The Oak Ridge Boys are celebrating their 50th anniversary as a group this October. To commemorate the occasion, the Country Music Hall of Famers will hit the road on their “American Made: Farewell Tour!”
The tour will celebrate the momentous accomplishments of the Grammy-winning group’s Duane Allen, Joe Bonsall, William Lee Golden and Richard Sterban.
“We are doing a farewell tour because we owe it to our fans to say goodbye,” shares Golden. “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!”
“I want to thank God for 50 years of singing with three of my best friends and for the fans who have been there for us,” shares Sterban. “This is a celebration and we hope to see you there.”
The group originally formed as the Oak Ridge Quartet on the ’40s, becoming popular in southern gospel during the ’50s. They changed their name to The Oak Ridge Boys in the early ’60s, with Golden joining in ’65 and Allen in ’66. They remained a gospel group until the mid-1970s, when they changed their image and concentrated on country music. Sterban joined the hit-making line-up in ’72 and Bonsall in ’73.
“I was 25 years old in 1973 when I joined The Oak Ridge Boys,” shares Bonsall. “I am 75 years old in 2023 and I am STILL an Oak Ridge Boy. It has been and still IS an amazing ride.”
Throughout their career, The Oak Ridge Boys have sold over 41 million units worldwide. In addition to their awards and accolades in country music, the Oaks have garnered five Grammy Awards, nine GMA Dove Awards and two American Music Awards. In addition to the Country Music Hall of Fame, they are members of the Grand Ole Opry, the Gospel Music Hall of Fame and the Vocal Group Hall of Fame.
The Oaks have achieved 17 No. 1 hits, including “Leaving Louisiana In The Broad Daylight,” “Bobbie Sue,” “Trying To Love Two Women,” “(I’m Settin’) Fancy Free,” “American Made” and the unforgettable “Elvira.”
“For all of my career I have always been a planner, sometimes planning two or three years in advance, what we will do, where we will go, and when we record,” says Allen. “As we celebrate 50 years of being together, just as you see us, we will, also, begin our ‘American Made: Farewell Tour.’ I don’t know how long the tour will last, but we hope to return to as many parts of the country as we can. Thank you so much for these 50 years. For me, it’s 57 1/2 years. I have given you the best part of my life and you have rewarded me with a wonderful career. Thank you, our dear fans. Thanks to God for His divine guidance. Thank you to our wonderful organization. Thank you to all the supporting companies who represent us. And thank you to our families.”