Theirs is one of the most distinctive and recognizable sounds in the music industry. The four-part harmonies and upbeat songs of The Oak Ridge Boys have spawned dozens of Country hits and a number one Pop smash, earned them Grammy, Dove, CMA, and ACM awards and garnered a host of other industry and fan accolades.
Lead singer Duane Allen, along with tenor Joe Bonsall and baritone William Lee Golden, and bass singer Richard Sterban, comprise one of Country's truly legendary acts. Their string of hits includes the Country-Pop chart-topper Elvira, as well as Bobbie Sue, Dream On, Thank God For Kids, American Made, I Guess It Never Hurts To Hurt Sometimes, Gonna Take A Lot Of River and many others.
The group has scored 12 gold, three platinum, and one double platinum album—plus one double platinum single—and had more than a dozen national Number One singles and over 30 Top Ten hits.
The Oakridge Boys’ original Gospel sound had a distinct Pop edge to it and, although it made for excitement and crowd appeal, it also ruffled purist feathers and left promoters unsure about the Oaks’ direction. Then in 1975, the Oaks were asked to open a number of dates for Roy Clark. Clark’s manager, Jim Halsey, was impressed by their abilities. “He came backstage and told us we were three-and-a-half minutes (meaning one hit record) away from being a major act,” says Bonsall. “He said we had one of the most dynamic stage shows he’d ever seen but that we had to start singing Country songs.” They took his advice and the result was a breakthrough.
Their career has spanned not only decades, but also formats. In 1977, Paul Simon tapped the Oaks to sing backup for his hit Slip Slidin’ Away, and they went on to record with George Jones, Brenda Lee, Johnny Cash, Roy Rogers, Billy Ray Cyrus, Bill Monroe, Ray Charles and even Shooter Jennings, the son of their old friend Waylon Jennings and Jessi Colter. In 2009, they covered a White Stripes song, receiving accolades from Rock reviewers. Most recently, the group recorded a duet with Merle Haggard for their 2015 Rock of Ages hymns and Gospel favorites album.
They proved themselves to be capable and tireless advocates of charitable and civic causes, serving as spokesmen and/or board members of fundraisers for the Boy Scouts of America, the National Committee for Prevention of Child Abuse (now, Prevent Child Abuse America), Feed The Children, the National Anthem Project and many more.
The Oak Ridge Boys have appeared before five presidents. And they have become one of the most enduringly successful touring groups anywhere. The Oaks’ high-energy stage show remains the heart and soul of what they do, and they refine it several times a year, striving to keep it fresh well into the future. “Back when we were struggling in the early 1970’s, Johnny Cash encouraged us. He booked us on his show in Las Vegas, and he paid us too much money. But his belief in us was the most important thing. He sat us down and told us, ‘Boys, you think it’s rough right now, but there’s magic in the four of you. I can feel that magic. I know there is magic there. Don’t break up.’”
And the rest is history.
That history will now forever be enshrined in the hallowed halls of the Country Music Hall of Fame in Nashville, Tennessee, where The Oak Ridge Boys were inducted on October 25, 2015.
Grammy Award Winners!
Sunday, May 21, 2017 8pm
Tickets: $64 - $79
The four-part harmonies and upbeat songs of Grammy award-winners The Oak Ridge Boys have spawned dozens of Country hits and a Number One Pop smash, Elvira. Every time they step before an audience, they bring four decades of charted singles, and 50 years of tradition, to a stage show widely acknowledged as among the most exciting anywhere!