The Oak Ridge Boys Announce Farewell Tour, But It’s Not “Goodbye”
Photo by Brandon Wood / Indie Bling Studios
After 50 years and too many awards and achievements to count, The Oak Ridge Boys are celebrating 50 years with a tour – American Made: Farewell Tour.
The Oak Ridge Boys, made up of members Duane Allen, Joe Bonsall, William Lee Golden, and Richard Sterban, announced the tour in a press release issued Tuesday (September 19).
William Lee Golden, who joined the group as a baritone in 1965, said that they owed it to their fans to say goodbye.
“They have always been there for us through the good times and the bad. I will always be thankful to every person who came out to a show, bought a t-shirt, played our music, and overall, loved us enough to spend their hard-earned money whenever they could. This tour is for you!” Golden said.
Bass singer, Richard Sterban, added that he is thankful for 50 years of performing with his “best friends” and called the tour a celebration.
While the farewell tour may sound like it’s a permanent “goodbye” from the quartet, that is not the case.
In a statement to Country Rebel, Joe Bonsall clarified that the tour announcement does not indicate impending retirement, but it does mean that they will be “gearing down” from the rigorous schedule they’ve maintained for the past five decades.
“We are not announcing retirement as such but at this point in our lives it just seemed natural to scale it back … after pounding the road hard for 50 plus years we are not getting any younger so we are just changing the way we do business,” Bonsall wrote, adding that they plan to record in 2024 and continue touring on a smaller scale. “We still have a full schedule the remainder of this year and we are looking at 50-60 dates next year as opposed to 140 or 150.”
History of The Oak Ridge Boys
The Oak Ridge Boys were founded in the early 1940s as a gospel quartet named The Oak Ridge Quartet. That name stuck for nearly two decades before “quartet” was swapped out for “boys” and the group’s focus shifted from gospel music to country.
After a series of personnel changes during the group’s first 30 years, the current lineup of Allen, Bonsall, Golden and Sterban came together in the early ’70s and would go one to become one of only a few all-male quartets to find success in country music.
With an impressive catalog of 17 chart-topping songs like “American Made,” Bobbie Sue,” Elvira,”(I’m Settin’) Fancy Free,” The Oak Ridge Boys have made an indelible mark on country music. “The proof is in the pudding,” as they say. Not only are they members of the Grand Ole Opry, Country Music Hall of Fame, Gospel Music Hall of Fame and Vocal Group Hall of Fame, but the Oak Ridge Boys have earned more than three dozen awards (including five Grammys), and racked up twelve gold, three platinum and one double-platinum album.
Find out where you can see The Oak Ridge Boys’ American Made: Farewell Tour HERE. Then watch The Oak Ridge Boys team up with a cappella vocal band Home Free for a rendition of their 1981 hit “Elvira” below.