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Joe Bonsall, Jim Halsey, Dallas Frazier, William Lee Golden, Richard Sterban and Duane Allen backstage at the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum on March 5, 2018. (Photo by Jeremy Westby)
Joe Bonsall, Jim Halsey, Dallas Frazier, William Lee Golden, Richard Sterban and Duane Allen backstage at the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum on March 5, 2018. (Photo by Jeremy Westby)

Oak Ridge Boys celebrate 40th anniversary of 'Elvira'

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Fri, Mar 19th 2021 10:00 am

Grammy Award-winning and Country Music Hall of Fame members The Oak Ridge Boys are celebrating the 40th anniversary of their Grammy-winning song "Elvira" which was originally released in 1981.

While written in 1966 by Dallas Frazier, The Oak Ridge Boys decided to record the song for their album, “Fancy Free.” The song went on to reach No. 1 on Hot Country Songs for Billboard and reached No. 5 on the Billboard Hot 100. "Elvira" has continued to be a classic, played in over 100 countries, added to more than 109 editorial playlists, and it has reached 5 million plays on Apple Music.

“The first time we performed 'Elvira' in front of an audience was at an afternoon rehearsal for ‘The Tonight Show.’ We were not set to perform it on the show that night, but we had just recorded it and decided to sing it for a soundcheck,” Duane Allen shared. “By the time we got halfway through the song, the producer, assistants, secretaries, sound and light crew, and all of the people who could hear us, came running over and freaking out. ‘The Tonight Show’ gave us the first ‘reading’ of how 'Elvira' was going to be received.”

The Oak Ridge Boys recorded "Elvira" on MCA Records and, in 2010, The Boot named it the “Number One Catchiest Song in Country Music History.” The Oak Ridge Boys have recorded and performed “Elvira” with several artists, including Little Big Town at the Grand Ole Opry’s 90th Birthday Bash, as well as recording an a cappella version with Home Free. In 2017, The Oaks teamed up with Blake Shelton, joining him on a live-in-the-studio version for an exclusive Spotify recording. And, in 2018, in collaboration with the Tennessee Titans, The Oaks recorded a variation of "Elvira" (titled “Titans Code of Conduct”) and filmed a corresponding music video that was showcased at all Titans home games.

“It’s been said that it’s difficult, if not impossible, to fully appreciate or understand the magnitude of something as it’s happening,” Richard Sterban explained. “While that might be true in some circumstances, I can honestly say that I – and we – could not have been any more aware of what was happening to us, as we rode the crest of the 'Elvira' wave.”

“When the Oaks first cut 'Elvira', the phenomenal success it created for them blessed my quest for success as well,” songwriter Dallas Frazier beamed. “Every songwriter dreams of getting cuts like that one. They did an extraordinary job! These guys sound just as good as they did 40 years ago. There is no doubt that standing ovations are going to follow them as long as they perform. God bless the Oaks! I'm proud that they count me as one of their friends.”

The group – Allen, Joe Bonsall, William Lee Golden and Sterban – are best known for their iconic and multi-Platinum hit “Elvira,” along with chart-toppers “Bobbie Sue,” “Thank God For Kids,” “Y’All Come Back Saloon” and “American Made.” The Oak Ridge Boys have achieved a decorated career, winning five Grammy Awards, multiple CMA, ACM and Dove Awards for their crossover brand of pop, country and gospel music that spans multiple generations. The Oak Ridge Boys became members of the Grand Ole Opry in 2011 and achieved arguably country music’s highest honor in October 2015 when they were inducted into the Country Music Hall Of Fame.

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For more information or to view upcoming tour dates for The Oak Ridge Boys, visit oakridgeboys.com.

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