Oak Ridge Boys
Member Since 2011
One of the longest-running groups in country music, the Oak Ridge Boys' career began as a gospel quartet before gradually modernizing their style and moving into secular country-pop. Yet even at the height of their popularity on the charts in the late '70s and early '80s, their sound always remained deeply rooted in country gospel harmony. The group's existence dates back to World War II, circa 1942-1943, when a Knoxville, Tenn., group began performing gospel songs in nearby Oak Ridge, the home of an atomic bomb research facility. Originally dubbed the Oak Ridge Quartet, the group first appeared at the Grand Ole Opry in 1945 and made their first recordings in 1947.
The Oak Ridge Boys won their first Grammy® in 1970 for "Talk About the Good Times." In 1973, they recorded a single with Johnny Cash and the Carter Family called "Praise the Lord and Pass the Soup," which brought them their first appearance on the country charts. In 1975, the group opened a series of tour dates for Roy Clark.
The group scored a breakout Top 5 hit in 1977 with "Y'all Come Back Saloon," the title song from their MCA label debut. The follow-up, "You're the One," reached No. 2, and their next album, 1978's Room Service, gave them their first No. 1 hit in "I'll Be True to You" as well as two more Top 5 hits in "Cryin' Again" and "Come on In." They hit No. 1 again in 1980 with "Trying to Love Two Women."
In 1981, they recorded "Elvira," an obscure, doo wop-style novelty song from the '60s, which became a country and pop sensation. It appeared on the album Fancy Free, which became the group's first chart-topping album and their first million-seller, to boot. The title cut of their chart-topping 1982 follow-up, Bobbie Sue, also went number one, followed by 1983's American Made with yet another No. 1 title track. Its follow-up, "Love Song," followed suit. In 1984, Deliver became the group's third No. 1 country album, and they landed two more No. 1 singles that year with "Everyday" and "I Guess It Never Hurts to Hurt Sometimes." Three No. 1 singles arrived in 1985: "Little Things," "Make My Life with You," and "Touch a Hand, Make a Friend." They hit No. 1 in 1987 with "It Takes a Little Rain" and "This Crazy Love." The group wrapped up the decade with 1988's "Gonna Take a Lot of River." The group released "No Matter How High" in 1990. For those counting, it totaled 16 career chart-toppers and 29 Top 10 hits.
The Oak Ridge Boys-Richard Sterban, Joe Bonsall, William Lee Golden, and Duane Allen-released The Boys Are Back in 2009. They became member of the Grand Ole Opry on August 6, 2011 and released their latest album, It's Only Natural, featuring a 30th anniversary recording of "Elvira" in August 2011.