Today (12/22) on “Outside the Barrel” at 5pm ET and 9pm ET, everybody’s favorite PBR entertainer, Flint Rasmussen, continues in his quest to share his love of country music with his audience. Flint is joined by The Oak Ridge Boys members Duane Allen and Joe Bonsall, who share a little of their band’s history as well as plans for the future.
The Oak Ridge Boys took off in the 1970s – the “Age of the 8-track” – and remain popular to this day. Duane attributes their timelessness to the tradition of passing music down through generations. He says, “I think that’s why we’re still around, we’re passed down like an old shirt”. The group was surprised by all the young fans on their last tour, who were certainly not alive in the 1970s. However, these youths grew up listening to the Oak Ridge Boys, thanks to their parents and grandparents.
The Oak Ridge Boys made a slight genre shift for their last couple of albums, producing two records full of gospel favorites and hymns. Duane, Joe, and the rest of the group were inspired by the songs they grew up singing in church – the very songs that inspired them to become musicians. Recording these powerful songs was a very emotional experience for the band.
Merle Haggard joined in on the recording of “Sweet Jesus”, for which he and the Oak Ridge Boys won a Dove Award. Duane explains that Merle was so unbelievably proud of their achievements that he had the Dove Award placed at the top of his casket during his funeral. The opportunity to record with the talented Merle Haggard was the highlight of Duane and Joe’s careers.
With the Holiday season just around the corner, the Oak Ridge Boys recently released a new Christmas album, which features popular and classic carols in addition to 5 brand new ‘Oak Ridge Authentic’ songs. The group is currently on tour, performing Christmas music in 31 cities across 18 states.
For more information on the group and their tour, visit http://oakridgeboys.com/tour.