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Where Are They Now: Dave Boyer

Kevan Breitinger

Dave Boyer’s story is as dramatic as his music, running the gamut of the show business experience. Starting out in the early ‘60s as a nightclub singer, he made a home base for himself in the popular “500 Club” of Atlantic City, NJ. The club served as a hangout for many of the day’s popular artists, including the “Rat Pack.” Having changed his name to Joey Stevens on the advice of his manager, Boyer was the established Master of Ceremonies, serving as host often to Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin & Jerry Lewis, Sammy Davis, Jr. and Milton Berle. He also appeared with Martin & Lewis on the Today Show when it originated from Atlantic City.  


But the high life was more than the young performer could handle, and the lifestyle of drugs and alcohol took a toll, costing him his marriage in 1965. That was also the year his father, Reverend Ralph Boyer, passed away, and by the end of that rough year, Dave was ready to call it all quits. He began his journey to the railroad tracks in the town of Marietta, where he was going to kill himself, when he passed a small church. The church triggered long forgotten memories of his childhood, of his father and family, and of the happiness he once had. This flood of joyful memories brought him to his knees in tears, and he forced himself to make his way to a phone. Confused and in pain, he called his brother who was a pastor at his late father’s church. After hours of praying together on that fateful night, God reached down to Dave and touched his soul. Joey Stevens was laid to rest forever, and Dave Boyer was reborn through the Lord. This miracle was not over - after a two year separation, June and their daughter returned to Dave to begin building a Christ-centered life together. 


From that point on, Dave Boyer began bringing the word of God to the far corners of the world through his singing ministry. His unique style of Big Band Gospel music reached people of all ages and his testimony opened doors for hundreds of youth programs all over the US. Recording over 20 albums, Dave appeared at the White House by invitation of Presidents Ford and Carter, and sang at the Inauguration Ball for President Reagan in 1980.  But he didn’t take his message to the high courts alone. Dave is quick to add, “I also enjoy ministering to those that come for food and shelter at the Atlantic City Rescue Mission, and many other Rescue Missions in many states.”  


The Big Band/Gospel is a trend that is slowly growing and Dave is in the forefront once again. When I asked Dave about the different venues in which he appears today, he replied, “The venues vary from churches to theaters, banquet events to country clubs.  I've had the opportunity to sing with the Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, Grand Rapids Symphony Orchestra and in many other music theater venues around the country. A lot of the big bands that are out there don't have big names, but I'm honored to work with several bands around the country like the Tulsa Praise Orchestra, Trinity Jazz Orchestra in Pennsylvania, and many others.”  


Dave's ministry and musical style are continuing to gain popularity with people from all walks of life in all age groups as he performs with church bands, orchestras, and solo. Dave Boyer is very clear on the legacy he’d like to leave as well. He wants “his life to be a living testimony to the fact that God is forever with us, everyday, and everywhere.” It doesn’t get any better than that, does it? 



Originally published November 30, 2007.

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