Teen-idol-cum-aging-crooner Pat Boone comes to Washington this week for his first address to a group he has long helped fund: the conservative Heritage Foundation. Boone says it will be a welcome change of venue from his home base in Beverly Hills, where, he says, "I feel like a Don Quixote tilting at windmills." The windmills? Hollywood's entertainment studios. "They've force-fed rap music to kids," he says, "selling them the idea that if you want to be a recording artist, you have to have been to prison, worked as a pimp, and have been shot at." Boone just finished an album of R&B duets with the likes of James Brown and Smokey Robinson, but he says he steered clear of political talk during those recording sessions: "Many people say to me, 'I believe everything you say, Boone.' But the entertainment industry is overwhelmingly liberal; most artists just go with the flow."
At Heritage, Boone will talk up his memoir, Pat Boone's America: 50 years. Then the man who once battled Elvis for chart space is off to Congress to lobby for a flag-desecration ban and higher obscenity fines and check on pals like outgoing Majority Leader Bill Frist and Utah Sen. Orrin Hatch. Boone is hunting for new beltway buddies, too, trying to land a face-to-face with Karl Rove, who recently sent him a thank-you note for releasing a multimedia package called For My Country: Ballad of the National Guard.