Pat Boone clears up photo mystery


Former gospel singer and pop star Pat Boone cleared up a mystery on Friday.

What about that Las Vegas photo?

No, not the scandalous, career-killing kind.

The one that showed Boone, a devout Christian, staunch conservative and family values standard bearer, front and center with his young daughters at The Beatles' 1964 stop in Las Vegas.

It was a business trip, said Boone, 77, who was in town to sing the national anthem at the Veterans Day parade on Friday.

The Boones were among 11,000 who jammed the Convention Center to see the mop-headed phenoms.

Ironically, Boone's singing career was in decline because of the Beatles.

"Suddenly all of this was drying up, not just for me but for everyone," he said.

So he decided to take a shot at cashing in on the Beatles' popularity.

He hired a portrait painter.

"I had him paint a picture, individual and group portrait of the Beatles and then I knew a guy in the marketing business and we lithographed these prints. Put 'em in packages, put a numbered stub in the packages and sold 'em all over the country through Sears and I was making more money selling Beatles pictures than selling my own records.

"We had a big drawing and brought about 30 people from all over the country to Las Vegas to the Beatles show."

In between the 4 p.m. matinee and evening performance, they visited with Paul, John, George and Ringo.

Boone recalled the Beatles were in the middle of checking out video cameras to record their U.S. visit. They were familiar with Boone's lithograph prints and complimented him on the quality.

Boone was surprised when the Beatles photo surfaced a year ago. Las Vegas political consultant Sig Rogich had passed it along to talk-show host Alan Stock, who presented it to Boone at a fundraising event in Los Angeles a year ago.

"He was thrilled," said Stock, who emceed the Veterans Day parade for the 13th year in a row Friday.

PRESIDENTIAL DELAY

Longtime Las Vegas TV show host Tony Sacca was back home in South Philly on Tuesday for what turned out to be an eventful funeral for his mother.

The funeral procession was nearing the cemetery outside Darby when traffic came to an unscheduled halt, a rare occurrence because funeral processions usually get the right of way.

Sacca, host of "Entertainment Las Vegas Style," looked out and saw the limo carrying President Barack Obama drive past the hearse carrying the casket of his mother, Carmella, 88, who died Nov. 4.

"I said, 'Look at this, mother is getting a presidential drive-by,' " Sacca recalled Friday.

"It was a touching moment. She would have been thrilled," he said, to have the president a few feet away on the day of her funeral.

The president was visiting a school in Darby.

A detour was necessary, causing a 20-minute delay in getting to the burial site.

When they arrived, the priest had left without offering the customary last prayers.

Sacca said he plans to ask the diocese to explain why the priest couldn't wait a few more minutes.

SIGHTINGS

Usher, singing his hit "Without You" to the crowd at Haze (Aria at CityCenter) on Thursday night after his duet with Romeo Santos earlier at the 12th annual Latin Grammy Awards. Over at The Bank (Bellagio): Mexican pop-rock band Maná, celebrating their Latin Grammy Award ... Joe Jackson, having lunch at LeThai restaurant, 523 Fremont St., on Friday.

THE PUNCH LINE

"You try concentrating with Mitt Romney smiling at you. That is one handsome dude." -- From David Letterman's Top Ten Rick Perry Excuses.

Norm Clarke can be reached at 702-383-0244 or norm@reviewjournal.com. Find additional sightings and more online at www.normclarke.com. Follow Norm on Twitter @Norm_Clarke.

 

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