One doesn’t need to be a country music fan to appreciate the incredible harmonies of the Oak Ridge Boys. That is why over the last four decades, the group has registered 12 gold, three platinum and one double platinum album.
Although the original Oak Ridge Boys began in the 1940’s in Knoxville, Tenn., singing country and gospel in nearby Oak Ridge, the current lineup of lead singer Duane Allen, tenor Joe Bonsall, the bearded baritone voice of William Lee Golden and Richard Sterban singing bass has been together since 1973. Together, they have more than a dozen number one singles and over 30 Top Ten hits, including iconic singles such as “Elvira,” “American Made” and “Y’all Come Back Saloon.”
“The fact that we love doing what we do is such an important part of our longevity, and even after all these years, we are still having fun doing it, too,” said Sterban. “We love taking our music live to our audiences. Also, the creative process is very important to the Oak Ridge Boys, reinventing ourselves with new music and creating a new energy.”
On Sunday, March 9, the Oak Ridge Boys will head to Wolf Trap on their two customized Prevost buses to play a venue Sterban calls one of their favorites.
“We used to play every year, but it’s been a couple of years now so it’s going to be great to come back there,” said Sterban. “It’s a great atmosphere there with everyone on the lawn cheering and the acoustics make it a great place to do a show. It’s a real honor for us.”
Expect plenty of hits when the Boys come to town, as Sterban previews a great evening of family entertainment, with something for everyone.
“We try to include as many hits as possible, but we also bring out some new music as well to bring that energy, and we also do a gospel song or two as tribute to where we have come from,” he said. “Being near Washington, D.C., we are very patriotic guys, so we will sing some songs that honor our country and our troops and veterans.”
Of course, there are certain songs the Oak Ridge Boys have to do.
“I think the country music police would bust us if we didn’t do ‘Elvira,’” said Sterban. “We have so many songs and we kind of pride ourselves on the fact that very rarely we will do the same show twice to keep it interesting for us.”
On April 15, the Oak Ridge Boys will release its first-ever live album, “Boys Night Out,” on Cleopatra Records.
“We had never done that before. We recorded a whole series of our shows live, went and listened to them all, and picked the best parts of each show and mixed them together to make one great live compilation,” said Sterban. “After we picked the songs, we went into the studio and tweaked the vocals a bit, but not too perfect, so we could keep the live sound.”
Even though it’s taken this long for a live album, there’s little the band hasn’t done or accomplished in the industry. They’ve won numerous Grammy, Dove, CMA, and ACM awards and garnered a host of other industry and fan accolades.
They’ve even played for a Who’s Who list of dignitaries, including King Gustaf of Sweden; Her Royal Highness Princess Caroline of Monaco; Her Royal Highness Princess Anne of Great Britain; President and Mrs. Jimmy Carter; President and Mrs. Ronald Reagan; President and Mrs. George H. W. Bush; President and Mrs. Bill Clinton; and President and Mrs. George W. Bush.
Looking ahead, the Oak Ridge Boys have no plans on slowing down and will continue to provide some of the best music in the country.
For more information, call 703-255-1900 or visit www.wolftrap.org.