Singer to light up the evening for Catholic education


Forty years after recording her breakthrough hit “You Light Up My Life” for the movie of the same name, Debby Boone is still surprised at the platinum-selling album’s longevity and its impact on listeners.

“It’s a nice song,” she remembered initially thinking. “I had no idea that it would be so big.”

Nevertheless, she’s grateful for the success it has given her, and the opportunity to connect with audiences —including her upcoming appearance in Sewell on Saturday, Dec. 2 at Investors Bank Performing Arts Center.

Boone, the daughter of singer Pat Boone and Shirley Foley Boone (daughter of country music star Red Foley), certainly comes from strong musical roots.

As the third of four children, Boone spent the first four years of her life in Hackensack, N.J., before moving to Los Angeles with her family.

From a young age, she was educated in the family business, so to speak.

“My mother loved tight harmonies, and taught my sisters and I,” she said.

At 14, she began singing, touring and recording with her family. Her parents’ knowledge and experience, though, also came with the expectation of a strong work ethic to the craft.

“I took the work seriously, professionally, knowing I have a responsibility to the public,” she said.

Her success of “You Light Up My Life” at the age of 21 garnered her a Grammy for Best New Artist, and Academy of Country Music Award for Top New Female Vocalist.

Boone’s stage appearance at Sewell will coincide with the Digital Debut of the 1977 album, which has never before been available in the CD format; concertgoers can purchase it at the venue days before its official release.

She is also happy that the evening will benefit the South Jersey Scholarship Fund for Catholic Education in the Diocese of Camden. Boone’s last year of high school was spent at the all-girls Marymount Catholic High School in Los Angeles, where she was active with the choir and onstage musicals.

“Marymount shaped me,” she said, adding that she believes all children should receive the opportunity to be beneficiaries of a Catholic education that “prepares them to be productive members of society.”

Boone wants concert attendees to be prepared for a “nice, sentimental, warm, holiday feeling” evening, with songs, stories and a touching tribute to her late mother-in-law, Rosemary Clooney.

“Music and Memories with Debby Boone” will begin at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 2 at Investors Bank Performing Arts Center, 519 Hurffville-Crosskeys Road, Sewell.

Tickets are on sale through Ticketmaster (1-800-745-3000) or the Box Office (856-218-8902).