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.
Every time they step before an audience, the Oaks bring three decades of charted singles, and 50 years of tradition to bear on a stage show widely acknowledged as among the most exciting anywhere. And each remains as enthusiastic about the process as they have ever been.
“When I go on stage, I get the same feeling I had the first time I sang with The Oak Ridge Boys,” said lead singer Duane Allen. “This is the only job I’ve ever wanted to have.”
“Like everyone else in the group,” added bass singer extraordinaire Richard Sterban, “I was a fan of the Oaks before I became a member. I’m still a fan of the group today. Being in The Oak Ridge Boys is the fulfillment of a lifelong dream.”
The two, along with tenor Joe Bonsall and baritone William Lee Golden, comprise one of Country’s truly legendary acts. That being said, the band continually finds ways to stay strong.
They recently covered a White Stripes song, receiving accolades from rock reviewers. They’ve 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 more than 30 top-ten hits.
The Oaks represent a tradition that extends back to World War II. The original group, based in Knoxville, Tenn., began performing Country and Gospel music in nearby Oak Ridge.
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’ve also recorded with George Jones, Johnny Cash, Roy Rogers, Billy Ray Cyrus, and Ray Charles.
“We’ve experienced a lot of longevity,” said Sterban. “I think the reason is the love we have for what we do the desire, the longing to actually get up there and do it. We love to sing together . . . to harmonize together. It’s what our lives are all about.”
• “Y’All Come Back Saloon”
• “You’re the One”
• “Sail Away”
• “Leaving Louisiana in the Broad Daylight”
• “Trying to Love Two Women”
• “(I’m Settin’) Fancy Free”
• “Bobbie Sue”
• “Thank God for Kids”
• “American Made”
• “Love Song”
• “I Guess It Never Hurts to Hurt Sometimes”
• “Make My Life with You”
• “Little Things”