” she con­cluded.
For show times and tick­et in­form­a­tion, call 215-572-7650.

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