oak ridges blackerGREENVILLE, Ky. (7/4/19) — One of the members of a decades-long, hit-making musical group recently spoke about the group’s love of its country and the patriotism that will be evident during their upcoming performance in Greenville.

Bass singer Richard Sterban of the Oak Ridge Boys said that while the group has been working on a new Christmas album — its eighth — he is especially nostalgic about one of the album songs that isn’t a Christmas tune. And, while the song is a Christian hymn, it also brings out his patriotism in a unique way.

“Amazing Grace” will appear on the album and will undoubtedly be performed as part of the Oak Ridge Boys performance during the Greenville “Saturdays on the Square” concert series July 27.

Sterban told the story of why the song is so important to the Oak Ridge Boys.

“When President (Ronald) Reagan was in office, we were invited to the Congressional BBQ on the White House lawn,” said Sterban in a phone interview Tuesday. “We were doing a sound check on the lawn, when we saw this tall man approaching with some other men around him. He told us that we were his favorite group and asked if we were going to perform certain album songs. We said, ‘Sure, Mr. Vice President’.”

Sterban said they knew the late then-Vice Pres. George H.W. Bush was truly a fan because he asked about “deep cut” songs and so that day, they gave him a mini concert. The friendship was established then and continued the rest of the late president’s life.

Shortly before his death, the late Pres. Bush asked the group if they would perform his favorite song — “Amazing Grace” — during his funeral. They promised they would, said Sterban

When the late president passed in November 2018 and the Oak Ridge Boys were notified, they left their Christmas tour in Washington state, traveled to Houston for the funeral, and immediately flew back to Washington for another scheduled performance without missing a beat.

“We did that without any sleep,” said Sterban “Not too bad for four guys that aren’t as young as they used to be.”

Sterban said he is proud of the close relationship that developed between the members of the group, their wives and the late Pres. Bush and the late Barbara Bush. They joined the Bushes at their summer retreat many times at Kennebunkport, Maine, he said.

Sterban said he is looking forward to the Muhlenberg County performance because of the area’s patriotic attitude.

“I believe we’ll feel welcome and at home,” he said.

While most of the “Saturdays on the Square” concerts are held in historic downtown Greenville, the Oak Ridge Boys concert venue has been changed to accommodate what is expected to be record crowd. The Oak Ridge Boys concert will begin at 8 p.m. CST outdoors at the Felix E. Martin Jr. Hall at the Muhlenberg County High School West Campus. All "Saturdays on the Square" concerts are free and open to the public.

Rita Dukes Smith
SurfKY News Director

 

2019 Tour Logo Comp

 

The following is background and news release information provided by the Oak Ridge Boys’ publicist Sanford Brokaw:

THE OAK RIDGE BOYS SET TO APPEAR IN GREENVILLE July 27 
The Oak Ridge Boys high-energy stage show remains the heart and soul of what they do best. This night will feature classic Gospel, Country and Patriotic music.
 
The Oak Ridge Boys have one of the most distinctive and recognizable sounds in the music industry. Their string of hits includes the pop chart-topper Elvira, as well as Bobbie Sue, Dream On, Thank God For Kids, American Made, I Guess It Never Hurts To Hurt Sometimes, Fancy Free, Y'All Come Back Saloon and many others. They've scored 12 gold, three platinum, and one double platinum album, plus one double platinum single, and had more than a dozen national Number One singles and over 30 Top Ten hits.
 
They will be performing some material from their new Lighting Rod Records album 17th Avenue Revival, produced by the critically acclaimed producer Dave Cobb. It was released on March 16, 2018. 
 
Cobb, who produces Chris Stapleton, had a special vision for the album. His vision for the group was to dig way back into their roots of gospel music, but a different kind of gospel. One that took a hard look at the early days of rock and roll, which was influenced by spiritual or black gospel. 
 
Aaron Badgley with Spill Magazine wrote "this is a brilliant and an important album. The Oak Ridge Boys have a lot to say and they use the medium of the album to say it. 17th Avenue Revival is a revival. It is a stunning album that should not be ignored, and much like Cash's work in his later years, this will be seen as a classic in years to come."
 
The four-part harmonies and upbeat songs of the Oak Ridge Boys have garnered a host of industry and fan accolades including Grammy, Dove, ACM, and CMA awards. In 2008 they were awarded the coveted Academy of Country Music Pioneer Award. Every time they step before an audience, the Oaks bring three decades of charted singles, and 50 years of tradition, to bear on a stage show widely acknowledged as among the most exciting anywhere.
 
Every time The Oak Ridge Boys step before an audience, they bring over four decades of charted singles and 50 years of tradition to bear on a stage show widely acknowledged as among the most exciting anywhere. They have one of the most distinctive and recognizable sounds in the music industry. Their string of hits includes the pop chart-topper “Elvira,” as well as “Bobbie Sue,” “Dream On,” “Thank God For Kids,” “American Made,” “I Guess It Never Hurts To Hurt Sometimes,” “Fancy Free,” “Gonna Take A Lot Of River” and many others.
 
They've scored 12 gold, three platinum, and one double platinum album, plus one double platinum single, and had more than a dozen national Number One singles and over 30 Top Ten hits.  The four-part harmonies and upbeat songs of the Oak Ridge Boys have earned them the coveted Academy of Country Music Pioneer Award, Grammy, Dove, CMA, and other ACM awards as well as garnered a host of additional industry and fan accolades. October 25, 2015, The Oak Ridge Boys were honored with induction into the esteemed and elite Country Music Hall of Fame.
 
“I feel like I can do what I do on stage just as good now as I could 20 years ago,” says Bonsall.“ I plan to be rockin' my tail off out there as long as I'm healthy. The people who come out, who bring their families to see us, deserve everything I've got.”
 
Bass singer Richard Sterban comments, “I think our stage show is one of the reasons for our continuity. We're still having fun doing this. We love what we do. Getting on stage and bringing our music to people is still what we live for.”
 
The Oak Ridge Boys' official website is http://oakridgeboys.com/http://oakridgeboys.com

 

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