Artist Spotlight: The Oak Ridge Boys

With their status as country music legends firmly cemented The Oak Ridge Boys recently added Grand Ole Opry cast member to their list of accomplishments. In this feature, learn more about that and the band's just-released Cracker Barrel-exclusive It's Only Natural album!

To say that the Oak Ridge Boys have been successful is underselling the impact that the band has had on country music, nay, music. After years as a gospel quartet with an ever-changing roster of singers, the band ultimately became successful with a switch to country music with the core muscians being William Lee Golden, Duane Allen, Richard Sterban, and Joe Bonsall.

Known for their hits like “Elvira,” Allen says that “even though it was a novelty song, it has lasted to become one of our signatures, with Richard’s baritone part being the part people remember the most.” And he went on to note that the band wasn’t even the first artists to record the Dallas Frazier tune, stating: “it was recorded by Dallas himself and then later by Kenny Rogers and the First Edition and even Rodney Crowell before it made its way to us.”

The band is mighty proud of their history and that they should be with classic hits like “Lucky Moon,” “No Batter How High,” “Gonna Take A Lot of River,” “Beyond Those years,” “True Heart” and of course “Elvira.”

All of these songs are featured on The Oak Ridge Boys’ new Cracker Barrel-exclusive It’s Only Natural, with Joe Bonsall saying “We updated the songs a little bit, making them fit more of a contemporary sound [in production] without losing the core of what made the songs hits in the first place.” 

And taking a listen to the album, one thing’s for certain, no matter how the production methods change, the Oak Ridge Boys’ signature four-part harmonies will always be the center of what the group does.

In addition to the classic hits on the record, the band recorded five new tunes including the fantastic opener “What’cha Gonna Do?” and the closer Joe Bonsall-penned “Sacrifice…For Me,” a beautiful song that Bonsall says “was inspired by the brave men and women who have given their lives for me to live a life of freedom.”

When discussing the choice to release It’s Only Natural through Cracker Barrel, Duane Allen says “it’s really suits us and our audience well.” Bonsall added; “and [Cracker Barrel’s] great at marketing the music too, with the album playing throughout each store while people are dining on the great food they serve and then it’s right there on the check-out counter [during the featured disc months] when people leave.”

In addition to releasing the album, the Oak Ridge Boys also recently celebrated becoming official members of the Grand Ole Opry cast on August 6, 2011. “This is a brotherhood and a sisterhood like no other,” Joe Bonsall said. “We have been friends of the Opry for a long time but we didn’t see it coming. It was a total surprise.”

Joining the legendary Grand Ole Opry and joining the Cracker Barrel family while celebrating the 30th anniversary year of the Oak Ridge Boys’ legendary hit “Elvira,” what more could the band ask for?

“Nothing,” says Richard Sturban. “It’s been a great year.”

And, that, it has with a fantastic new album out now in Cracker Barrel stores, the Oak Ridge Boys look forward to several more fantastic years ahead.

For More Info  on the Oak Ridge Boys, please visit their website!

If you wish to purchase their album, you can visit a Cracker Barrel store or purchase it by clicking here.