It's the time of the year for family celebrations...and few artists have had the kind of multi-generational family success as Pat Boone. One of the top ten biggest-selling singles artists in the history of twentieth century pop, Boone was the youngest performer to host a national television primetime variety show with his 1957 program Pat Boone's Chevy Showroom, and he went on to become a familiar, welcoming presence on the small screen over the ensuing decades. Family has always been a cornerstone of Boone's life, and by the 1970s, he, his wife Shirley, and their four daughters Debby, Cherry, Lindy, and Laury were appearing on worldwide stages together. Indeed, showbiz runs on all sides of the Boone family. Shirley is the daughter of legendary country artist Red Foley, while Debby (who became a star in her own right with the 1977 Grammy winning hit "You Light Up My Life") is married to Gabriel Ferrer, son of Jose Ferrer and Rosemary Clooney. Pat, Shirley, Debby, Cherry, Lindy, and Laury starred in four Pat Boone & Family holiday-themed specials on ABC-TV, including Thanksgiving and Christmas broadcasts in 1978 and 1979. Now, those two heartwarming shows have just been released on DVD from MPI Home Video.
The Pat Boone & Family: Christmas & Thanksgiving Specials have not been seen since their original airings, other than a mid-1990s encore on Nick at Nite. This double-feature DVD brings them back as a nostalgic look back at the variety genre, complete with such guest stars as Rosemary Clooney, Dinah Shore, Bob Hope, John Byner, and pop's The Hudson Brothers ("So You Are a Star," Rendezvous") and a bevy of ABC"s brightest lights including Gavin MacLeod (The Love Boat's Captain Stubing), Tom Bosley (Happy Days), and Norman Fell and Audra Lindley (Three's Company, The Ropers). Not wanting to miss out on any of the fun, Hanna-Barbera's biggest stars - including Fred Flintstone, Yogi Bear, Huckleberry Hound, Snagglepuss, Scooby-Doo, and Dynomutt - also appeared for a festive production number.
Naturally, music abounds in these family-friendly specials including holiday favorites "White Christmas," "The Christmas Waltz," "Joy to the World," and "Christmas Is A-Coming," pop hits "Can't Smile Without You" and "Stayin' Alive," and performances by Debby of her 1978 single "I'll Never Say Goodbye (Theme From The Promise)" and "You Needed Me."
MPI's DVD boasts a host of bonus features including segments from the 1973 Boone Family special Christmas in Bethlehem, Christmas carols from Pat Boone's Chevy Showroom (1957-1960), a Boone Family photo album, and a new interview with Pat. It all adds up to 2-1/2 hours of seasonal fun.
Pat Boone & Family Christmas & Thanksgiving Specials DVD can be purchased at Amazon U.S. now. In March, MPI will follow up with Pat Boone & Family Springtime & Easter Specials on DVD. Watch this space for more information as it becomes available! In the meantime, here's a special preview of Pat Boone & Family Christmas & Thanksgiving Specials!