Forty years ago this week, Meco's "Star Wars Theme/Cantina Band" was knocked from the top of the Billboard Hot 100 after a two-week run at the peak position. The new chart-topper would remain in that spot for an additional 9 weeks and become the biggest-selling single of the entire 1970s. And what was that song? You might first guess it was perhaps something by the Bee Gees, who were in their own historical chart-run at this moment. But it was actually "You Light Up My Life" by Debby Boone. The record-smashing single was soon placed on an album of the same name, which became a platinum hit in its own right. Despite this success, the album has never appeared on CD. Real Gone Music is rectifying this when it releases the You Light Up My Life: 40th Anniversary Expanded Edition on December 8, featuring liner notes by our very own Joe Marchese.
Debby Boone began her professional singing career when she was still a teenager at the dawn of the 1970s. The daughter of popular 1950s singer Pat Boone and granddaughter on her mom's side to country legend Red Foley, Debby started joining with her sisters (Cherry, Lindy and Laury) to support their father in concert while in Japan on tour with The Osmonds. The Boone sisters would soon go into the studio to record their first single for the Japanese arm of Liberty Records. They also joined their father on The Pat Boone Family album for Word Records.
The quartet of sisters moved with Pat to MGM Records and became associated with producer Mike Curb. Over the next several years, they appeared on some of their father's albums and recorded singles for a variety of labels including Lion and Motown under several names as The Boone Sisters, The Boone Girls, The Boone Family, The Pat Boone Family, and The Boones. Gradually, Debby became the lead singer on the group's recordings.
By 1977, they had landed at Warner Bros. Records where Mike Curb had established the Curb Records label. Curb was involved with the soundtrack for the film You Light Up My Life. The movie was written, produced and directed by jingle writer Joe Brooks, who also wrote the score. It starred Didi Conn as an aspiring singer. However, a studio singer named Kasey Cisyk was used to provide the singing voice in the movie. When tensions rose between her and Brooks over the record release, Debby was tapped to provide a vocal for the single of the title track. It was released in August of that year and Debby's career would be forever changed.
As the single raced up the charts, an album was quickly put together. Released in October of 1977, the You Light Up My Life LP would feature the title track together with three other Joe Brooks songs. It was then filled out with other tracks recorded by Debby and her sisters over the years including songs produced by Mike Curb, Michael Lloyd, and Bob Gaudio. The album would reach No. 6 on the Pop and Country charts and become certified Platinum. The song would win the Oscar that year and Debby would pick up the Grammy for Best New Artist. Her solo career had officially gotten underway and Debby would record four more albums for Curb Records by 1981 before focusing exclusively on Christian recordings for the remainder of the 1980s.
Real Gone's new edition expands the original You Light Up My Life album by a whopping thirteen tracks. Here you will be able to trace The Boone Sisters'/Girls', etc. career from its beginning until 1977. You will find covers of songs by John Denver, The Marvelettes, The Supremes, Mary Wells and ABBA. Six previously unreleased outtakes are also among the bonus tracks, including covers of songs by Paul Anka, Lesley Gore, and David Gates. The CD is housed in a digipak and has been remastered by Ted Carfrae. Joe's liner notes include quotes from new interviews with producer/arranger Fred Werner, producer Michael Lloyd and Debby Boone herself.
If you would like to go back in time to hear the hottest song of 1977, we've got the full tracklisting and pre-order links below! And stay tuned - Debby's four remaining Warner/Curb albums, plus singles and other rarities, will be making their way to CD in 2018 from Real Gone Music!
