Publish date:
Updated on

Pat Boone earns second #1 hit with “April Love”

In the mid 1950s, two young white men began their successful musical careers by bringing the sound of black rhythm-and-blues music to predominantly white mainstream-pop audiences. Both were steeped in religion and gospel music as boys, and both were raised in the segregated South, but one important barrier separated them in childhood: a set of railroad tracks. On the "wrong" side of the tracks in Tupelo, Mississippi, lived Elvis Presley, who would go on to become the King of Rock and Roll. On the "right" side in Nashville, Tennessee, lived Pat Boone, who would briefly rival Presley in terms of chart success, though in a style that never strayed from the conservative mainstream. On this day in 1957, in a year most people now associate with the music of early rockers like Elvis, the Everly Brothers and Buddy Holly, Pat Boone earned the second of his three career #1 hits when "April Love" topped the Billboard pop chart.

The gentle ballad "April Love" was the theme song from a long-forgotten 1957 film of the same name, starring Pat Boone as a delinquent kid from the rough streets of Chicago who finds true love on his uncle's Kentucky farm in the form of the neighbor's daughter, played by a young Shirley Jones. It was Boone's second film of the year, after Bernardine, and its theme song topped the charts just three weeks after the somewhat more raucous title tune from Elvis Presley's third film, Jailhouse Rock.

Fully embraced by mainstream media and advertisers, Pat Boone had just become the host of ABC Television's The Pat Boone-Chevy Showroom

FACT CHECK: We strive for accuracy and fairness. But if you see something that doesn't look right, click here to contact us!


Worst air raid on London

On the evening of December 29, 1940, London suffers its most devastating air raid when Germans firebomb the city. Hundreds of fires caused by the exploding bombs engulfed areas of London, but firefighters showed a valiant indifference to the bombs falling around them and saved more

Texas enters the Union

Six months after the congress of the Republic of Texas accepts U.S. annexation of the territory, Texas is admitted into the United States as the 28th state. After gaining independence from Spain in the 1820s, Mexico welcomed foreign settlers to sparsely populated Texas, and a more

The making of an English martyr

Archbishop Thomas Becket is brutally murdered in Canterbury Cathedral by four knights of King Henry II of England, apparently on orders of the king. In 1155, Henry II appointed Becket as chancellor, a high post in the English government. Becket proved a skilled diplomat and won more

U.S. Army massacres Indians at Wounded Knee

On this day in 1890, in the final chapter of America’s long Indian wars, the U.S. Cavalry kills 146 Sioux at Wounded Knee on the Pine Ridge reservation in South Dakota. Throughout 1890, the U.S. government worried about the increasing influence at Pine Ridge of the Ghost Dance more

Germans raid London

On this day, German aircraft blanket incendiary bombs over London, setting both banks of the Thames ablaze and killing almost 3,600 British civilians. The German targeting of the English capital had begun back in August, payback for British attacks on Berlin. In September, a more

Andrew Johnson is born

On this day in 1808, future President Andrew Johnson is born in Raleigh, North Carolina. Johnson’s career took him from mayor of Greeneville (1834) to the Tennessee legislature (1835) and then to the U.S. House of Representatives (1843). He went home to serve as Tennessee’s more

Bridge collapses in Ohio

A bridge in Ashtabula, Ohio, collapses on this day in 1876, causing a train to fall into a gorge, killing 80 passengers. The Lake Shore and Michigan Southern Railway brought passengers into Chicago from points east. On December 29, a snow storm forced one of the trains (two more

The “Railway Rapist” commits his first murder

The “Railway Rapist” attacks 19-year-old Alison Day and abducts her from a London train. Her strangled body was recovered two weeks later. Although the perpetrator had attacked and raped many women since 1982, this was his first murder. The Railway Rapist had a distinctive method more

Battle of Chickasaw Bluffs

On this day in 1862, at the Battle of Chickasaw Bluffs, Union General William T. Sherman is thwarted in his attempt to capture Vicksburg, Mississippi, when he orders a frontal assault on entrenched Rebels. Chickasaw Bluffs was part of Union General Ulysses S. Grant’s attempt to more

British capture Savannah, Georgia

On this day in 1778, British Lieutenant Colonel Archibald Campbell and his force of between 2500 and 3600 troops, which included the 71st Highland regiment, New York Loyalists, and Hessian mercenaries, launch a surprise attack on American forces defending Savannah, Georgia. more