The OAK RIDGE BOYS – The Boys are Back with the BOYS NIGHT OUT Album!
If you remember the Oak Ridge Boys, chances are you are a fan of songs like Elvira, Bobbie Sue, You’re The One, American Made, Fancy Free and many others.
And if you’re a fan, then you will also be happy to know The Oak Ridge Boys have a new, “Live!” album out – and to boot – a brand new label, Cleopatra Records in Los Angeles!
The album is titled: The Oak Ridge Boys / Boys Night Out,” and was released April 15, 2014.
Cleopatra Records is very pleased to have the Oak Ridge Boys aboard and are promoting the group to a new market and audience. Further, it appears a promotional campaign is underway that will afford the group a chance to reach fans worldwide. The label will be promoting the album both here in the states and overseas. And the Oak Ridge Boys themselves are pretty jazzed about the whole concept.
Lead singer, Duane Allen relates: “A year ago we decided to record ourselves live during our shows to see how we were doing, because we felt like we were still singing pretty well. Jim Halsey had been talking with them (Cleopatra) about creating a new eclectic market for us like Rick Rubin did for Johnny Cash. And how better to do that than with what we really are – with our live music?
We were looking for a label like that. And how better to [promote ourselves] than to introduce the Oak Ridge Boys to a bunch of college kids that weren’t even born yet when “Elvira” was a big hit for us? (laughs) And how better to do it than with us recording it with our own band – with our show – the way we do it?”
And if this worldwide promotion and direction works, then where will the Oaks go from here?
Allen continues: “…if this live project goes, we’ve got twenty-two live shows recorded – over 60 songs. We have an endless supply of hits and classic Oak Ridge Boys songs – we are ready to follow up! And if Cleopatra comes back to us and asks for an album of new songs, we’re very open to that. “
Joe Bonsall concurs: “We’ve already done interviews and seen press releases in Germany, Scandinavia, England and France, because Cleopatra has a worldwide presence. We haven’t been overseas in years so we don’t know what the market is like for us. But we do know that the folks overseas like their more traditional groups that have been around a while. They do have an appreciation for that. So if this album hits over there, we might even find ourselves overseas a little bit more…it’s possible. And if that market opens up – how cool is that? If we produce a box of live albums that’s bigger than Music Row, chuckles Bonsall, then how cool is that?”
Also happy with the current status and direction of the group, bass singer, Richard Sterban, says he was a fan of the Oak Ridge Boys before he even joined them. “I was singing with a group called JD Sumner and the Stamps Quartet – and singing with Elvis. And when their (The Oak Ridge Boys) bass singer was leaving and the job was offered to me, I jumped at it because I was a fan of the group and I wanted to be a part of it.” And with a laugh he adds: “It proved to be a very WISE decision.”
And being on the road? What is that like these days? Good? Bad? Challenges?
Allen jumps in again stating: “I love being on the road. I love being in the bus…
I love touring America and watching the beauty go by. But the most important part about touring is the friends you make along the way. You’re in Columbus, Ohio and you see the same people’s faces, you’re in Orlando, FL, Pheonix, AZ or whatever, but you recognize the people from each place. And you grow to expect them.
In Lancaster PA – we’ve just been there at the American Music Theatre – and as a tradition there are foods and goodies that are made in the Pennsylvania Dutch Country that are unique to only that area. And at the end of the first song of both shows we do to sold-out crowds at that venue, people come down the isles and bring us all kinds of goodies and candies and peanut chews and wilbur buds and tasty cakes…all kinds of goodies – that’s a tradition.
So we look forward to the personalities of places. Those are real people that are bringing those things down to us and we recognize some of them, remembering that they brought us something the last time. So it’s the friends you make. We’re in the people business. That’s what we love.”
Joe Bonsall adds: “Also – you have to have a supportive family to do this. And we’ve all had our ups and downs at some point in our lives at one point or another, but for the most part we all have very loving families who support what we do. So you learn to play both sides of the coin. You go out on the road and you’re the “Oak Ridge Boys” and then you come home and you’re a good daddy, a good father, a good husband, etc., and try to make everything at home work well. You try to balance it out.
Sometimes we’re home more than folks with normal jobs. We’ve been plowing for three straight weeks right now – but now we’re home for the next five days. We make the best out of that home [time]. It takes a team to make a group like this grow – it takes a team to make a family go. So all aspects are covered and we just try to maintain a balance.”
Allen returns: “I think a lot of people make the mistake of pitting these things against each other. God, job, family…they’re all important to us. We don’t put them in competition with each other. We value all of them and try to get everything running parallel with each other.”
William Lee Golden inserts: “Challenges may have been harder for me than the rest of these guys. I’ve been through changes in life – at different times. Going through some changes right now. …I’ve made my share of…mistakes in life myself. Because when I’ve been juggling, I’ve dropped some oranges at times. …I have three older sons and a young 12-year old son, and I love all my kids. But it is challenging to try and keep that balance sometimes. But I love what I do with these guys (noting the other members) so it’s just life as I know it.”
Allen summarizes, “We’re all here for each other. We’re all four different, strong characters. There’s not one suit we all have to fit in. We don’t require each other to change to be a part of this group. We feel the differences we possess are what make us unique and that’s what makes us who we are. You add that all up – sometimes it comes out crazy – sometimes it comes out wonderful. We try to take the wonderful and leave the crazy on the table!” (Everyone laughs)
Well – the new album is way closer to “wonderful” than “crazy.” But what would be crazy-good would be if the Oak Ridge Boys have a huge comeback and continue to appeal to audiences in every country around the world.
And if you haven’t caught an Oak Ridge Boys concert lately – you’d better get going! They still have more energy than ever – they’re fans are still loud and proud and you still get that tingle up your spine when you hear those harmonies. Wow!
But if you can’t get to a concert right away, have no fear. Their newest album, “Oak Ridge Boys / Boys Night Out” was released April 15, 2014, and you can run out and get it right now. Or visit www.oakridgeboys.com for more information.
Loved this interview! Thanks guys! And Thanks to Hayley Miller at Webster & Associates too 😉