Debby Boone, You Light Up My Life: 40th Anniversary Expanded Edition (Real Gone Music, 2017) (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K. / Amazon Canada)
- You Light Up My Life
- A Rock and Roll Song
- Micol's Theme
- It's Just a Matter of Time
- Hey Everybody
- When I Look at You (My Love)
- From Me to You
- Baby I'm Yours
- When the Lovelight Starts Shining Through His Eyes - The Boones
- The End of the World
- Your Love Broke Through
- Hasta Mañana - The Boones
- He's a Rebel - The Boones
- My Guy - The Boones
- Please Mr. Postman - The Pat Boone Family (The Boone Girls)
- Friend - The Pat Boone Family (The Boone Girls)
- You Don't Own Me - The Boone Girls
- Till - The Boone Girls
- Put Your Head on My Shoulder - The Boone Girls
- Popsicles and Icicles - The Boone Girls
- Laugh While I Cry - The Boone Girls
- See If It Comes Out Love - The Boone Gilrls
- Bless the Beasts & Children - The Boone Girls
- Anthem-Revelation - The Boone Girls
- Curiosity Killed the Cat - The Boone Girls
Tracks 1-12 from You Light Up My Life, Warner Bros./Curb Records LP BS 3118, 1977
Track 13 from Warner Bros. single WBS 8446, 1977
Track 14 from Motown single M 1389-F, 1976
Tracks 15-16 from Motown single M 1314-F, 1974
Tracks 17-22 previously unreleased
Tracks 23-24 from Lion single 110, 1972
Track 25 from MGM single K 14335, 1971
I am very excited about this release. I became a big Debby Boone fan way back then, my senior year of high school in 1977, and went on to purchase everything she had recorded prior to the "YLUML" album, as well as all she would record from that point on. That her Warner/Curb albums never came out on CD is a crime, and quite frankly, the way Debby has been classified and categorized as a one hit wonder of a, some would say, rather bland pop ballad that just happened to hit at that particular moment in time, well... it is wrong. Debby recorded some really, really, REALLY good material, though much of it was sadly ignored and overlooked. Maybe, at long last, this situation is being remedied. While the "YLUML" album is good and I eagerly anticipate hearing the bonus tracks, this really makes me yearn for Debby's later Warner/Curb releases. Her 1978 self-titled album was wonderful, and all these years later remains an absolute favorite of mine. Her two country albums, which produced several hits on the C/W side, are also excellent. Hope there is a lot more Debby Boone in the pipeline.
Joe Marchese says
Ask and ye shall receive, Ron! Debby's remaining Warner/Curb albums (plus assorted singles and rarities) are being planned for 2018 reissue on Real Gone! In the meantime, enjoy YOU LIGHT UP MY LIFE!
Fantastic news! I’ve been waiting for her other secular albums to be re-released. She is very underrated.
Wow...amazing it took this long to bring Debby's Warner/Curb recordings back to the market again. I am intrigued as to how many rarities have been unearthed that will be included in the 2018 releases. The following singles were never included on any of Debby's studio albums:
* California (Single version differed from "Midstream" track)
* In Memory Of Your Love
* See You In September
* Everybody's Somebody's Fool (Included on 1986 "The Best Of Debby Boone")
* Theme From "The Promise" (B-side to "...Fool" with different vocal take)
Beyond that, I cannot think of much else that Debby recorded as a soloist from that era. There was a duet with her father, "When I'm With You, I'm Feeling Good" included in the "Matilda" movie, "Is There Room In Your World For Me" from the TV movie "Son-Rise," and four songs included on "The Magic Of Lassie" soundtrack. Hoping to hear all of these...and then some!
I loved her version of "See You In September." It'll be great to get that on an official CD at some point.
As for "The Magic of Lassie" songs, was the version of "When You're Loved" on there the same as the one that was released on Warner/Curb? That is one of Debby's best ever. Another absolute winner is "Heavenly Love" which was released by The Boones... fantastic song with a wonderful Debby lead vocal. (A lot of the Boones' group material featured Debby on lead vocals.)
"When You're Loved" opened and closed "The Magic Of Lassie" soundtrack. The opening "When..." is the full song and the closer is a two minute reprise featuring the first verse and second chorus. Both versions differ from the "Midstream" single with different vocals and arrangements.
Happy Debby Fan! says
This is AMAZING news! THANK YOU Real Gone Music for not only releasing this long overdue album, but also for putting in all the work and care to include so many incredible bonus tracks! I've already pre-ordered a few copies, and can't wait for the 2018 releases as well!!!
I do have a question though...
The Amazon description lists 26 tracks with "The Last Thing On My Mind" as the last track:
"Then, for this Deluxe Expanded CD Edition, we’ve added no less than 14 bonus tracks: non-LP rarities like “He’s a Rebel,” the B-side to “You Light Up My Life,” a pair of collectible Motown singles by The Boone Girls and seven unreleased recordings featuring charming remakes of classic ‘60s pop favorites from “You Don’t Own Me” to “The Last Thing on My Mind.”
Is this song included on this release? Everywhere else only lists the 13 bonus tracks, with this last song missing.
Joe Marchese says
Unfortunately, "The Last Thing on My Mind" will not be included. Amazon requires that copy be submitted long before most projects are finalized; the accurate and final track listing is the one here and on Real Gone's site. Sorry to raise your hopes up - but we are a fan of that track from the "All in the Boone Family" LP! Hope you enjoy the releases, and thank you for your kind words!
Happy Debby Fan! says
Thank you for the clarification! No worries about the missing track. Far be it for me to be a "Choosey Beggar" 😉 I'm very much looking forward to this and future releases!
Has the release date changed? Amazon is now showing December 8.
Joe Marchese says
Yes, it appears that the date is now December 8.