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The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman

The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman


    What happens at the Debby Boone concert…

    Debby Boone belts out "Sway," a popular mambo song, in true Vegas headliner style at Stony Brook's Staller Center. (Kevin Yoo / The Statesman)

    The Staller Center transported Stony Brook students and community members back to the glamorous days of 50s and 60s Las Vegas with a night of swing music and jazz tunes performed by Debby Boone.

    The stage was lit with dull purple hues to complement the dazzling brass instruments and a beautiful piano at the front of the stage.

    The band began to play the classic song “Sway,” made popular by Dean Martin.

    Out came Boone.

    She owned the stage in her dazzling silver dress that radiated class and style, matching silver glittering heels and equally sparkling earrings.

    She worked that dress like a classic star of a Vegas headlining show. She performed small twirls accented by the fact that the train of the dress was attached to her wrist to aid in the Vegas spirit she was portraying.

    Her voice far exceeded the dress and stage. She sang “Sway” in English but blended in Spanish from the original song that Dean Martin used, “Quién Será.”

    Boone’s new album, “Swing This” is reminiscent of these 50s and 60s Vegas tunes, yet she did not perform much from her own album; she instead preferred to cover greats such as Frank Sinatra; her father, Pat Boone; and her late mother-in-law, Rosemary Clooney.

    Boone, with such famous relatives, was welcomed into the life of the socialites and celebrities of Las Vegas. Throughout her performance, she told stories of her frequent stints there.

    Boone said that Vegas in the 60s was the highlight of her life, and she was “enamored with glitz and glamour.” She joked, “Can you tell I like glitz and glamour?”

    It was evident in her attire, but she mocked her dress, and laughed at the fact that her shoes were far too big and were falling off her feet.

    She not only sang Sinatra songs like “That Old Black Magic,” and his own cover of “Get me to the Church on Time,” she accompanied them with stories.

    One story involved weddings. Weddings are important to Boone, and Las Vegas, so she spoke of them with fond memories.

    “Big stars married on the fly in Vegas,” she said. Sinatra got married there, and Judy Garland was also married in Vegas…twice, Boone explaied with a laugh.

    She then sang “Hello Love” by Blossom Dear—it was the same song she sang at her daughter’s wedding in Paris. There was a slide show of the wedding, and it ended with a shot of the Eiffel Tower glowing in the middle of the night.

    She made the audience, approximately 200 people, feel as if they were a part of the Las Vegas scene. The intimate details she shared about the famous headliners were quite specific.

    She talked about how Sammie Davis, a member of the “rat pack,” was so obsessed with clothes that he had two dressing rooms.

    She mentioned one day when Barbra Streisand invited Boone and her father to her personal pool for drinks.

    Boone smiled and laughed during her tale when her grandfather, Red Foley, country music sensation at the time, headlined with Elvis.

    It should not really be a surprise to anyone at this point that Boone’s family is accustomed to fame. When she told a story about when her father played during the moon landing, the opening act was Sonny and Cher, she could not stop beaming with happiness and pride.

    Boone is by no means any less talented than her family. She closed the show with what is undoubtedly the most popular song in her repertoire, “You Light up my Life.”

    She laughed again, “You didn’t think I’d come here and not do it?” The audience, most of whom were old enough to recognize the song, instantly perked up.

    Because she was so popular during the 70s, there were not many Stony Brook students present. Patrick Kelly, director of operations for the Staller Center, said that Boone was invited to perform because the directors of Staller like to have a wide variety.

    “We try to do a lot of shows that are eclectic,” he said.

    As Boone prepared to leave for the evening, she closed with the line “Remember, what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas.” She was so elegant that there was no chance anything she said could be construed as cliché.

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