The Oak Ridge Boys have some incredible stories to tell as their career has spanned decades. Here are some thing you may not know about The Oak Ridge Boys.
- They were once known as “The Oaks.” The original group, based in Knoxville, Tennessee, began performing Country and Gospel music in nearby Oak Ridge where the atomic bomb was being developed. They called themselves the Oak Ridge Quartet, and they began regular Grand Ole Opry appearances in the fall of ‘45. In the mid-fifties, they were featured in Time magazine as one of the top drawing Gospel groups in the nation.
- The Oak Ridge Boys almost didn’t happen. That’s right, back in the 60’s they had recruited Duane Allen who was attending college at the time, Allen said he was one semester away from graduating and couldn’t join at that time. After graduation, Allen was drafted by the Army but was unable to serve due to a medical condition. Allen just released from the Army drove straight to Nashville to see if he could still join the band. If Allen hadn’t shown up when he did, they were considering disbanding.
- Everyone thinks “Elvira” is about a woman. Wrong, Elvira is about a street in Madison, Tennessee.
- And Bobby Sue? Also not about a woman but about writer and friend–Dan, who had a little boy at the time, and one of the first words for a baby is ‘ba’ like bottle. So his son was saying ‘baba’ and it sparked this idea to write a song about ‘ba ba ba ba Bobbie Sue.’
- Recently, they have been awarded the Bob Hope Award for Excellence in Entertainment by the Congressional Medal of Honor Society – recognizing their work with The American Legion. The group accepted the award on August 8 at the Nashville Salutes Gala surrounded by 25 Medal of Honor recipients.
- The Oak Ridge Boys received two nominations for the 2015 Gospel Music Association (GMA) DOVE Awards. Received a nod for Bluegrass/Country Album of the Year for their recent gospel recording,”Rock of Ages, Hymns and Gospel Favorites.” They were also honored with a nomination for Country Song of the Year for their recent country single, “Sweet Jesus.”
- William Lee Golden known as the bearded one in the group hasn’t shaved or trimmed his beard since 1980. He told us there are a couple of things one learns when growing a beard, it will turn gray and at some point it stops growing.
- Yes, The Oak Ridge Boys are still out on the road performing 150 shows a year. They will be performing in Nashville during the month of October for the Grand Ole Opry 90th Celebration.
- They are the longest running act at the Kentucky State Fair. They have played over 40 years at the Fair.
- A cappella group Home Free worked with The Oak Ridge Boys to record their 1981 hit “Elvira.” Watch the video below; we think the fans will approve of this new version.
The Oak Ridge Boys will be inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in October. Looks like there will be no slowing down for these guys anytime soon. And if you ever get the chance to sit down with these guys, do it! It will be one of your most memorable moments ever.