The Oak Ridge Boys are an American Country and Gospel vocal quartet. The group was founded in the 1940s as the Oak Ridge Quartet. They became popular in Southern Gospel during the 1950s. Their name was changed to The Oak Ridge Boys in the early 1960s, and they remained a Gospel group until the mid-1970s, when they changed their image and concentrated on Country music.
Theirs is one of the most distinctive and recognizable sounds in the music industry. The four-part harmonies and upbeat songs of The Oak Ridge Boys have spawned dozens of Country hits and a Number One Pop smash, earned them Grammy, Dove, CMA, and ACM awards and garnered a host of other industry and fan accolades. Every time they step before an audience, the Oaks bring four decades of charted singles, and 50 years of tradition, to a stage show widely acknowledged as among the most exciting anywhere. And each remains as enthusiastic about the process as they have ever been.
The lineup which produced their most well-known Country and crossover hits (such as “Elvira” (1981), “Bobbie Sue” (1982), and “American Made” (1983) consists of Duane Allen (lead), Joe Bonsall (tenor), William Lee Golden (baritone), and Richard Sterban (bass). Golden and Allen joined the group in the mid-1960s, and Sterban and Bonsall joined in the early 1970s. Aside from an eight-year gap (1987–95) when Golden left the group and was replaced, this lineup has been together since 1973 and continues to tour and record.
The group has 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.