Gospel and Country music legends and American music icons The Oak Ridge Boys received two nominations for the 2015 Gospel Music Association (GMA) DOVE Awards, according to the press conference held Wednesday at Lipscomb University in Nashville, Tennessee.
The award-winning quartet received a nod for Bluegrass/Country Album of the Year for their recent gospel recording, which hit the street on May 26th. Rock of Ages, Hymns and Gospel Favorites (Gaither Music Group), a 15-song project produced by Ben Isaacs (Gaither Vocal Band, The Isaacs) and group member Duane Allen, showcases the group’s acclaimed, four-part harmonies and celebrates their musical roots.
The Oaks were also honored with a nomination for Country Song of the Year for their recent country single, “Sweet Jesus,” an original song co-written by Kenny Vernon and country music star Merle Haggard, who joined the group for the recording of the song.
“We loved the recitation [within the song] and thought if we could just get Merle to do that recitation we would be thrilled,” described Allen. “But then, it worked so well that Merle just kept on singing with us on the last chorus—a once in a lifetime experience for all of The Oak Ridge Boys. It is one of the biggest thrills of my career to get to sing and record with Merle Haggard.”
“When I saw that our Rock of Ages album is up for two very special DOVE Awards my heart jumped,” stated Joe Bonsall. “This has been a special project. Each of us laid our hearts on the line on this project, and these classic songs are a huge part of our lives and our constant walk with Christ, so to have the Gospel Music Association recognize the work is an honor beyond words! We are so very blessed.”
The Rock of Ages, Hymns and Gospel Favorites recording also features guest vocals from the award-winning Isaacs, who joined the Boys for the song “Peace Within.”
The Oak Ridge Boys were formed in1943, in Knoxville, Tenn., by gospel music singer, manager, promoter and businessman Wally Fowler. The current lineup, which came together years later (William Lee Golden, 1965; Duane Allen, 1966; Richard Sterban, 1972; and Joe Bonsall 1973), has scored 17 No. 1 hits, released more than 40 albums and achieved worldwide sales of over 41 million units. They have received five GRAMMY® Awards and 15 CMA Award nominations, winning two of them; and they were inducted into the Gospel Music Hall of Fame in 2000.
In April of this year it was announced that the group will be inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame this October in the Modern Era Artist category.