Joey Stevens (Dave Boyer)
This is an article about a good singer who supposedly worked with the Rat Pack in Atlantic City. Does anyone have any information whether this is correct?
Gospel jazz concert to feature 'Lost Rat Packer'
By CLAYTON PARK
Calvary Temple will host a gospel jazz concert on Sunday, July 22, featuring a Christian recording artist who, prior to his conversion, used to perform with Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Jerry Lewis and Sammy Davis Jr.
As a young big band singer working in Atlantic City's popular 500 Club in the late 1950s and early '60s, Dean Boyer frequently served as the opening act and master of ceremonies for members of the legendary "Rat Pack" - all of whom regularly performed there - and even sang a duet with Sinatra, doing a rendition of "Pennies from Heaven."
Boyer, who performed in those days under the stage alias "Joey Stephens," earned the nickname "The Lost Rat Packer" for his association with the famous stars.
But as his showbiz career was taking off, Boyer, strangely enough, found himself plunging into an increasingly deep state of depression because of a growing alcohol and drug addiction and, as his bio sheet describes it, falling into a "self-centered life, thinking in terms of fame and fortune only."
The final straws for him came when his wife, June, left with their daughter, in 1964, followed by the death of his father, the Rev. Ralph Boyer, the following year.
Confused and in pain, Dean Boyer was contemplating taking his life when he called one of his brothers, who, like their father, was a preacher. After hours of prayer with his brother, Boyer decided against suicide, opting instead to become a Christian.
From that point on, "Joey Stephens" was no more. In his place: a reborn Dean Boyer, who now devotes his life to spreading the Good News of the Gospel - with a swing beat.
"I take gospel songs, both traditional and modern, and put it down with a big band arrangement," explains Boyer, who still includes some standard jazz swing tunes in his repertoire. "I'm a big fan of all styles of music."
As a Christian musician, Boyer has recorded 23 albums and has sang at the White House on three separate occasions - for presidents Ford, Carter and Reagan. He has also performed numerous times on television, including appearances on The 700 Club, the Trinity Broadcasting Network and a Johnny Cash Youth Special titled "Is There A Family In The House?," which also featured Bob Hope, Michael Landon, Glenn Ford and Chad Everett.
He also works closely with music arranger/conductor Ralph Carmichael, whom Boyer says is known as "The Father of Contemporary Christian Music," whose credits include having worked with Amy Grant and Andre Crouch, as well as secular artists such as the late Nat King Cole, Jack Jones and jazz great Stan Kenton.
Today, Boyer and his wife June, who reconciled after a two-year separation, make their home in Atlanta, Ga.
Boyer says he is looking forward to performing in Seattle, where he will be accompanied by a local gospel big band called Northwest Gospel Jazz. "I'm thrilled that you have a great big band in Seattle," says Boyer, who adds that "I love your city because it's so wonderfully artistic."
Northwest Gospel Jazz rehearses regularly at Calvary Temple and is led by director Brian Behrle, who is also a member of the church, according to Calvary Temple music administrator Elizabeth Grossglass. She says Northwest Gospel Jazz's more than two dozen musicians come from churches from throughout the Greater Seattle area.
Boyer and Northwest Gospel Jazz will perform a couple of numbers at both the 9:15 a.m. and 11 a.m. Sunday worship services at Calvary Temple. A full concert at the church will be held at 6 p.m. that evening. Admission is free, but an offering will be taken, says Grossglass. Calvary Temple is located at 6810 8th Ave. NE in the Roosevelt District.
For more information, call 525-7473. (