First Hit #1: June 19, 1961
Pat Boone is aggressively uncool. It’s something that has gotten worse in recent years, from becoming a bit of a right wing politician to recording an ill conceived ironic metal album, but it’s always been part of his personality really. If all the pop stars went to a party, Boone would stay at home so he could get up early for church the next morning.
So it’s always deeply embarrassing whenever he attempts to do something that even approaches edgy. A song about a girl who commits suicide? Boone is completely inappropriate. If that girl did it due to cheating on him? I’m not sure Boone’s girl would even know how to cheat on him. They’d have one of those aggressively chaste relationships that involved only ice cream socials and the rare hand holding, and the only sex would be once a week after marriage. He doesn’t seem to even grasp any emotions outside of mild bemusement at the situation in the song.
This isn’t a political project so I’m not going to go into Boone’s politics or religion. I’ll just observe that because of his politics and religion, he tries extremely hard to project a wholesome and clean image, even when doing an ironic metal album. This is what he’s always done, and it makes a song about infidelity and suicide sound like it’s about taking Sally Mae to the Ice Cream social and maybe holding hands if you’re lucky. He just can’t shake his compulsion towards being clean cut, and it undermines Moody River.