Oak Ridge Boys Return to Mahnomen, Bring Heart-Warming
Music to Stage at Shooting Star Casino on January 11
By Sue Gruman Kraft
The legendary Oak Ridge Boys are returning to the Shooting Star Casino in Mahnomen, Minnesota, on Thursday, January 11, bringing their four-part harmonies and upbeat country and gospel music that their multi-generational fans love. According to the ticket hotline, the concert is sold out.
This is the 45th year that the four vocalists have been working together. William Lee Golden, baritone, has been with the group since 1965. Duane Allen, lead singer, joined in 1966. Richard Sterban, bass singer, joined the group in 1972 and Joe Bonsall, tenor, joined the group in 1973.
Richard Sterban stated during a recent interview that the Oak Ridge Boys are still going strong, happy to perform for their fans.
Actually, that’s what Sterban said he enjoys the most. “The actual performing itself, getting on stage every night and taking our music live to our fans… It’s still very special.” He said they are looking forward to their performance in Mahnomen in January. They’ll be bringing some great melodies to help us warm up our cold winter nights.
Their songs include “Elvira,” “Bobbie Sue,” “Dream On,” “Thank God for Kids,” “American Made,” “I Guess It Never Hurts to Hurt Sometimes,” “Fancy Free,” “Gonna Take a Lot of River,” and many others.
“We are still having fun doing it, and because of that, we don’t plan to retire any time soon,” Sterban stated. “As long as the Good Lord above keeps blessing us with good health,” he added.
The show that they will provide in Mahnomen is considered a regular show with a lot of hit music that fans love, and also honoring their gospel music background, with some patriotic stongs, and some new music as well, Sterban noted.
The Oak Ridge Boys stay very busy. They just completed a successful 28th Annual Christmas Tour, which is very popular.
In March 2018, the Oak Ridge Boys will have a new project coming out, with all new recordings. Sterban called this a “different project for the Oak Ridge Boys.”
“It is a traditional retro project, mostly gospel, songs we have not recorded before.” It is mostly just the four of them accompanied by a guitar, he explained. They recorded it on Music Row at RCA Studio A in Nashville. Sterban is excited about it, but he couldn’t release the name of it yet, he said,
“Over the years, so many great things have happened to us,” stated Richard Sterban. When they last visited Mahnomen, in 2015, the Oak Ridge Boys were preparing to be inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame, an event that took place October 25, 2015.
“When you look at the Country Music Hall of Fame, for the Oak Ridge Boys to be a part of that family is so special,” Sterban commented. “I have a difficult time to find the right words to describe that experience,” he said.
They’ve made one double platinum, three platinum and 12 gold albums. They have had more than a dozen national Number One singles and over 30 Top Ten hits. They have earned the Academy of Country Music Pioneer Award, Grammy, Dove, CMA and other ACM awards as well as gained other industry and fan recognition.
Sterban talked about how close the four of them have become over the years, like a family, and how important their own families and pursuits are to them as well. The Oak Ridge Boys average 150 days a year on the road. “We love doing what we do,” Sterban said. However, they are also each pursuing their personal goals, too.
Duane Allen has been able to foster the love of performing in his family with his daughter Jamie Allen Martin, his son-in-law, Paul Martin, and the grandkids March, Kell, Texas and Tallant, who perform together as the Martin Family Circus. This family of musicians feature their own incredible talents in their performances. The family was invited to play at the 2017 White House Easter Egg Roll.
Joe Bonsall is an author, having written a number of books, including a book about his parents, “G.I Joe and Lilly.” He also wrote a book “On the Road with the Oak Ridge Boys,” with many of their stories and adventures.
Photography could be considered William Lee Golden’s main hobby. He takes numerous photographs during their travels. His work can be found on his personal website.
Richard Sterban continues to promote the Oak Ridge Boys, and also enjoys time with his own family. He says they are all doing very well.
The Oak Ridge Boys have also been able to appear in several videos they have made with their friends. They are staying active and enjoying what they are doing. Fans are hoping they can keep sharing their music for many years.