Oak Ridge Boys Inducted Into Opry

(L-R): Joe Bonsall, Duane Allen, Dickens, Opry Vice President & General Mgr Pete Fisher, William Lee Golden, Richard Sterban. Photo: Chris Hollo

The Oak Ridge Boys were inducted into the Grand Ole Opry this weekend by Opry member Jimmy Dickens. The legendary country music group made up of William Lee Golden, Joe Bonsall, Richard Sterban, and Duane Allen was invited to join the Opry last month by Dickens, who surprised the group by walking on stage dressed as a 4’11” William Lee Golden, including long beard and sunglasses.

After Dickens presented the members of the group with their Opry member awards, Joe Bonsall spoke first for the group, saying, “We’ve always been a friend of the Opry. We’ve always believed in the Opry and loved and respected every member of this brotherhood and sisterhood of country music. We’ve been nervous wrecks all day long because we knew how special this would be. This is a meaningful night, and is it different tonight than it ever has been when we’ve come down here to sing? You bet your life it is!”

“I can not think of any group or any person who deserve this honor more,” Former President George H.W. Bush said in a taped greeting, explaining that he’d been an Oak Ridge Boys fan since he first heard the group from inside the White House while they were singing “Elvira” on the White House lawn. “I ran outside like a little kid,” he said, “and I’ve been blessed to call them friends ever since. I think of the Opry and the Oaks both as American icons, beloved from coast to coast and known around the world. I can’t think of a better union. I love you boys, and my best to everyone at the Grand Ole Opry, one of my favorite places in America.”

The Oak Ridge Boys’ four-part harmonies and upbeat songs have created dozens of country hits and a No. 1 pop smash, earned them Grammy, CMA, ACM, and Dove awards, and garnered a host of other industry and fan accolades. On September 19, the band will release a new CD to be sold exclusively at Cracker Barrel Old Country Store. It’s Only Natural will feature new music and new recordings of select ORB hits, including “Elvira.”

(L-R): Grand Ole Opry Pres. Steve Buchanan; ORB Manager Jim Halsey; ORB members Golden, Allen, Bonsall, and Sterban; Opry VP/GM Pete Fisher. Photo: Chris Hollo

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