Lead singer Duane Allen, bass singer extraordinaire Richard Sterban, along with tenor Joe Bonsall and baritone William Lee Golden, comprise one of Country’s truly legendary acts. Their string of hits includes the 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, Fancy Free, Gonna Take A Lot Of River and many others. 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 over 30 Top Ten hits.
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.
They produced one of the first Country music videos. In 1977, Easy, although not released in the U.S., reached the #3 slot in Australia. They participated in the first American popular music headline tour in the USSR. The Oak Ridge Boys have appeared before five presidents. And they have become one of the most enduringly successful touring groups anywhere, still performing some 150 dates each year at major theaters, fairs and festivals across the U.S. and Canada.
They proved their business acumen in any number of ways, including such steps as declining the chance to sit on the couch during their many appearances on the Tonight Show. We said, eIf you ere going to give us four minutes on the couch with Johnny, we’d rather have four minutes to give you another song that lets people know what got us here,’ says Allen. We didn’t get here talking; we got here singing.
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. The group recently recorded a new CD, The Boys Are Back, with 34-year-old, Pop-Rock producer Dave Cobb. Cobb encouraged them to stretch musically.The Oaks’ new music has attracted the attention of a younger audience, while reminding dedicated fans that their favorite group is ever-evolving. 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, eBoys, 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.